Concert held to support Corrine Brown's legal fees

Event held at Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Corrine Brown supporters gathered Sunday night at a benefit concert to support her legal fees.

"When you're going up against the criminal justice system, it's very expensive," Brown said. "They have unlimited taxpayer resources and most of us operate on a budget."

Brown is set to be sentenced on Nov. 16 on 18 federal mail, wire and tax fraud charges.

The concert was held at the Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church in North Jacksonville. Pastor Shirley Caesar was Sunday night's headliner.
 
Brown was in good spirits. She said Sunday was all about coming together with her supporters to pray and, of course, raise money to support her legal expenses.

She said it feels good to know many people in the city still have her back.

Many showed up with hugs, lots of singing and worship as they traveled from near and far to support Brown.

"People everywhere I go -- every single place I go -- they tell me they're praying for me," Brown said. "I say, 'Well, I want you to come and pray with me.'"

Big name supporters like former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown was in attendance. World War II veteran Edward Irvin Norman was also there showing support. 

"(I'm here) to show my support and give her encouragement from a person who has done a whole lot for this state, and I don't want to use the word," Norman said. "I want to use because I'm a preacher and I pastored for 40 years."

The 12-term congresswoman was convicted in May of taking money raised for the One Door for Education Foundation. Prosecutors convinced a jury that Brown used the unregistered charity as a personal slush fund.

Her attorney told News4Jax Sunday that Brown is prepared for whatever sentence she receives in November. 

"She has more than enough strength to face what's coming up," Brown's attorney, James Smith, said.

"The people coming here, they're coming here because they trust me and they're praying for me," Brown said. "They know who I am and who I've been for 34 years, representing this community, this state and this country.

Tickets for Sunday night's concert ranged from $25-$40 per person. Those in attendance were aware that all proceeds will go toward Corrine Brown's legal fees. 

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