C.D. Brooks: A Tribute

C.D. Brooks: A Tribute

The Vice Chancellor of the Adventist University of Africa (AUA), Dr. Delbert Baker, led out in a special AUA Chapel, on 8th June 2016, to honor the life and legacy of the well-known Adventist minister, preacher, and evangelist,Charles D. Brooks. C.D. Brooks, whose life inspired many and led thousands to followChrist, was one who exemplified what it meant to be a man of God, who allowed the “power that worketh in us” to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:19-20).

Born in 1930 and raised in a humble Methodist home, C.D. Brooks was the tenth child of Marvin and Mattie Brooks. At the age of ten, C.D., along with his mother and six sisters, was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Interestingly, Brooks had planned to study dentistry but God impressed him in his late teenage years to become a minister.  As a result, he accepted the call to ministry and studied at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama, with a major in Religion and minor in English. He often credited the influence to be an evangelist to Elder E. E. Cleveland. Brooks ran his first evangelistic series in 1952 with only 22 people present. By the time of his death, Brooks had traveled six continents preaching the Adventist faith, cofounded and directed theBreath of Life Media Ministry for 23 years, and led over 15,000 souls to Christ through baptism. 

Brooks’ distinct and powerful voice was often heard calling men to live according to God’s word without making any compromise or apology. He never pacified or excused sin, yet, he compassionately appealed to the hearts of men and women to convert and live in Christ. His messages would often resound in men’s minds long after the message was over. 

One AUA student, Evans Manjimela, currently studying Master of Divinity, acknowledged how Brooks’ preaching had influenced his preaching, along with many other preachers across the African continent, for the better. Evans stated that "C.D. Brooks knew the Lord of the Word, the Word itself, and how to give it an efficient delivery." 

Brenda Isaboke, AUA ICT Administrator, said "Brooks’ preaching had such a solid theological foundation, which embodied the ‘faith of our fathers.'"

 Dr. Mathema, Programme Director of MA Leadership, said, "Brooks always churned homiletic grenades, and was a word factory who preached to the times."

Dr. Delbert Baker testified that "Brooks was a Spirit-filled, creative preacher who had mastered the craft of fresh thinking, eloquent speaking, born out of being a prolific reader, and given to much earnest prayer."

C.D. Brooks during the Dr. Baker and his wife, Dr. Susan, were close friends with C.D. Brooks and had the privilege of being mentored by him. In fact, the Vice Chancellor remarked that it was C.D. Brooks that inspired him to be an evangelist. Susan described Walterene, Brooks’ dear wife of over 63 years, as “the perfect pastor's wife,” who supported her husband with a lifelong commitment,deep and sincere love, and an exemplary ministry partnership.

Baker spoke of Brooks’ homiletics masterpieces such as "We can take Jericho," and "I Want My Church Back," among many others available on the internet.

Baker recalls the time when Brooks was first called to preach on TV and Brooks searching for God’s will—for back in the 1970’s, media ministry was new and uncharted waters. Despite that, Brooks shortly told Baker, “I will move forward in faith.” This later became the Breath of Life TV Ministries that has preached to thousands from the comfort of their homes. Brooks truly epitomized “a light of the world. A city set on a hill” of Matthew 5:14. 

Brooks died last Sunday, 5th June 2016 of pancreatic cancer at 85 years of age. Those that knew him say he never once complained, carrying himself with graceful dignity even amid his sickness and pain. To the end, Brooks was a “prince among men” with immense talents yet  deep humility, a great preacher committed to Biblical preaching, highly dedicated, and an encouragement to many.

His legacy is one the current generation can emulate. Church leaders say that they believe his life will inspire generations to come and act as an agent to motivate many others to rise and follow his example.

Brooks' funeral service will be held this Sunday, 12th June 2016, at the Sligo SDA Church Takoma Park, Maryland, USA.

Photos courtesy of C.D. Brooks, Walter Arties, Oakwood University, GC Archives and AUA Public Relations Office.

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