“The Pilgrimage”

The Charles I. Brown Celebration

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS), one of the nine predominantly African-American Greek-Lettered organizations, is an international association comprised of college and professional men. Founded January 9, 1914 on the campus of Howard University by three noble Founders, Abram Langston Taylor, Leonard Francis Morse, and Charles Ignatius Brown, the Fraternity has evolved to amass 175,000 alumni and collegiate members, located in more than 650 chapters throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Two of PBS Founders, Taylor and Morse, went on to live very productive and notable lives, and were very active in the growth of the Fraternity until their deaths in 1953 and 1961, respectively. The third Founder, Charles I. Brown, as history is taught, disappeared from all aspects of society around 1924. It was the hope of every Sigma Man, that Founder Brown went on to live a productive and fruitful life – but the story of his disappearance, along with the rumors of what may have happened, continued in the organization for over 80 years.

In 1999, a small group of history-minded Sigma Brothers sat down and formulated a plan to locate Founder Brown. Assuming he had indeed passed away by this time, their efforts were concentrated around finding proof and evidence of what happened to him, and hopefully finding when and where he finally died. Led by the Fraternity’s international historian, professional archivists, historians, and genealogists were employed to assist in this massive project. This group has spent the better part of the last 17 years following every lead, travelling the country, and combing through numerous archives and databases.

Over these years, many frustrating obstacles and dead ends were encountered, but it was completely unacceptable that a Founder of the beloved Fraternity just disappeared from the planet. The search had to go on. The story had to be told. There had to be an end to the mystery of the Charles I. Brown disappearance. In the year 2015, the breakthrough occurred. With the small group of Sigma Brothers who started the search at the grass-roots level, along with the professionals that aided the movement, and with the full support of the Fraternity . . . Founder Charles Ignatius Brown was FOUND!

On January 6 -8, 2017, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity leaders and members, along with the national leaders from around the globe, will make “The Pilgrimage” to The Charles I. Brown Celebration in Philadelphia, PA during Founders Weekend. The three-day celebration will include special planned events and activities to commemorate the historic occasion in all of greekdom.



Although free of charge, all participants MUST register. Please click the link below to complete the registration form and send to:

All members who previously submitted paid registrations, will receive a full refund.

HOTEL | $119 per night
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
*Transportation between the Hotel
and Cemetery is included.

For any questions regarding registration, refunds and event details, please contact Brother Steve E. Ballard, Deputy Executive Director at or 202-726-5434 x 210



  • 7:30PM – 9:30PM
    Welcome Reception at Horizons Rooftop Ballroom | Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel


  • 9:00AM
    Celebratory Mass on the Life of Honorable Charles I. Brown | Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
    18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
  • 11:30AM
    Omega Ceremony and Monument Unveiling at Cemetery | Holy Cross Cemetery
    626 Baily Road, Yeadon, PA 19050
  • 12:30AM
    Dedication of Plaque and Historical Marker | St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
    21 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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