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C.D.: the Man Behind the Message
A Book Review by Rudolph Peters

In the book C.D.: the Man Behind the Message, Harold L. Lee and Benjamin Baker tell the remarkable story of Charles Brooks – evangelist, ministry mentor, and race relations trail blazer extraordinaire.

Brooks’ impact on race relations in the church came full circle when Neal Wilson, then president of the Columbia Union Conference, recommended him to serve as a field secretary. Later when Doug Simons was nominated to serve as the lay activities secretary and in spite of his qualifications and impressive service record was rejected for racial reasons, Brook’s passionate and effective leadership opened new doors of opportunity for people of all races to serve in Columbia Union Conference leadership positions.

Brooks’ greatest legacy is seen in his lifelong work as an evangelist and soul winner. From his encounter as a youth with the noted evangelist E.E. Cleveland to his last public evangelistic meetings and retirement, Brooks preached on every continent, exposing millions to the gospel of Christ, and leading thousands to membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The book presents an in-depth story of Charles Brooks’ life and ministry. It covers all the major developments in the life of this gifted man of God and gives the reader insights into the things that inspired and motivated his epic ministry. In the telling of the story, lifestyle issues that were core to evangelism in the 1960s are highlighted, even though many of those issues are not as prevalent in the church’s evangelistic emphasis today. While those issues are seamlessly developed in some parts of the book, there are places where they seem forced into the narrative. This minor concern, however, does not detract from the authors’ effort to offer us a window into the man behind the message.

The book has historical value for those who wish to study the development of race relationships within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is not exhaustive, but offers a teaser for further study. The book also provides a manual for public evangelism, documenting the essential steps needed for a successful evangelistic campaign. For these two reasons this book is a must read for all Seventh-day Adventist pastors and for leaders in the broader Christian community.

Rudolph Peters is pastor of the Beacon Light Seventh-day Adventist Church in Richmond, California

Editor’s Note: Save 25% on the purchase of this book during the month of February by calling your Adventist Book Center at 1-800-765-6955 or by using the coupon code CDRH25 when ordering from the Adventist Book Center online.