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The Rev. Basil Brooks remembered as a pastor who ‘loved to preach’

Services will be Saturday (June 10) for the Rev. Basil Brooks, former president of the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association and pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Cordova.

Pastor Brooks died in the early morning hours on Sunday (June 4). He was 82.

“Pastor Brooks served as president of the Baptist Ministerial Association in 2006 and 2007,” said former Memphis Baptist Ministerial president Pastor Leonard Dawson, who remembered Brooks’ exceptional style of leadership. “I was his vice-president. “Pastor Brooks was an excellent leader. He made great decisions for the organization to be involved in those things we should have been involved in. 

Dawson continued, “I would always accompany him to various places in the community representing the ministers. As vice-president, I was well prepared to take the reins for the next two years.”

Dawson explained that succession guidelines in the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association dictate that a president’s two-year term is followed by the vice-president’s term as president. 

“Pastor Brooks remained my good friend throughout the years,” said Dawson. “I never forgot that Pastor Brooks was responsible for my opportunity to meet (former) U.S. President George Bush. President Bush had come to town and was attending a meeting at the AutoZone owner’s house.

“I loved Pastor Brooks’ demeanor and how he always carried himself. And the one thing I have always admired is how he was to his wife. We have all suffered a terrible loss.”

The Rev. Basil Brooks, pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Cordova. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

Calls, social media tributes, and expressions of sympathy continue to come into the family of Pastor Brooks.

“I just talked with him Thursday and Friday, just before he died early Sunday morning,” said Shelby County Register of Deeds Willie Brooks, whose mother, Maurine Brooks, is Pastor Brooks’ eldest sister.

Brooks said his uncle recently suffered some pain that sent him to the ER.

“It was first believed that he had suffered a heart attack but, actually, there was blockage around his heart; 90 percent blockage. That’s what he was being treated for when he passed.”

Many growing up in the church community around Shelby County would remember “The Brooks Brothers,” who sang together as a family. 

There were 13 Brooks children. Four of them – L.D. Brooks, Basil Brooks, H.D. Brooks and Bobby Brooks – became prominent pastors locally.

“They all came out of Vollintine Baptist Church,” said Willie Brooks, recalling that his uncle “loved to preach.”

“Growing up as a boy in this family was really wonderful,” said Brooks. “We would go to my grandmother’s house after church. There were so many preachers. All the discussions were about the Bible and Jesus. Those are the of the kinds of things I remember seeing as I grew up in this family.”

On Friday (June 9) there will be a memorial service at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 1234 Pisgah Road, in Cordova. The viewing is from 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., followed by a service at 7 p.m.

On Saturday (June 10), the funeral service is slated for Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church at 11 a.m. A viewing will precede the service from 9-10:45 a.m.


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