SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It started off like any other Wednesday night bible study at San Francisco's Third Baptist Church. Reverend Amos Brown was teaching a lesson from The Bible and about black history.
There were extra decorations and an especially large bible study crowd in the church auditorium, but the Reverend thought the black, red, green and yellow balloons and full dinner buffet was in celebration of Black History Month.
But as Reverend Brown was wrapping up with a song, children in the congregation paraded in with a birthday banner. Brown walked around to look at the banner at the front of the room and jumped as confetti poppers cracked open.
The Reverend was clearly surprised, but admitted that he was a bit suspicious when friends showed up from out of town.
"I knew that something sneaky was going on," he exclaimed.
Jane Brown, the Reverend's wife of 53 years, said she threw her husband a 78th birthday party to bring more people to the church and her husband's bible study.
"I felt that more people needed to hear what he has been saying," she said.
Brown, a civil rights leader, who studied under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was given an 'I have A Dream' shirt by some of the children as well as portraits of himself and his wife, painted by Eugene White, the well-known African-American artist, who was a friend of the Reverend and passed away this month.
Also, Mayor London Breed proclaimed that February 20th, 2019 is Amos Brown Day.
But, it turned out the party wasn't the only surprise. Jes Pedersen, the CEO of Webcor (which has major construction contracts all over San Francisco), showed up at the party and gifted Reverend Brown and Third Baptist Church, with a remodel of their aging bell tower.
Pedersen says Webcor will start the construction as soon as the rainy season is over.
Before he blew out his birthday candles, Reverend Brown shared one communal wish.
"My hope and wish is that people be inspired to get involved and to turn around the lower achievement of black children in the school system."
Third Baptist Church surprised with bell tower remodel on Reverend Amos Brown's birthday
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