Grace President Dr. Ron Manahan sat down with South Side Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks (MA 96) to talk to him about his wife, New Beginnings Church and his new campaign to raise $15 million for a community center.
Dr. Ron Manahan: With 70 percent of your congregation new to church and desperate for not only spiritual but social and economic relief, what do you focus on?
Pastor Corey Brooks: At the end of the day, our focus is on God. Just because you start believing doesn’t mean you get a magic wand. But we show people how in every situation, God will make a way. We teach them that from the Word of God. We make sure people get the Word, because at the end of the day, that’s what makes the difference. Christ-centered and Bible-based, that’s what we’re about.
Manahan: What will your church be doing while you’re walking across America?
Brooks: In June, July and August, we’re launching “HOODvasion.” We’re going to saturate our neighborhood with prayer and patrolling. On Thursdays we’ll be going out in small groups to neighborhood corners and offering prayer to people. On Friday and Saturday nights we’ll be patrolling the neighborhood in the evenings in order to deter crime. On Saturdays we’ll be hosting a large community party with music and food. We’re hoping that during HOODvasion, there will be no murders committed in our neighborhood.
Manahan: How can those outside your community support the work you’re doing?
Brooks: I know God has given us leverage from that roof to bring resources into this city. The problems of the inner city cannot be solved with just the resources of the inner city. We need resources from outside. A lot of times people think that means money, but it can be helping us get our voice and message out, or giving us access to education. It’s not so much that we need money, but we need collaboration, we need communication, we need creativity. And I believe the money will follow that. But, Dr. Manahan, if you know anyone who has $15 million, don’t let me talk you out of it!
Manahan: How does your wife, Delilah, partner with you in this ministry?
Brooks: My wife really prays. A lot. A whole lot. Way more than I do. I’m ashamed. But to know I have at least one person praying for me all the time; it’s amazing. I’ll tell her I’m thinking about this, and then ask her if she can take it to God. Most of the stuff I’ve decided to do, I’ve waited until she’s confirmed it for me.
To follow and become a partner in Corey Brooks’ “Walk Across America,” visit www.projecthoodwalk.org.
Chris Van Allsburg (MDiv 02) uses his Grace seminary degree like a master entrepreneur: He is a pastoral assistant for his local church, ministers as the chapter director of Ratio Christi, an apologetics ministry at a local university, and sits on the board of directors for Transformation Love — an organization bringing hope to children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Chris talked candidly to 2|8|9 about how his life was “ruined” in Addis Ababa. Read Full Interview