The Rev. Russell S. Brown Sr., 91, who was general secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 20 years before retiring in 1976, died of a heart ailment Monday in his home in Chicago.

Mr. Brown had been a pastor of AME churches in Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis and Chicago before becoming general secretary in 1956.

He had been a member of the board of directors of the St. Louis Urban League and the St. Louis planning commission. He also had been a member of the Cleveland city council for a time. He had been active in Republican Party organizations during much of his life.

Mr. Brown was a native of London, Ky. He was a graduate of Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, and the old Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

His first wife, the former Floy Smith, died in 1952. Mr. Brown's survivors include his wife, Sally Dee Brown, of Chicago; three children by his first marriage, Elaine B. Jenkins of Washington, and Charles S. and Russell S. Brown Jr., both of Detroit; a sister, Emma B. Horton of Pasadena, Calif.; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Russell S. Brown Sr. Memorial Fund, Payne Theological Seminary, at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, 45384. Russell S. Brown Sr., 91, Church Official

The Rev. Russell S. Brown Sr., 91, who was general secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 20 years before retiring in 1976, died of a heart ailment Monday in his home in Chicago.

Mr. Brown had been a pastor of AME churches in Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis and Chicago before becoming general secretary in 1956.

He had been a member of the board of directors of the St. Louis Urban League and the St. Louis planning commission. He also had been a member of the Cleveland city council for a time. He had been active in Republican Party organizations during much of his life.

Mr. Brown was a native of London, Ky. He was a graduate of Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, and the old Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

His first wife, the former Floy Smith, died in 1952. Mr. Brown's survivors include his wife, Sally Dee Brown, of Chicago; three children by his first marriage, Elaine B. Jenkins of Washington, and Charles S. and Russell S. Brown Jr., both of Detroit; a sister, Emma B. Horton of Pasadena, Calif.; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Russell S. Brown Sr. Memorial Fund, Payne Theological Seminary, at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, 45384.