Dr. Claude Otis Brooks

March 2, 1923July 6, 2014
Play Tribute Movie

Claude Otis Brooks died, Sunday, July 6, 2014, in Birmingham, AL, at the age of 91. He was born March 2, 1923, in Grayson, GA, to parents Mayfus Wood Brooks and Clinton Dee Brooks. His college education at Emory University was interrupted by World War II, in which he served as a combat medic in the European Theater, seeing such actions as the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he returned to Decatur, Georgia, where he married Olive Hansen and completed his degree at Emory. From there he attended and graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology under the direction of Wayne Oates. He continued scholarly study throughout his ministry at institutions such as the University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Each summer he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. In recognition of his scholarly service and devotion to an educated clergy, Samford University conferred on him an honorary doctorate in 1987. Dr. Brooks’ ministry was primarily as a church pastor, serving churches in Belleville, KY, Eatonton, GA, Swainsboro, GA, and Florence, AL. His final pastorate was with Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, Birmingham, from 1969 to 1988. After retiring in 1988, he served as interim pastor of Kowloon Baptist Church in Hong Kong; Samford University’s first Minister to the University; chaplain with Unity Hospice; numerous interim pastorates in Birmingham; and minister to Senior Adults at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. At 90 years of age he was still teaching Sunday School and active as the church’s beloved Pastor Emeritus. Throughout his years he was a tireless denominational servant. He supported Baptist ministries at the association, state, national, and international levels, serving on committees and writing for such organizations as the Woman’s Missionary Union and The Baptist World Alliance. For many years he served as a trustee of the Baptist Medical Centers Board. He is preceded in death by his wife, Olive, and his son, Mark. He is survived by his daughter, Leigh Brooks Collier (Stuart) and son Clinton A. Brooks, and grandchildren, Virginia Collier, Robert Collier, Grayton Brooks and Baier Brooks. Visitation will be Wed., July 9, from 2 pm to 4 pm at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. A memorial service will follow at 4 pm, officiated by Dr. Gary Furr, pastor, and a reception follows for those attending. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Brooks requested that donations be made to the C. Otis Brooks Fund for Pastoral Leadership Enrichment at Samford University or to Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. The family deeply appreciates the devoted care of his physician, Dr. Joseph Wu, the compassionate assistance of Comfort Care hospice, and the loving, supportive care of Chateau Vestavia. Dr. Brooks profoundly touched many lives and will be deeply missed.


  • Visitation Wednesday, July 9, 2014
  • Memorial Service Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dr. Claude Otis Brooks

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Jeri Hodo

July 2, 2015

Dr. Brooks was like an angel to my family. He came and preached at South Roebuck when my brother, Joe O'Quinn, had leukemia and passed away 12-23-89. Our love for him will ever stop. I know Joe and my dad are so happy to see him and his wife. I thank God for Dr. Brooks. Jeri O'Quinn Hodo

Monica Wright

July 19, 2014

My deepest condolences and sympathy..... Lead DCM@ Chateau Vestavia

July 14, 2014

May you find strength in knowing God will help the family endure through these trying times.

July 10, 2014

Sorrow to hear of the loss of your loved one. Draw close to our Heavenly Father and he will grant you peace. Roman 15:4.

Joyce Miller Bartley

July 10, 2014

Dr. Brooks was a true friend and mentor to me, I worked for him as a secretary and not only a beloved pastor, what fun it was working for him with Claire in the kitchen making Wed.night dinners. Although I haven't seen him in years we kept in touch for a long time by letters and just knowing he is not here makes me sad.He baptised my children Lisa and Chip and was very big in our lives. As they said about Abraham Lincoln, "he now belongs to the ages" God Bless, Joyce Miller Bartley

July 10, 2014

One of the true Christians that I have ever known. A mentor and a friend. With a smile that lifted the spirits of everyone he came across.
Judi Gillespie

Sally Faulkner Peddycoart

July 9, 2014

He was a wonderful teacher, leader, shepard... So creative in leading worship! He baptized me and married me. What rejoicing there must be at his home coming!

Michael Wilson

July 9, 2014

Dr. Brooks was a friend and mentor to countless ministers. His kindness, compassion, and wit are already missed but are a legacy to be found in the lives of those who learned so much from him about pastoral ministry.

Mary Carmack

July 9, 2014

I wish I had know he was in Birmingham, My mother, Mary Patrick, lived here from 2001 until the end of 2009 and was a cross the street neighbor in Florence, AL. She would have liked to have seen him I am sure. She died almost 2 years ago.
Her daughter, Mary Carmack.

July 8, 2014

Otis was a wonderful pastor as well as preacher. His life was what he preached: God's love. His strong hugs, his powerful prayers, his gentle spirit.....I'll miss it all. What a gift his life was! What a gift he has now in his eternal home and real fellowship with his Lord and Savior Jesus!