Corey Brooks, the pastor who became known as Chicago's "Rooftop Pastor," returned to his South Side church Sunday morning after his walk across America.
Brooks started his walk in June in New York and finished in Los Angeles on Friday in the hopes of raising $15 million for his organization Project Hood that includes building a community center.
"I'm excited to be home, I'm excited to be around people that I know family and friends, so it feels really good," said Pastor Brooks shortly before he presided over services at the New Beginnings Church.
Brooks wasn't the only one excited to be home; his congregation was equally happy to have him back. "I love that he's back. We had some good assistant pastors coming in, but no one is like Pastor Corey," said church member Mary Thompson.
Brooks earned the name "Rooftop Pastor" for his 94-day rooftop vigil on top of a former Super Motel. It was in part an effort to raise awareness about city violence and also a fundraiser to pay for the motel's demolition to build a community center. He ended his vigil in February after actor director Tyler Perry donated $450,000 for the community center.
From the rooftop, Brooks then hit the sidewalk in his coast to coast fundraiser that ended Friday. Brooks says he raised $500,000 , far short of the $15 million he says is needed to finish the community center. "It's on the way," said Brooks, "that's more money that we had before and we are going to forge ahead."
What's next for the "Rooftop" pastor? "First I want to celebrate being home. I want to make sure we build this community center," said Brooks.