Resident Spotlight: Otis Brooks
on April 11th, 2014 in Birmingham, AL | No Comments
Our resident spotlight this month is Otis Brooks. Otis grew up in Decatur, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, Georgia. His favorite memory as a child was attending schools in Decatur from elementary through high school. Otis stated, “The students had a feeling the teachers really cared for them. The school was good at picking out your strengths and helping you with them.” Other great memories as a child were the community as a whole. “Great neighbors and good friends, close knit community.”
Otis served in the Army during World War II as a Private First Medic for three years. He was called to serve the Lord as a pastor in the Southern Baptist Church. Some of his favorite memories as an adult were the churches he served as a pastor. He feels very fortunate that he has great memories of each and every church he served. He never felt like he needed to leave a church. Always received good support from the congregations he served. One of the great experiences he had was serving a church in Hong Kong for 6 months. Otis enjoyed the experience of living in a true international city. You know a person enjoys their profession when some of their favorite memories are tied to their particular work functions.
Besides Hong Kong, Otis served as a pastor in Eatonton, Georgia; Swainsbrough, Georgia; Florence, Alabama; Monroe, Louisiana and Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Otis pointed out that a pastor at any church is a prominent position, however in a smaller more rural town the position is even more prominent, especially in a town that is also the county seat. As a pastor, Otis always tried to get to know the members of the church, there interest and what they did. “I solicited their expectations and ministered to them.”
An accomplishment that Otis was proud of was teaching a class to African American Pastors. The pastors were so willing to learn from him on how to be a good pastor’s. “They were eager like hungry birds,” which was very rewarding to Otis. Even though Otis has retired, he continues to be very involved with Vestavia Hills Baptist Church and continues to minister there and also here at Chateau. He is someone we can call upon to teach an occasional bible study and to reach out to residents in need of guidance and prayer.
When asked, which accomplishments in your life you feel most proud of, Otis responded, “The ability to relate to people and to minister to them on the basis of who they were.” Otis continues to demonstrate the ability to relate and minister here at Chateau.
For someone who is just graduating college or starting a career Otis recommends that they take reading seriously. He encourages everyone to read on a variety of subjects. “It helped me personally and professionally to be an avid reader.” “At one church I served, they would give the pastor one month off during the summer. I took advantage of having all of that time off to read.”
For someone who is just starting a family Otis recommends spending time with your family. “It is very important to spend time with your family. As a minister, my ministry would have suffered if I did not spend enough personal time with my family.”
Serving as minister, you have the opportunity to visit many facilities when visiting church members. When the time came for Otis to make a choice of where to live, he chose Chateau Vestavia. “This facility at Chateau, meet the needs I had the most.” “As a minister you take care of needs of other people, the time comes when you need to be taken care of.” Otis shared that Chateau is an accepting place. You feel a part of the community. “It is not overdone or underdone.”
His favorite part about living here is the secure feeling he has. “My church members are surprised on how content I am living here at Chateau Vestavia. We are glad that Otis chose Chateau Vestavia as his home!