Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
A passion to win souls for Christ and persistence are the ingredients evangelist Sandra Brooks says have contributed to her 25 years in the gospel music industry.
Brooks, who will be celebrating with other ministers come Saturday, with her concert dubbed 'Sandra Brooks Live', is known for hits such as, Down on my Knees, Did You Stop To Pray, All the Way among others.
The concert will be held at the Merl Grove High School Auditorium and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $500.
While the occasion is a time for celebration, Brooks is doing so, knowing she is disappointed.
That disappointment, she says, comes as a result of what she perceives is a massive breakdown in gospel.
"This is not the gospel myself, along with other ministers, helped to build over the years. There is no standard, and pride has taken over. The aim, for many of our ministers, is to be accepted, and so the church has lost its power," Brooks declared.
"This whole thing has left such a bad taste in my mouth. When I see the hard work we have put in over the years, and instead of things going forward, it has has taken a backward step, and has lost grace and favour with the people. The older folks have been literally pushed aside and there is no balance, neither is there ministry anymore," she said.
realise her purpose
Speaking about the challenges she has encountered over the years, the evangelist said it took her reaching the end of a road to realise her purpose.
"At one point I got really frustrated because I see where I have been sabotaged for over five years, and I decided I was going into insurance," she recalled.
"I even left Jamaica and started the business (insurance) but I couldn't keep up. I got in late everyday and, ironically, I got the most shows during that period, which ended up paying my bills, because at no point was I able to get enough insurance to pay my bills," she said.
It was at that point Brooks said she knew she was destined to do music.
"I was really mad because I was trying hard to get away from it, but that was the situation God used to show me that despite the pressure, ministry is what He has called me to do," she said.
"I have had great times with God both on and off stage, and I have had horrific times. I don't see myself as a perfect person because I am human, but one thing I know is that I take my Christianity seriously," she said.
She, therefore, encouraged Christians to remain focused.
"God is our only source, and we should endeavour to ensure that we live a life that the unchurched can emulate," she charged.