October 2000

Lillian Brock Flemming

Mayor Pro Tempore, Greenville, SC

Lillian Brock Flemming

Lillian Brock Flemming was born July 27, 1949, and grew up in the ‘Southside’ community of Greenville, South Carolina. She was motivated to succeed by her parents, Lila Mae and James Brock. Their constant theme was, “All things are ossible if you just trust in God and do His will.” As a young person, Lillian Brock focused on excellence and achievement. The acquisition of knowledge was paramount. Lillian Brock graduated from Sterling High School with honors in 1967 and that year she became one of the first three African American women to attend Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She earned her Baccalaureate degree in 1971 and her Master’s degree in Mathematics education in 1975. In 1971 she began teaching mathematics at Southside High School, was named Teacher of the Year in 1976 and 1993-94, and was selected 3rd finalist for the School District of Greenville County. In 1980 Mrs. Flemming served as President of the Greenville County Education Association. In 1994 she became Employment Specialist for the District. Lillian Brock Flemming and her husband, the Rev. J. M. Flemming, believe in giving back to their community. In addition to their own children, they have been foster parents to several troubled youths. She serves as chair of the board for the Southernside Community Center and Brockwood Senior Housing apartment complex. Both were founded by her mother and husband. Additionally, she is a Furman University Trustee, a member of the Greenville NAACP, and a Donaldson Center Commissioner. In 1981 Mrs. Flemming became the first African American woman to serve as a Greenville City Council member. She is the first city council member to be elected to five consecutive terms since the 1960’s. Elected by her council colleagues as Vice Mayor Pro Tempore in 1983, she was elected Mayor Pro Tempore in 1989. She has served as a representative to Bergamo, Italy, and several National League of Cities. She is a Board Member of the Municipal Association of South Carolina, and the past President and co-founder of the Conference of Black Municipal Elected Officials of South Carolina. Mayor Pro Tempore Flemming has received numerous awards and honors including: Outstanding Young Women of America, Phillis Wheatley Postfellows’ Martin Luther King Leadership Award, Greenville County Education Association’s Human Relations Award, the South Carolina Baptist Education and Missionary Convention Political Action Award, and the Old 96 Girl Scout Council’s Woman of Distinction in 1994. For her outstanding leadership, Furman University annually awards the Lillian Brock Flemming Leadership Award to an outstanding minority senior. She was also a recipient of the Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award in 2002 and the First Annual Women’s Triumph Award for State and Local Government presented by the South Carolina’s Governor’s Commision on Women and the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation in 2000.