Rooftop pastor to hit the road

April 23, 2012 4:50:04 AM PDT
The rooftop pastor who camped out on top of an abandoned motel for three months begins his next mission, walking from coast to coast to raise money for change on the South Side.

"I will be walking across America," Pastor Corey Brooks announced during his Sunday morning church service.

Rabbi Michael Siegel, who serves the synagogue Chicago's first family goes to, showed his support for brooks.

The pastor's quest is even convincing church goers like Adrian Battle to come along.

"I decided to go with him because I will be able to help him and look after him and support him and encourage him to keep going every step of the way," she said.

Brooks' mission began in December.

He lived on top of this abandoned motel for 94 days until he raised enough money to tear it down. The motel, which sat right across the street from Brooks' church, was the site of drug deals and prostitution.

His mission got a big donation from movie mogul Tyler Perry, and on February 24 he came off the roof. A short time later he purchased the motel and tore it down.

In its place he plans to build a community center where young people in this neighborhood can turn to. He's hoping to the end gun violence plaguing this area.

"Gun violence anywhere is bad," Brooks said. "Gun violence hurts all of us. If it hurts one person it hurts America, so we got to get rid of the gun violence."

He'll start his walk, with his two sons and fellow supporters, on June 5.

While he's gone he's asking his church members to step up and gather every night on every block in Woodlawn to stop gun violence.

"We're going to shut every corner down, every single corner, will be shut down," he said. "If you're bangin' it won't be in Woodlawn, if you gotta gun it won't be in Woodlawn, if you're shootin' it won't be in Woodlawn cause the men in new beginnings will shut all of that down."

Brooks will start in Times Square in New York walking over 2,700 miles to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.