Patron Past Stories

PATRON + Biography: Rev. G. J. Brooks – born 1830 – ex-slave



(1830-aft. 1896)

Dallas, Madison, County, Alabama, Missouri, Texas

Rev. G. J. Brooks of Selma, Ala., son of Joseph and Nancy Brooks, was born in 1830 near Richmond, Va., in which city he lived till his eighteenth year, when he was carried to New Orleans, La., and from thence to Texas 1849 was spent in St. Louis, Mo., and in 1850 he was brought to Huntsville, Ala.

In this same year he was baptized into the Primitive Baptist Church of Huntsville by Rev. Wm. Harris (colored).

Of this period of his life Mr. Brooks says: “By the will of a Mr. Kenedy I was left free, but as the administrator of the will, a Mr. Clark, refused to execute this point in the will, I remained a slave.”

Learned to read at the age of 14

In 1867 he united with the Marion Church, under the pastorate of the Rev. James Childs. Near this town he taught school, till in 1872 he went to Kentucky, where, in 1873, he was ordained to the work of the ministry. After serving various offices in the work in Kentucky, he came to Selma in 1875, where, after a few years, he became pastor of the St. Philip Street Church.

By the assistance of the white family he learned to read at the age of 14. In Marion be extended his studies under Prof. Card, and under Presidents Woodsmall, McAlpine and Brawley he further prosecuted his studies in the Selma University.

Brother Brooks has held various offices of trust under the State Convention and the Uniontown Association. His health is now rather below his usual strength, but his love for the Master’s cause seems nothing abated. His wife, Mrs. Anna, is among the leading women of Alabama.


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