MEET LILLIAN BROCK FLEMMING
Early & Personal Life
Lillian was born and reared in the Southernside neighborhood of Greenville. Today, Lillian and her husband live in the house they built on the site where she attended 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades – at what was then the segregated and all-black Oscar Street Elementary.
She became active in her church, canvassing for voter registration at 14 years old with the Greenville NAACP Youth, attending National Council of Negro Women meetings, and volunteering with the late City Councilwoman Lottie Gibson.
Lillian also served her Neighborhood Association, helping sign children up for free dental and other social services provided in the evenings, and babysitting and reading to them in waiting rooms.
After college, Lillian remained in Greenville and assisted her mother with making sandwiches for the food insecure in their neighborhood, eventually moving the operation into a facility from which they could serve. Lillian’s mother started this ministry because she’d always wanted to be a Christian missionary, and she instilled the importance of serving others into all of her children, including Lillian.
Lillian and her husband, Reverend JM Flemming, also passed-down this value to their 10 children (7 sons and 3 daughters), requiring them to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving and Christmas annually, before their own celebrations. Reverend Flemming cooked on every holiday and transported meals, as well as provided transportation to those without a way to get to their families on those days.
Education & Career
Lillian is a bachelor’s and master’s graduate of Furman University, where she majored in Mathematics Education. She also has an honorary doctorate from Furman. Lillian retired from Greenville County Schools after 46 years of service.
Lillian first ran for Greenville City Council while married and teaching school. Her work as a teacher at that time, in combination with the fact that several portions of Pleasant Valley were added to her District, caused Lillian’s name to be mistakenly written-in to ballots for County Council by students and their parents at that time.
When she was first elected, she was eight months-pregnant with her first child, JM, Jr., who was born on the day of her first meeting in-session
Lillian is a current Board Member for Upstate Warrior Solutions, and was President of the Chapter 3 Blue Star Mothers.
She also currently serves on the Boards of AdvanceSC, Brockwood Senior Housing (named for her mother, Lila Brock), and the Boy Scouts of America-Blue Ridge Council.
Lillian is former President of the Municipal Association of South Carolina; she was the first black President elected to this role. She also served as Board Chair for the Southernside Block Partnership, Inc. and is a member of the West End Lions Club, as well as is a lifetime member of the Greenville Chapter NAACP, and lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America – Mountains to the Midlands. Lillian is a current board and personnel committee member of the aforementioned organization.
Lillian has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Upstate, and has been named one of Greenville’s 50 Most Influential People three times. She was selected for Furman University’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award and the UNCF Outstanding Service Award. Furman University also presents the Lillian Brock-Flemming Leadership Award to an outstanding minority student, annually.
In order to continuously-learn and improve, Lillian is now studying.
climate change and its environmental effects, especially on minority neighborhoods, via workshops and training sessions by the Municipal Association of South Carolina, and the National League of Cities
best practices for Planning, by visiting other cities all over the US and abroad
Municipal Association of South Carolina Advanced Graduate Level sessions (after completion of “Basic Training”) on:
o Economic Development (with specific focus on Community Reinvestment Act and banking practices)
o Housing Development and the Provision of City Affordable Housing
o Project Finance Management