Brown Set to Fulfill Promise to His Mom after 16 Years

Brown Set to Fulfill Promise to His Mom after 16 Years

MOUNT OLIVE- Karsten Brown was 40 years old when he decided it was time to finish what he started and fulfill a promise to his loved ones and to himself.

“When my mother, Bernice Brown, died 16 years ago, I lost my best friend,” Brown said. “I made a promise to her that I would return to school and earn my degree.” Brown also shared that he wanted to be a positive example for his 11-year-old daughter. “I don’t just want to talk the talk; I want my daughter to see me walk the walk.”

Determined to make his family proud, and to fulfill his own dreams, Brown enrolled at the University of Mount Olive in New Bern in the spring of 2017.

“After so many years out of the classroom, I was very apprehensive about returning to school,” he said. “However, it did not take me long to buckle down and get into the mindset of being a student again. The faculty and staff at UMO make it easy.”

Like many adult students, Brown had to learn to balance his time between family, church, work, and school. With the support of his family, a UMO advisor, his coworkers, and his own persistence, Brown has completed each assignment and semester with faith and determination. He is on track to graduate in August with his associate’s degree in general studies.

Brown’s future goals include owning his own business and becoming an independent gospel artist. He currently serves as Vice President of the Craven Community College Gospel Choir (3CGC). “Our goal is to make music that will encourage and provide peace to the listeners,” he said.

With a few music projects set to air on radio and on social media in the near future, Brown hopes to reach greater heights with his music ministry. His classes in public speaking, business, and marketing, will certainly be beneficial as he launches this new phase in his career.

“My life has been transformed by UMO,” he said. “Because of UMO I can dream bigger and have greater expectations for my present and my future. My motives are to encourage people, young and old, that you can make it. When you put God first, no matter how old you are, you can do all things with Christ.”

Brown is married to Mellanie Brown and father to Rella Crouell.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online. For more information, visit