Lindsay Chamber Awards: Frances Brower pulls community together as award winner
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
LINDSAY– Being awarded Woman of the Year in Lindsay is not just about good deeds, although that helps, sometimes it is just about being a positive ambassador for the community. And Lindsay Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Woman of the Year, Frances Brower, has served to be a sterling example of what it means to love Lindsay and bring people together.
Brower, like most community award winners, believes there are plenty of other people doing important work that could also be recognized. But at the same time, she knows that her love for the community has shone through her efforts to promote a cohesive community.
“There’s got to be more people than just me. What I do is very simple and I do it because I love Jesus and I love this city,” Brower said.
The proud ministry leader of her home church, said she wants the community to get together and get to know one another. A testament to her work has been the Harvest Festival on Halloween. Seven years ago Brower requested to have her own type of celebration at Sweet Briar Plaza on Oct. 31. Then when McDermont began their Harvest Festival, Brower and her husband Henry who owned NAPA Auto Parts and was chosen as Man of the Year for 2016, attended the event.
Brower said she had some odd looks and comments because as a devout Christian in the community she was attending a Halloween event. Nonetheless Brower said she was happy to go because it helped the community grow. Taking matters one step further, the next year she merged her event with McDermont’s to make Harvest Festival what it is today.
Being community centric does not mean she is blind to the problems Lindsay faces. But despite the lack of vibrant business and the overwhelming poverty that plagues the city Brower says she envisions Lindsay as an example cities could follow. In particular when it comes to coming together.
“Bringing a community together is like living in a place of true love and peace where we give love for the residents,” Brower expressed. “I feel Lindsay was chosen by God to serve as an example for other cities to do the same thing.”
Truly, Brower says, her love for community is a reflection of her love for God. And after leading adult Sunday school at Visalia Christian Reformed Church and Tulare Bethel Church, she decided to start her own. She said the time to serve both churches became a challenge, and through dreams and visions God told her to start her home church called Dalet.
Dalet became a subsect of the nine-year nonprofit the Browers run, Spirit and the Bride Kingdom Coalition.
With a small congregation of 20-25 people, Brower says that her backyard church is only supposed to serve as one piece of worship and she welcomes the worshipers to visit other churches. She likens her congregates’ spirituality to a buffet.
“I don’t want people to only be fed from one place when they can be fed from the whole buffet,” Brower said.
And where allegiance to some churches can feel restricting, Brower says she ultimately started Dalet for people to express their worship and love for God however they see fit. When she decided to start her church, she says God told her to provide a safe place for his children to go and express their love for him, no matter how it looks.