George Benjamin Brooks, Sr. Pastor and Theologian

Dr. George B. Brooks, Sr. was born on Edisto Island, South Carolina, January 18, 1926. His parent's names: Willie and Susie Brooks. His father passed away when George Brooks and his sister Wilhelmina were very young. His early years were spent with his grandmother in South Carolina.

Dr. George Brooks was married to Lula D. Brooks. They had two children: George, Jr. and Susan Morris. They had five granddaughters named LuLaura, Haley, Amber, Hacina and Miracle. George was also blessed with his mother, Mrs. Susie Brooks, who at this writing was almost 94 years old.

Pastor George B. Brooks was founding pastor of the Southminster Presbyterian Church and served as its spiritual leader for forty-two years. A scholar in the field of theological and educational studies, Dr. Brooks earned degrees from Johnson C. Smith University, a B.A.; from New York Theological Seminary, an M.Div. (Master of


Divinity); from Arizona State University, an MA; and from San Francisco Theological Seminary, a D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry). In 1995 Johnson C. Smith Seminary and the Interdenominational Theological Center awarded him the Doctor of Divinity Degree (Honoris Causa).

Dr. Brooks's very profundity of his being was influenced by a society in the South that treated African Americans with less human dignity. The anguish of that experience provided the backdrop against which Dr. Brooks worked to create an atmosphere in Phoenix that allowed people of goodwill to creatively work together to extend opportunities to African American people. Dr. George B. Brooks worked in persistent and relentless efforts to break down walls of segregation and discrimination pervasive in Phoenix. The scope and capacity of Dr. Brooks was not narrow. He was possessed with physical endurance, an inspiration to those in despair. He often was a figure of authority. He continued to be an invigorating force in the religious, political, philanthropic, community and national affairs. He moved easily among different groups, including youth. A unique combination of personal graces contributed to Dr. Brooks' success. His joy of being, his sense of humor, his underlying compassion, and the advantages of a substantial education earned him the respect of the Phoenix community. Civil rights and religious people around the world admired him.

What inspired Dr. Brooks to pursue his area of work? He said, "An old Presbyterian Preacher told me that I could be 'somebody'; I sought not to disappoint him."