Bud and Pat Brown have been the hosts of the Baptist House in Chautauqua Institution for the past nine years. They have been staying in the Baptist House every since they started coming to Chautauqua in 1977.
Chautauqua Institution was founded as a Methodist learning community in 1878. Since then its religious community has grown to include 16 different denominations. As the cost of staying in the Institution has increased, the denominational houses have been regarded as the most affordable option for visitors.
Bud and Pat met working as librarians in the Robbins Library in Arlington, Massachusetts. As the story goes, one day Pat's sister returned home and told her that there was a man in the library. After hearing this, Pat jumped on her bike and rushed over to meet Bud. Since then, they've been married for 49 years and have spent most of that time living in Buffalo and working as librarians.
The Baptist house is unique because it has seven individual kitchens and dining rooms. This allows guests some privacy and the ability to cook their own meals. Bud refers to their kitchen experience as "camping indoors".
The Baptist House is located on the red brick walk along with a majority of the denominational houses in Chautauqua. Outside of their house are several colorful sculptures representing people of faith from different cultures.
Every Tuesday Bud and Pat host a social hour where they invite singers and musicians from the Chautauqua Community to perform in their house.
Pat loves Tuesdays because it allows her to extend the house out to the community. This often comes in the form of "attacking people with cookies".
Every Sunday the Baptist House holds worship led by their Chaplain of the week and attended by guests and Baptists from outside of the Institution. During the worship, Bud plays the organ and accompanies a guest pianist.
As hosts, they describe their job as to be "gracious to everyone who comes inside the front door". Most of their responsibilities as hosts include physical tasks such as cleaning and day to day maintenance.
A name plate for Bud made out of Cheez-Its by Pat for a dinner between the two of them. Pat and Bud share small moments of love and intimacy throughout a hectic summer.
Bad and Pat are active members of the community of Chautauqua. Bud is a member of the Chautauqua choir and attends rehearsals throughout the week.
Pat volunteers at the flea market on Fridays, returning to the Baptist House with a new outfit whenever she does.
Pat tearfully says goodbye to Alex Paul on the porch of the Baptist House. Pat and Bud allowed Paul to stay for free throughout out the summer so she could be a member of the choir and covered the cost of her room out of their own pocket.
Pat and Bud make the Baptist House feel like home for both their guests and anyone they cross paths with. "Bud and Pat's enthusiasm and love is for not only Chautauqua but for the people that stay in this house," said Betty Stubblefield, who has stayed at the Baptist House for 16 years. "They create between [them] a family atmosphere. Pat and Bud become your friend."
Pat and Bud share a quiet moment on the Baptist front porch during a Tuesday social hour. Bud says that when he first dropped Pat off in Chautauqua she cried because she didn't know anyone, but when Bud came to pick her up she cried because she didn't want to leave. Now Bud and Pat play important roles in the Chautauquan community.