About Our Church
Meet Our Pastor
Dr. Richard H. Brooks
The Brooks/Gray Family first settled in North Alabama in 1815, and has lived in Huntsville, Decatur, Lawrence, and Colbert Counties over the last eight generations. Richard Brooks was raised Sheffield where he was baptized and nurtured in faith at First Presbyterian Church.
Following a journey through the wilderness of atheism and agnosticism, Richard rededicated his life to the Lordship of Christ in 1973, reclaimed the faith of his heritage, and began preparation for parish ministry under the care of North Alabama Presbytery (PCUS).
Richard Brooks received a Masters Degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1980. His first ministerial service was as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Cairo, GA before accepting a call to South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as Associate Pastor.
Richard then left the full-time ministry, starting two businesses in commercial and residential real estate finance. While in business, Richard’s service in ministry continued part-time with churches in the Birmingham area and leading committees and commissions in presbytery. Retiring from business in 2004, Richard resumed full time ministry as Pastor of Oakmont Presbyterian Church in Hoover, Alabama, where he was honorably retired in 2015.
In 2022, Richard completed his doctoral degree.
Richard and his wife Susan Brooks have been married for 42 years and recently moved to Huntsville to be close to their daughter’ family including two grandchildren. Their son is married and works in Washington, DC. Richard is proud to now call First Presbyterian Church of Decatur his home. If you would like to contact Richard by email, please click here.
First built in 1854 on the corner of Church and Bank Streets, the First Presbyterian Church was destroyed by the Union Army in 1864.
From 1865-1870, a scattered flock of Presbyterians returned to Decatur after the war and worshipped with the Methodists in a log cabin across the street from the original building.
In 1873, a small frame church with a coal shed built on back and a bell in the yard was erected on the corner of Oak and Vine Streets. Services were conducted on alternate Sundays by a school administrator and a Baptist preacher. The City of Decatur suffered two outbreaks of yellow fever in 1878 and 1888, causing people to again flee the area.
The Church was incorporated as the Presbyterian Church of Decatur in 1903, and a new octagonal structure was completed and dedicated free of debt in 1904. In 1953, the new Georgia style sanctuary we see today was completed.