6134 Benson Avenue, Encanto
Pastor: Terry W. Brooks
Born: Little Rock, Arkansas
Formation: Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas; Faith Evangelical College and Seminary, Tacoma, Washington
Years Ordained: 24
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Terry W. Brooks: Grace. Without grace nothing else matters. Ephesians (2:8-9) says that it is by grace that we are saved, not through ourselves and not through works.
SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PB: There used to be the time that the church was the first stop for everything and everyone. But now it seems as if people look past the church, undervalue or overlook the church.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PB: My father was a pastor and my brothers were pastors; but it wasn’t something I desired to do. I remember when I was called to preach — I was eight years old when I preached my first sermon — and I told my father I thought I was being called to into the ministry. He tried to talk me out of it several times but he couldn’t. I felt this was something I had to do. Later, he told me that if he could talk me out of it he knew it wasn’t God calling me, but me calling me….So I sat and listened and learned for years and years — and then I was in college at Texas Southern playing football when my father had a stroke. So, I left Texas Southern in the spring and came back to help him after church. It was by preaching and teaching every Sunday in his place that I realized what direction my life was getting ready to take. So I went to school my junior year for one more season, played again, and then left and started preaching in Indianapolis.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you ever found God?
PB: We brought a group of young adults downtown one Christmas — it was about 4 a.m. and we were just out sharing with the homeless. We took them blankets, food, hot soup, socks, jackets, and I even gave a young man the coat off my back. A guy came up and thanked us with tears in his eyes. He told our children who were with us to learn the lesson that their parents were trying to show them now. We asked him if there was any way we could pray for him. He said he was on his way at that moment to commit suicide, but because of the children reaching out to serve him at that time, he saw something different, a hope...and that humanity is not all written off. While we were trying to pray for him — he took the time to pray for each one of us. I didn’t expect that to happen. It’s funny — when you go to minister to people and you wind up being the one ministered to.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: Those who have a relationship with Christ, a personal relationship, will live forever in heaven. Those who don’t have that relationship will live forever in hell. According to Romans (10:9), “If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead, you will be saved.” We believe that the way to salvation is by being accepting of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life.