Rooftop pastor and Muncie native Corey Brooks comes to town
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Rooftop pastor Corey B. Brooks brought his Walk Across America to End Violence to his hometown Sunday and had a crowd ready to spread his message.
"We must have doers instead of the causers," said Brooks, about ending social injustice, gun violence, lack of education and spiritual emptiness.
Brooks grew up in Muncie and now is pastor of New Beginnings Church in Chicago and just camped out on top of an old motel where drugs and prostitution were plenty and will be replaced by a new community center in Chicago's Woodlawn and Englewood communities. With his two sons, Desmond Marshall, 22 and Cobe, 11, Brooks set out to walk across the country to raise awareness and money for the community center and to stop the gun violence that dominates old Chicago.neighborhoods.
The effort Project Hood, that stands for Helping Other Obtain Destiny, began in New York City and is headed to Los Angeles in hopes of raising $15 million and bringing hope and humanity to local communities.
More than 200 people marched from Industry to Whiteley neighborhood Sunday night and Brooks spoke at Buley Community Center where he grew up and spent much time as a youth,
Brooks told people to look to God and pray for an end to gun violence that strikes down African-American youth, besides lift up education, economic and social opportunity to youth and adult.
In the crowd was Barbara Young who lost two children to violence and gave a tearful message directed at helping people get along and improving the community.
Those messages were not lost on Mary Dollison, who founded Motivate Our Minds and recalled how Brooks was among her daughter's friends while they were growing up in Whiteley.
Dollison is now part of the Whiteley Community Council that is bringing a variety of groups together to give youth jobs, education and recreational activities to help them succeed in life.The Friends of Conley has several recreation and education programs going this summer, and the Islamic Center of Muncie also has programs for youth.
Brooks thought the hometown was working together with politicians, police and preachers all working to keep youth out of trouble and busy with jobs and education. In Chicago, he has been working on a plan to convert the old neighborhood in a place where youth and adults can go to prosper.
His story on Good Morning America and the Chicago Tribune has gathered the support of Tyler Perry who gave Brook $100,000 for his cause. And Walgreens, where Project HOOD was hanging out on Monday, is a national sponsor to help Brooks and his entourage make it on their cross country trip Their next stop is Fort Wayne as they head west throughout the month.