When a six-month-old baby was shot and killed in gang-related violence in the Chicago neighborhood of Woodlawn three years ago, Corey Brooks and his New Beginnings Church ministered to the grieving family. This June, however, when another child—this time, a toddler—was paralyzed in a similar shooting on Father’s Day, Brooks decided to go further, inviting more than 100 gang members together so he could broker a truce that’s still going strong.
Brooks recently spoke with Christianity Today assistant editor Morgan Lee about how he built rapport with gang members, his reputation in the neighborhood, and how he hopes other Chicago churches will support his work:
How long have you been trying to broker this truce?
We’ve been talking about it for over a year now. We had difficulties getting everyone to agree. Finally, we were able to get everyone to come to the table and at least discuss the potential of a truce.
What did you address in your meeting?
I talked about the ...1