News and Views

Daughter honors her mother's pioneering ministry

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Women's History Month is always a celebration I embrace as an African American Woman. I marvel and reflect with heartfelt appreciation on how I feel for the women warriors who have fought and continue to fight for equality and well-deserved recognition. However, this year I am compelled to highlight the first example of what womanhood truly means to me -- my mother. 

 My mother, the Rev. Mary Brown-Oliver, has always had numerous accolades attributed to her academic, professional, and personal life. In her early years, she was a renowned and celebrated educator and became a prolific trailblazer for women in ministry. She was also the first African-American women to be appointed as the District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church’s Greater Washington District. Her accomplishments are many, and her tenacity to achieve them during an era marked with disappointing roadblocks and obstacles cluttered with masculinity landmines is by far miraculous.

 As her only daughter, nestled between two brothers, I want to highlight my mother's dreams and desires for me. December 2020 was an exciting period in my life, albeit we struggled with the uncertainties of a pandemic and the horrific racial inequalities that shook us to our core.

During this time, I was working towards my Doctor of Business Administration, and although the journey was difficult and arduous at best I prevailed. My journey towards this academic and lifetime achievement was made possible by my mother's vision for me. She, too, had begun her journey towards a doctoral degree, which became a dream deferred due to family dynamics and her continued desire to perfect herself in new leadership roles. Ultimately, her dream became a reality through me.

 Today I stand as Dr. Allyson Oliver Jones because my mother, Rev. Mary Brown-Oliver passed the baton to me to complete the race. This Women's History Month of 2021, I want my mother and mentor to take her victory lap in heaven as Dr. Mary Brown-Oliver because my accomplishment would not have been made possible without her. Thank you, Ma, for entrusting me with such an awesome responsibility. -- Your daughter, Dr. Allyson Oliver Jones.

Gwendiville Young Mar 22, 2021 12:39pm

We are proud of you Allyson. We enjoyed sharing with your family when Rev. Oliver was our pastor. Gwendiville Young and friends at Northwood-Appold UMC.

Belva Martin Mar 22, 2021 1:27pm

Allyson, congratulations on your accomplishment. Your mother was indeed a trailblazer and I too am the beneficiary of her tenacity and leadership in the conference. As a lay servant, I strive for excellence and to leave a path that other girls and women can follow. I know that your mother is proud of you, Howard, and Jay. (Former neighbor on Lory Lane)

Cora Marshall Mar 22, 2021 7:12pm

Your Mom is —yes is— I refuse to say would be. She is truly smiling down on you and your awesome accomplishment. Let me be your Mom this month and I am proud of your hard work in reaching your goal . She was one of my dearest friends -not just my pastor. She served the StPaul Famiy as a pastor not a preacher There is a big difference between a preacher and a pastor.. Congratulations to the daughter of a loving pastor and friend.

Carol Travis, Asbury UMC Mar 22, 2021 7:34pm

Thank you for this reminder of our beloved mentor and friend

Gwendolyn Kent Mar 23, 2021 3:23pm

Congratulations to my Son’s Godsister!!! Mom and Dad are high fiving each other over your accomplishment!

Carolyn Maria Haggins Mar 24, 2021 12:02pm

Thank you Allyson for this reminder of your mother's awesomeness. You, indeed, are her "marvelous" trubute.