“Cross Bearer”: Thinking of Dr. Charles Decatur Brooks

CD Brooks

Pastor/ Evangelist Charles Decatur Brooks was a Christian “cross=bearer,” indeed!

“Cross-bearer,” a term introduced to me by Brooks, the inaugural speaker for Breath of Life Ministries, is the linguistic symbol embodying one of the most dynamic evangelistic ministers of the American preaching and evangelistic tradition. Brooks shall always be known as a Seventh-day Adventist minister. In addition, Brooks made a lasting contribution to the scroll of religious and spiritual epistemology. Through Breath of Life, he tutored many in the ways of the Lord. He encouraged folk globally to do what African American poet Langston Hughes admonishes:  sit “At the feet o’ Jesus,”  knowing Jesus would “[c]ome driftin’ down on [the sinner in need of the Savior].”
Yes, yes, Pastor/Evangelists Charles D. Brooks is a foundational Seventh-day Adventist link to the American rhetorical religious tradition. His biblically imbued rhetorical legacy will continue to anoint the world. This servant of God was a master at sharing the prophetic and celestial Word on a proverbial plate in a way those needing and hungering to know Christ could understand, digest, and accept. More importantly, he lived and “died in the faith.” He is an example, clearly, of a man who served well “in the vineyard” and  is now resting in the Lord.

As the world continues to peer through the lens of Seventh-day Adventist religious and social history, and the life of Pastor Charles D. Brooks specifically, many will understand what Brooks knew and accepted about his purpose for being on the planet. Black Americas, said Brooks once, are “cross bearers.” He was a cross-bearer; he unselfishly and unconditionally devoted his presence on the planet to the cause of Christ–without the expectation of reward.

That is a marked example of God’s call to humans of all faith traditions—to labor in “God’s vineyard” as a “cross-bearer” who  intentionally serves with a God-centered purpose, not politics.

Amen to Pastor/Evangelist Charles Decatur Brooks!

Note: Sermon by  Pastor/Evangelist Charles D. Brooks:





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