By: Adoabi Ezeani (Whetstone Contributor)

College was the turning point in the life of Erica Brown, Wesley College’s chaplain who is leaving this year.

She heard a calling that told her it was time for her to help others spiritually. Before, she thought of a lot of different vocational possibilities.

“When I was five, I wanted to own a restaurant,” she said. “Then for a long time I wanted to be a teacher, then an English professor. While I was working on my Master’s Degree in English, I felt called to ministry, more specifically on a college campus.”

Chaplain Brown has director of spiritual life and community engagement for Wesley College.

The only child of her parents, Brown lost her father at a young age, and never got a chance to know who he was. She said she was able to develop a strong relationship with her mother that continues to grow today.

“My father died when I was a little over a year and a half old,” Brown said. “I lived with my mom, and for much of my childhood, in an extended family house with my maternal grandparents and my uncle.”

High school was not a good time for her.

“I was a bit of a nerd, but not quite smart enough to really reap the benefits,” she said. “Lots of stress at home – my grandparents in poor health.”

College was different.

“My college years, in many ways, marked a turning point in my life,” she said. “I had friends I enjoyed being with, I had a stronger sense of who I was than I did when I was in high school, and I began to see what I would need to do—making an impact in lives of others.”

Many of the students around campus appreciate her for what she does and the welcoming attitude she possesses.

“I have to see her every day in order for my day to be complete” said senior Nashi Watson. “She is a sweet and awesome person and I am glad to have met her. I love talking to her because she always has encouraging words and always has a smile on her face.”