Harold O. J. Brown, an evangelical theologian known for his activism against abortion, died Sunday, July 8, after a long fight with cancer.

Brown's most prominent work was helping form and intellectually arm the pro-life movement. He was also a devoted professor and mentor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Reformed Theological Seminary, an ordained Congregationalist pastor, and a prominent writer in the evangelical movement.

Mike Kruger, academic dean of Reformed Theological Seminary, said Brown was "one of the brightest thinkers that this generation of Christians has seen. He has been a monumental influence over the last 30 years in American evangelicalism."

After earning four degrees from Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School in areas from biochemistry to church history and pursuing further education in Europe on Fulbright and Danforth fellowships, Brown joined the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

"His legacy will be felt not just in the broader public he's met, but [also through] the people he's trained to be the next generation of Christian leaders," said Kruger.

Former student and Care Net board chair emeritus Melinda Delahoyde says that as a professor, Brown was "a legend. He was always asking his students and the small groups of students that met in [his] home, 'How do we impact this culture for Jesus Christ?'"

Kruger said that Brown's "most central place of influence is rightly considered the pro-life movement. He not only anticipated the problem before abortion was legalized, but he has been one of the great organizers of actions to deal with the problem."

In 1975, two years after Roe v. Wade, Brown co-founded Christian Action Council (now Care Net) with former surgeon general C. Everett ...

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