Elliot Brack (left) accepts prestigious “Others” Award from Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander of the Salvation Army USA.

Elliott Brack is about as familiar a name as there is in Gwinnett County. In past years, he has been the publisher or managing editor of the Wayne County Press, Gwinnett Daily News, the Marietta Daily Journal, and the associate editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Gwinnett” section. 

Today, he publishes Gwinnett Clips and the Gwinnett Forum.  He is a past 30+ - year chairman of the University of Georgia’s The Red and Black newspaper. He is an active member of the Gwinnett Rotary Club, sponsoring more than 50 new members. 

The author of the award-winning book, Gwinnett:  A Little Above Atlanta, Brack won accolades for his history of the county, and he was also named “Gwinnett Citizen of the Year” in 1994.  He served as president of the Georgia Press Association and the Metro Atlanta American Red Cross.  As if all of those accomplishments didn’t keep him busy enough, he is also the founding chair of Leadership Gwinnett.

Often referred to as “Mr. Gwinnett” by those who know the man and the rich history of the area, Brack recently became the first Gwinnettian to receive the Salvation Army’s “Others” Award. Joining the likes of recipients that include Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal and Georgia senator Johnny Isakson, Brack received the honor in recognition of his service to others.

With so many ways to serve and influence, why choose the Salvation Army? “I had no choice. I met Commissioner Andy Miller, Sr.,” said Brack. Since that meeting more than 20 years ago, Brack has served faithfully on the Gwinnett Advisory Council and is still an active member of the Metro Atlanta Area Advisory Board. He led a successful 1999 fundraising campaign that generated $4.5 million in donations, paving the way for the current Gwinnett facility on Sugarloaf Parkway. 

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But his involvement with the Salvation Army reaches all the way back to 1989, when he met 47-year Salvation Army veteran Andy Miller, Sr. “Andy was perhaps the most amazing and Godly man I have ever known, so accomplished, so smart, so unpredictable, so full of life, an evangelist wherever he was, (and) a true man of God,” Brack said. 

Miller was an enthusiastic and powerful evangelist, full of energy and passionate about serving others through the Salvation Army.  His grandson and namesake, Capt. Andy Miller, has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps. In fact in the May awards ceremony, Miller was on hand to announce the “Others” Award recipient and to congratulate his friend.

“I am proud to carry on what my grandfather started, and I’m honored to know Elliott Brack,” Miller said. “Elliott has been a part of the advisory council since it started. He led our capitol campaign, and for that reason (the Salvation Army) is here now in this facility in Gwinnett County.”   

When asked what Brack’s longtime involvement with the Salvation Army has meant to the organization and to the community, Miller said, “I’m thankful that people like Elliott are willing to lend their influence to us because they believe in our mission. His help and influence have advanced the community as a whole. He believes in us, and he believes that we can help in Gwinnett County.”  What have Brack’s influence and efforts meant to the people of Gwinnett?  “There are fewer homeless and hungry people in the county because of him,” said Miller.

The prestigious “Others” Award is not the only honor bestowed upon Brack by the Salvation Army. The organization recently announced that it will honor both Elliott and his wife Barbara by building a media center designed to serve the community. The new center will offer Internet access to students, who can use the center for doing homework and to receive tutoring. The computer lab will be open to students and to patrons seeking employment. A listening station with headphones and library technology will encourage literacy, and a flat-screen TV will be used for instruction as well as entertainment.

The center’s learning environment will be designed to help future journalists and writers learn how to better communicate through technology.  The Barbara and Elliott Brack Media Center is perhaps the most fitting tribute to a man who has dedicated much of his professional life to Gwinnett County, and to literacy and communication.