RICHARD DEAN BROOKS
Born April 7th 1961-
Adopted June 16th 1961
MY TESTIMONY RICHARD DEAN BROOKS
This is my testimony in short form. From my life and walk with Christ, then without Christ, to my return to Christ. First, I want to thank God for two of the most wonderful parents a man could have. They are TRUE CHRISTIANS. They are full of love, compassion, kindness, and meekness and humility. They are intelligent in the ways of society and life, but adhere only to Godly principles and morals. They worship and love God every day, live to be able to teach others God’s word, and reflect Christ in their lives. I want to thank God for putting these two very special people in my life. They never gave up on me, stayed faithful in their walk as Christians, and never failed in being parents that love God and love their family, especially me. Thank you, Bill and Margaret Brooks, for being my parents!
Oh, yes, I almost forgot, I am special to my parents too, just as we are special to Christ! Why? Because, like we are adopted into God’s family, I was adopted by Mom and Dad into their family!! Again, thank You God, for my double adoption.
O.K. I will start at age 7. I was saved and baptized at Cherokee Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. I sang in the youth choir, even singing solos, and took part in the church activities for my age group, went to Sunday school and church faithfully.
Then at age 11, my Mother’s father passed away. This was my Papaw Boals. He was my special person. When he died, a part of me died as well. I felt like he was the only one who really loved me. I still had not come to terms with being adopted, because I had a younger brother and sister born to my parents after I was adopted. When my Papaw died, I really became rebellious.
By age 13, I had already been to several child psychologist who could do nothing with me. I had out done them all. Mom and Dad sent me to a Military Academy. My second day there, I and two other boys left. We were three boys with $33.00 between us and we went A.W.O.L. The school called my parents and assured them that we would be found and brought by that same day, believing that we were still in town. My Mom’s reaction was, “No, you won’t find him until he is ready to be found.”
True to my Mother’s word, we weren’t there. We traveled 400 miles away to the home of one of the boy’s sister, and she turned us in by calling his Mother. This was not what we had intended to happen. So it was back to the Academy and we were in Big Trouble.
But, being the “Master of Disaster” that I was, I took control and excelled at everything with honors, rifle team, bugle boy, cannon crew commander, and good grades. So, again Mom and Dad said I could back home. By this time, I had gone away from God. As you will see as you read my story, it took many years for me to turn my life back to God.
I am 15 now and my parents moved us all back to the small rural town where my parents and my beloved Papaw Boals lived. Well, now my life really gets crazy and again without God. Oh, I knew who Jesus was, but I’m walking with Richard and the World! NOT with JESUS!
I’ll make these next few years short because the story is life without Christ. My Dad became the Mayor of the town, my Mom owned the Dress and Gift Shop, and Dad has the drug store. (Uh, Oh) Did I say my Dad was a Pharmacist? Our uncle is on the city council, and our cousin was the County Judge. And my other Grandad Brooks was buddies with the County Sheriff. Put all that together and I am pretty much a WILD CHILD, and thought I was untouchable. So I became really bad. However, my 16th birthday was spent in a condemned jail in this little town, because I got caught going into the drugstore one night to steal drugs and money. I was starting my life of drugs with legal drugs as my product. After being caught in the store, my Grandad Brooks threw a fit and made my Dad let me out. After this, I met a man that sold marijuana and life began in the illegal drug world. I started selling weed.
At age 21 I got married to a “good girl”. She was Miss CHS, honor student and the principle begged her not to marry “that wild Brooks boy”, but she did. I continued to sell weed and had my own mechanic shop in town, worked for all the right people, and appeared to be a good guy. All the time doing all the wrong things. Oh, I went to church and made my showing, but it was only show! Two years later, we had a beautiful little boy. At age 29 I got an excellent job at Roadshow BMW in Memphis, TN and we moved back to Memphis. Again God had blessed me with another chance. But I still went my own way. I met the cocaine dealer who just happened to drive a BMW and so I got into cocaine. Life really started to go downhill then.
By age 37 I was divorced and a 13 year old boy was in the middle. I was still doing drugs and I didn’t see him for 7 years. When my son was 20, he was pall bearer at my Grandma Boals’ funeral and I had to return to the family for the funeral and to see my son for the first time in 7 years. It went badly, but a friend that went with me, (or I should say she TOOK ME to the funeral) talked to my son and told him that I needed him. After that, our relationship started a very slow mending.
When my wife and I got divorced, our best friends divorced also. She was also my son’s Godmother. Well, you can guess, she and I got together, living in sin of course, and still living for the world. This continued for 2 more years until she quit doing drugs. I continued doing what I was doing and we parted for a time. A year or so later, she had a son from another affair and another child, without both parents, was added to the mix. (Master of Disaster!).
Finally, my luck ran out and I was busted for drugs and spent 2 years in Federal Prison. Now its 2006, I am 44 years old and out of prison, trying to do the right thing, trying to be a dad again, run a legitimate business, going to church, but basically, still doing what I wanted, and doing is without God. I had a good mechanics business in the town of Mayflower AR, with a man that had a used car lot. I was going to church with him, appearing to be doing right. Not living with my girlfriend and her son, but being there when she needed me or when I needed her. I was still dabbling in drugs on the side, still being a womanizer.
Then disaster struck again. The man who owned the car lot had a heart attack and had to get out of the business and I couldn’t afford to buy the place. So my good friend and landlord allowed me to use a pavilion at our trailer park to work under. This went on for about 10 months. I had begun to sell drugs again to supplement my income.
I found a piece of property outside of town and was able to move my business there. I began to build a shop and house on it, but it took more time and money than I was making. So, what did I do, I really got into the drug business. Even worse, in my arrogance, I made a deal with God! I asked Him to keep me safe for one year so I could get my shop and house built. So He did. Eleven months later God reminded me of that deal, my drug connection ran out and quit!! But again, I said I didn’t need God, I thought I could do this on my own.
How wrong I was, I just didn’t know it yet. So I found another connection and it was business as usual. But only four more months and I was in major trouble. Fifty policemen swarmed my house and…..BUSTED AGAIN. I got out the next day on $75,000. Bond. It was drug money that set me free. (I laughed as I left the jail).
By this time I had been in a relationship with a girl I had met two years prior and we were contemplating marriage. Now, that was put on hold. The shop is built and the house was to be over the shop, top floor. It had only 3 walls and no roof as yet. So now, that is put on hold as well. I have to get a lawyer and fight a drug case. (This was not good, I thought, not cheap either). This meant I couldn’t finish the house, or get married! (All in God’s plan, I just didn’t know it.) So for five months, I fought the case and finally won it, they would not prosecute me. However, as God would have it, as I walked out of the court room, my chest stuck out with pride……I had won…..But as I stepped out the door, I was met by four federal marshals with a federal indictment. It was then that I knew WHY the state had dropped the case against me. I had been out on bond for 5 months and still had not acknowledged God, did not want Him in my life. But when this happened, I knew my time was up. My “luck” had run out. They took me directly to jail and refused bail. I finally admitted that I had made a mess of my life and that I needed God’s help. It was then that I said “Oh, Lord, I’m through, I can’t do this anymore. I’m yours, do with me as you please and I will follow.
Well, I also knew that my Mom would be happy because she always said God had a plan for me. She just wished God and I would decide what it was because she was tired of praying FOR me! Now, she wanted to pray WITH me.
With that, I started my walk through the Federal Justice System. But I let God’s will be done. I didn’t try to fight Him or the System.
While in this process, I met a man of God that changed his life during a similar deal with the Feds in 1967. He was a bad man, but in 2012 when I met him, he was an inspiration to me and my life, walking with Jesus. I next met another man in late 2012 that was also a man of God. During our time of friendship and his teaching of the Bible, and while I was still going to court, he lost a son to suicide, probably one of the biggest disasters a man could face. But he faced it with Jesus at his side and made it through. God’s word says He will never put more on us than we can bear. This is when I started thinking about my life and how God wanted me to do my job of bringing the Gospel and God’s words to others.
I was doing O.K. in jail, leading a prayer group and bible study every night and learning God’s word. I also prayed that God would show me how to serve Him. That is when I came up with “On the Way Home”. I was still hoping that something would happen and I might get out of this mess without a lot of time. But it wasn’t to be. January 2013, I was sentenced to 10 years in the Federal Prison. A person has to spend 85% of that time, so that meant 8 ½ years for me.
But by this time, I have become totally dependent upon God for everything in my life. I was sent to the Federal Prison Camp at Forrest City, AR, which was great compared to the medium or low facilities or the max facilities, all behind the fence. My only thing I worried about was having a good church. Little did I know that God had already had a plan? I walked into the best church I have ever been in. The pastor, the choir, the members are phenomenal men of God. We have church twice on Sunday, Monday night and Bible Study on Wednesday night. So God provided the spiritual and social life I had prayed for. Then He got me a job as a mechanic in the prison shop the second week I was there. God was so good. I was able to get set up, then God have me a job teaching a mechanics class which now has become two classes a week. I don’t get paid for teaching but it gives me “programing points” which we have to work for or we can’t stay at the camp. Believe me, no one wants to go behind the fence!
Another thing that God has provided for me is the religious library which has several thousand books in it from all the great Christian authors. We even had a class called Christian doctrine, so God has been good to me. I didn’t think things could go bad for me now, but then my girlfriend quit writing and stopped sending mail. Mail is one of the things we look for. It makes our day. I have a little thing written by a guy in prison on mail. It says:
Darkness and loneliness fill my cell, with pain and fear too great to yell. I wait for the mailman to deliver to me, as I wipe away tears that no one can see. I pray so sincere with head raised above, “Please, God, soon send a letter of love.” I long to gaze upon pages so dear, with riches to bring my loved ones near. Words of diamonds on pages of gold a message from heaven as their story is told, we love you, miss you, pray you’ll be free.” A treasure-filled envelope just for me. Please bring memories of joys I once knew Family, friends and things I would do. The Darkness and pain of my cell will prevail as my name, again, was not called for mail.
John M. Reynolds
After my girlfriend stopped writing, she refused to give my things back to me. My Mom and Dad tried to no avail to get her to return, my things to them, so I lost everything I had, personal and unreplaceable pictures. It seemed that there was no one to trust, no one to depend on. But I had to trust in God.
“The Holy Spirit said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” Hebrews 13:5b
I had to continue “On the Way Home – Walking with Jesus”. Today, I have nothing but a locker, four bibles, a few sets of underwear, socks, and 2 pair of shoes, a set of sweat pants and shirt. And I have the most important thing…..I have Jesus by my side. I know what love is, I have two of the best parents in the World I have a brother and sister and their families that love me very much. I still have my dear friend and her son that both love me and I love them. My relationship with my 30 year old son whom I love so very much, will mend in God’s time. All the material things I lost, God will give back 10 fold.
I now have this ministry, OTWH that God gave me to do. I have all of you who take part in this ministry and make it what it is. That is something to bring God’s word to all and to help others through prayer and support of their prayers.
I may be locked up but I have to also tell you the way this ministry is possible. My Dad, Bill Brooks, does all the foot work. He e-mails me every day, and he set up all the Facebook account and relates to you daily, all that I send him, and he puts it on the page for me. He then sends me all of your comments, prayer requests, and likes. So please say a prayer for Dad and his devotion to this ministry.
Our God is so good and He loves us all. I just wanted you all to know exactly who you are communicating with. I am a servant of God and a servant for you and I pray that together, God answers all our prayers. I know some time He doesn’t answer like we want but always remember what God’s word says in Ephesians 6:12-20
“12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Always remember that people may abandon you, society may deal a bad hand, but Jesus is always faithful. And that nothing bad comes from God. John 1-:10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”
Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy all of our joy and happiness in our families and our love for Jesus. So be prepared for everything Satan can put in our path and always stay faithful on the Road
ON THE WAY HOME – WALK WITH JESUS
Sincerely God’s love to you
Richard Dean Brooks
P.S. I write what I remember to be as true as I can be. God has given me the chance to show how a life lived in the world is not the way he will bless!! It always goes bad!!! And now even in my circumstance I am so at peace and have a life that I can be proud of and tell others about. Before I had to live the life I wanted people to see at the time I needed!!! I also have been pastor of the General Christian service at the prison camp at Forrest city Ar. for the last 2 years.
UPDATE August 6th 2020
Well I made it home now and God is still great. For those that don’t know my father passed in December and we had about a 5 months with no dailies, after 4 years and 9 months. Our anniversary here on fbook is February is 5 years. We had been in the prison emails 5 years in April. We also now will send the devotions directly to you personal emails if requested. And some of you may already be receiving them and don’t know because of the censoring that gmail and yahoo did when I first started the mass emails. So please check your spam or junk folder and see if you are getting them. I got home may 22nd and have gotten things back on track I would like to thank everyone for there love and support of ON THE WAY HOME MINISTRIES. I also now have a friend as you know JAMES SELPH that joined me about 2 years ago in helping write daily devotions. James and I met at forrest city and became brothers in Christ and he was transferred to Alabama to another facility about a year ago and will be home November 17th and will become more active in helping, James has also been in the Titus theological seminary classes . So we want to ask everyone to tell someone else about the page as we will start trying to do more posting of positive ways to live our lives. And show how the scriptures can be used in our daily lives. We use the Zondervan life application Bible study Bible NIV in our post. Some people believe that only the King James version is accurate. Well I disagree. Actually the only accurate is the original Greek manuscripts. And if you are like me I don’t read or write Greek or Hebrew nor do I have a Greek friend to translate for me!! I have read almost every version of the bible that have been made, including a Greek Hebrew interlinier. I even own 9 different versions. And each has it good and bad points. BUT the one thing they all say is that SALVATION only comes thru JESUS CHRIST!!!!! So my explanation for using the life application bible is that after reading all the other versions I still could not grasp and apply how to use the scriptures in my life. The life application study Bible with its study notes WOKE me up to the Bible. I now use several different Bibles in my daily walk depending on what I am trying to do or who I am trying to relate GODS word too. So I pray that just because we use the NIV translation it doesn’t stop you from reading our devotions. We have both lived lives unworthy of JESUS grace just like all of us have, but his grace and mercy brought us to where we are today and we give ALL THE PRAISE,HONOR,GLORY, FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE IN OUR LIVES. Our goal is still to spread the GOSPEL and to give us all a place to come together as PRAYER WARRIORS. So if you need prayers or someone you know needs prayers or if you just want to say I need unspoken prayers. GOD knows all. And todays world we need all the PRAYER WARRIORS we can muster together. IT IS TIME FOR A REVIVAL!!!! IT IS TIME GODS CHILDREN COME TOGETHER AND STAND UP FOR OUR GOD AND CONSTITUTIONAL GIVEN RIGHTS!!! Because if we don’t we are looking at a time that Jesus told us was coming. I am goin to do a live Sermon in the next 2 weeks on MATTHEW 24. It is about Jesus telling the disciples about his return. It is as prophetic as they come. This will be the first time I have preached since I got out and it will be to a camera for us on fbook. I would like to thank Matt Hill for the inspiration to do this. If you don’t know he does a Sunday morning Sunday school lesson at about 8 am . and it is always a lesson well brought. Also I may be a lil rusty or awkward the first time because I am used to preaching to a bunch of sinners that were in prison!!! Not that we were any different but my style maybe a lil straight forward. But maybe that is what the world needs is some old HELL FIRE and BRIMSTONE!!!!! Folks JESUS is coming back and I pray that each and everyone of us is ready. If not you better get ready. Give your life to Jesus, Because the Bible tells us many are called but few are chosen. Wide is the path that leads to destruction but narrow is the gate to eternal life. And if we are no better than the pharisees then you will NOT enter the kingdom of Heaven. I will post the date and time I decide to do this and I invite you all to join us. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope it has enlightened you to our reason for starting the ministry and what Jesus can do even to the most unworthy sinner. And pray that it can be as much a blessing to you as it is to us.
ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS GODS LOVE TO YOU.
ON THE WAY HOME = HEAVEN OR HELL
WALK WITH JESUS = JESUS OR SATAN
GODS LOVE TO YOU = JESUS LOVES EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US
ON THE WAY HOME MINISTRIES BY RICHARD DEAN BROOKS