By Melanie Ferguson
Over 4,000 members of the Houston Texas East Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a new stake president from Baytown. Robert B. Brown will now lead and preside over seven congregations in the cities of Baytown, Pasadena and Broadway. A stake president usually serves for ten years. A stake is a geographic organization of multiple congregations, known as wards. There are 20 stakes in the Houston area.
The large Houston East Stake meetinghouse is located on Broadway St. in Houston. President Brown will be assisted by counselors Lorenzo Lezcano of Pasadena, and Matthew Freeman of Baytown. They will work with local communities as well as the four Spanish-speaking and three English-speaking wards in the stake. Having served a two-year mission for the LDS Church in Ecuador as a young man, Brown is fluent in Spanish.
Each ward has an ecclesiastical leader called a bishop, who works with individual members in the ward’s geographic boundaries. The bishop of each ward also coordinates and counsels with the stake president concerning the spiritual and temporal welfare and needs of his ward’s members.
President Brown, formally bishop of the Baytown Ward, looks forward to serving the community and working with each bishop. He says his ultimate goal is to work with individuals and help bring them to Christ. “The most important work any of us can do will be within the walls of our own homes,” he said. “When we focus on strengthening our families, we will be in a better position to help build and strengthen our communities.”
Brown is Vice President of Business Controls at AP Gas & Electric in Houston. He is married to Lara Keyes Brown. They have three daughters, two of whom attend Goose Creek Memorial High School. Their oldest daughter is serving as an 18-month LDS missionary in Mexico.
Erik Howard, formerly of Baytown, served as Houston East Stake President and in the stake presidency for the last seven years. He recently moved to Seguin with wife Michele and their six children. After the announcement of the change, President Brown said, “There was a great outpouring of love and appreciation for President Howard.”
For more information about the structure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or about LDS Church teachings, please visit LDS.org.
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