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Former pastor of Brooks Memorial passes

By By MaryClaire Foster
Dewitt Allen was what one might call a Renaissance man, but still his passion for ministry is what dominated his life.
Allen, who pastored for 49 and 1/2 years, and also worked as a fireman, in accounting, as a radio announcer and as a news anchor, passed away July 5 after losing the battle to acute Leukemia.
Allen was called to the ministry at age 33. He served as a full time pastor at two churches, one in Gulf Shores and one in Montgomery before beginning what would be a 19-year stint at Brooks Memorial Baptist Church in Atmore before retiring in 1983.
His wife of 60 years, Dot Cobb Allen, said Allen loved people and was a gifted preacher. She said hearing Allen, who wrote more than 5,000 sermons in his life, preach is one of the things she will miss most about him.
Allen’s son, Schuyler Allen, said his father was a morally driven person.
Schuyler Allen said more than anything else his ministry was his passion.
However, besides his passion for ministering, Allen also was an oil and acrylic painter, antique gun collector, pilot, airplane restorer, brick mason and skilled cook. His most recent endeavor was rebuilding John Deere tractors.
True to his giving spirit, his son said, Allen would use his cooking skills and make fudge and divinity and give it out around town for free.
Schuyler Allen said what he will miss the most about his father was “the fact that I could talk to him about serious subjects whether it was religion or life, and he could give you some really good answers.”
Debora Helton, secretary at Brooks Memorial, said it was that same ability to engage others that she remembers most fondly.