Frank Brookes, missionary to India, Christian pastor in Brixton, family man and father of two, came from a working class background in a small Yorkshire village. His journey to a life of faith in Jesus Christ came through many difficulties.
There was not much of Christian teaching in Frank?s upbringing. He grew up basically believing nothing, describing himself as sometimes atheist, sometimes agnostic. Change began in his life through difficulties. He was left alone as family members were taken away. First, his brother a soldier, who once worked as a Coldstream Guard at Buckingham Palace, went on to serve in Northern Ireland and later was murdered.
His mother became a Christian in the last year of her life at 47 and within a year had a stroke and died in the same day. Left alone with the closest people in his life torn from him, he was confronted by the reality of death.
Frank had continued to get into the clubbing and drug culture, taking cannabis and LSD. He describes his lifestyle as 'hedonistic' and pagan. He couldn?t reconcile life and death and lived in a state of mental paradox and 'intellectual suicide', denying the very existence of his creator.
Suffering damage from the alcohol and drug abuse and angry with what he saw of the church system, he was amazed to discover one day when he started to read the Bible that Jesus promised to give us an abundant life if we followed him. His claim about being 'the Way, the Truth and the Life' made a deep impact. 'I had a huge burden of sin and guilt due to the way I was living.'
a transformed man
In his mid-20s, after studying and hearing about how he could be set free from the alcohol and drugs and hate - sin, Frank got down on his knees in a park one Saturday afternoon and gave his life to Jesus. 'I arose a completely different person.'
Frank Brookes is now married, a father of two beautiful girls and the pastor of Raleigh Park Baptist Church in Brixton, London. Prior to this, he was a missionary with Operation Mobilisation - working in India for five years, living in Calcutta and working with the poor in a very deprived area. Living opposite Mother Teresa's home for the dying and destitute (whom he met on several occasions), he was inspired by her lifestyle and commitment to the poor. He spent many years on the educational book ships Logos and Doulos, visiting many nations to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Frank is also the founder of Transformed Ministries, which recently took the Home Secretary and police to court over the relaxation of the drug laws in Brixton. Transformed is the first Christian fellowship (we know) of ex-drug users and friends and can be contacted here.
Gone to glory
Our dearest Frank Brookes, Pastor of Raleigh Park Baptist Church, founder of Transformed, husband to Vandrene and father to Olivia & Grace, brother to Jeanie, died and went to be with Christ in glory on Saturday morning (12 March 2011). He was a fantastic friend to all who knew him, and we remain very much indebted to the pattern of life in Christ he left us.