Charles D. Brooks, one of the great evangelists of the Seventh Day Adventist Church dies at 85.
Brooks, who disclosed earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, died at 4:30 a.m. June 5 in Laurel, Maryland, said his son, Charles D. Brooks Jr.
C.D. Brooks realized his calling to evangelism when he was 17-year-old, as a high school graduate he attended meetings by Adventist evangelist Earl E. Cleveland in Greensboro. Brooks had been planning to study dentistry in the fall.
“Two Sabbaths before Cleveland closed, I was sitting in his tent by myself on a beautiful sunny day, and an overmastering impression came from the Lord that said to me, ‘This is what I want you to do, and I will help you to make truth clear,’ Brooks said.
Brooks shook off the impression to become an evangelist as a “stray thought,” but it came again as he walked the mile from the bus stop to his home in the dark that night. His first thought upon wakening on Sunday morning was to become an evangelist, and he had the impression again on Monday. Finally on Tuesday he told his mother about what was happening.
“I didn’t know the power of a mother’s prayers,” Brooks said. “Mother said these words to me: ‘Son, when you were born, I gave you to the Lord. Now He’s calling you.’ Wouldn’t you think she would have shouted, or shed tears, or something? She did none of that. She went on about her business, running a household and serving the Lord. And from that moment I have never looked back.”
Brooks certainly never looked back. With unexpected financial support from his father, who previously had not showed interest in the Adventist message, Brooks enrolled in Adventist-operated Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama, and completed four years of studies there.
Upon graduation, the Adventist Church’s Allegheny Conference hired Brooks as a tentmaster for J. Dasent, a former conference president serving as an evangelist in Delaware. Dasent asked Brooks to preach his first sermon.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
C.D. Brooks is survived by his wife of 63 years, Walterene; two children, Charles “Skip” Jr., and Diedre; and three grandchildren.
Brooks retired from active ministry in 1996 because of health issues but kept office hours at the General Conference for years.
In 2007, Oakwood University named its Bradford-Cleveland-Brooks Leadership Center in honor of him, Earl E. Cleveland, and Charles Bradford, former president of the North American Division.
Brooks was appointed chaplain of the North American Division in 2013.
Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division, said he had watched Brooks with admiration as he walked the halls of the division, which shares its headquarters with the headquarters of the General Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland.
“He was a great preacher and one of God’s true saints,” Jackson said. “I have watched him walk the halls of our office and used to repeat in my head, ‘He is a prince among men.’ I will miss him. But one day soon he will have eternal youth and live forever with his dear wife and family.”
He is gone but his messages lives on
culled from Adventist Review