CORINTH – Rev. Dr. Frank A. Brooks Jr. died Sunday, January 17, 2016, at his residence. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank A. Brooks. He was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on February 7, 1935. His primary upbringing was in Lake, Mississippi. He graduated from Lake High School in 1952 and from Mississippi State University in 1956 where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating from MSU, he attended Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary from 1956 to 1959 where he received his Divinity degree. He later furthered his studies and in 1980 received his Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Presbyterian Churches at which he served over his lifetime were: Trenton Presbyterian Church, Trenton, Kentucky (during seminary); Westminster Presbyterian Church, Gulfport, Mississippi (1959-1966); First Presbyterian Church, Batesville, Arkansas (1969-1988); Ripley Presbyterian Church, Ripley, Mississippi (1988-1995); and Leland Presbyterian Church, Leland, Mississippi (1995-1999). Following his retirement he assisted New Hope Church at Biggersville, where he and JoAnne worshiped after moving back to Corinth. He also worked in Richmond, Virginia, for the General Assembly's Board of Christian Education in the late 1960's, where he served as Director of the Office of Worship and Music. In 1967, he was PCUS representative to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, and joined the Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, stated clerk of the UPUSA and General Secretary of the World Council of Churches to welcome Pope Paul VI to the Ecumenical Center in Geneva – the first visit of a pope to the WCC. Frank served in many positions in the Presbyterian Church from the local level to the General Assembly level and was greatly loved by his parishioners and co-workers and maintained close and loving relationships with them up until the day he died.
Throughout his lifetime, Frank was an active musician and writer. He was closely involved in planning the Worship and Music and other conferences at Montreat during the late 1960s. He authored several published hymns, including three for The Worshipbook, and numerous articles, which were published in various journals and magazines. The joy he found in researching the related literature associated with his projects kept him writing his entire life. Playing the piano was also one of his passions, and he would occasionally perform for local groups and organizations. During his pastorate at Ripley, he and the Rev. William H. Berger presented a number of two-piano recitals in the churches of presbytery.
Another pastime about which Frank was passionate was fishing and being in the outdoors. He passed this love of all things outdoors on to his children and grandchildren and often used this hobby as an opportunity to get to know those in his churches.
Frank took tremendous pride in his yard and gardens at home and the church that he was serving at the time, and his talent with plants of all types was evident during every season. Frank also loved trains and was involved in many adventures throughout his life while planning and riding trains all around the U.S. and Europe. His friends and family were often included on wide-ranging and obscure itineraries that involved trains, creeks, and possibly a long forgotten ferry. He took special pride in his personal library, which is filled with volumes on trains, theology, Mississippi, art, flowers, history, and other subjects that he loved. His reading was extensive, and the topics he approached were boundless, and this lifelong quest for new knowledge was a constant passion of his. He was a Renaissance man.
A memorial service will be held today, March 19, 2016, at 1 p.m. at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Biggersville, Mississippi. A celebration of life gathering will be held in the fellowship hall following the service.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Jo Anne Biggers Brooks of Corinth; one daughter, Julia Anne Pittman and her husband, Ronnie Pittman of Corinth; one son, Frank Ardath Brooks III and his wife, Kimberly Kathleen Kaufman Brooks, of Harrison, Arkansas; four grandchildren, Frank Ardath Brooks IV, Kennedy Spencer Brooks, Merritt Archer Brooks of Harrison, Arkansas and Brooks Anne Milligan of Corinth; one sister, Ava Anne Brooks Monk and her husband, Ted Monk, of Pine Apple, Alabama; several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Memorials may be made to the New Hope Presbyterian Church, 499 County Road 513, Rienzi, Mississippi, 38865, or to The Crossroads Museum, 221 N. Fillmore Street, Corinth, Mississippi, 38834, or the organization of your choice.
McPeters Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.
Published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on Mar. 19, 2016.