The Rev. Corey Brooks was honored as Newsmaker of the Year by the Chicago Defender during its annual awards gala earlier this month, but it was his wife who got the standing ovation.
Mr. Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church in the South Side neighborhood of Woodlawn, gained national attention earlier this year when he spent three months living on the roof of an abandoned, drug-ridden motel. His over-the-top effort to raise money to demolish the building prompted movie mogul Tyler Perry to donate $100,000 to the cause.
At the Nov. 3 Defender gala, he talked about how his wife has always stood by him.
He said that when he wanted to build his church, he asked if they could mortgage their house and she agreed.
Still short of funds, he returned to her and said he wanted to liquidate their 401K, and she agreed.
When that didn’t cover everything, he asked if they could tap into the kids’ college savings plan, and she agreed.
When that was still not enough, he asked if he could sell her wedding ring.
I hear the people in the crowd sat on the edge of their seats expecting a “No.” But she agreed to that, too.
Now that the church has been built, he says he’s planning to buy her a new wedding ring.
That prompted emcee Dorothy Tucker to recognize Delilah Brooks and to say organizers were going to give the award to her instead.
Cheers and laughter followed.