Born in Decatur, Georgia, on June 7, 1968, Keith Brooks graduated from the city’s Southwest DeKalb High School, attended DeKalb Technical Institute and Georgia State University and worked for the Division of Family and Children Services.
In 1990, he and his brother, Kendrick, founded Keith Brooks and New Creation, a small gospel choir with a youthful sound. The group recorded the contemporary gospel album Everlasting Love in 1997 for JAG Records. The smooth balladic title track, featuring full-throated support from New Creation, landed the album on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, where it spent two weeks, peaking at No. 23.
Keith Brooks and New Creation followed their JAG Records release with a sole effort for Atlanta International Records (AIR), 2000’s Perfect Peace. The group evokes Walter Hawkins, Thomas Whitfield and John P. Kee in its jazz- and funk-inspired contemporary gospel arrangements of songs such as Nothing But the Blood and How I Say Thanks, and also offers a distinctive rollicking version of the Gaithers’ Because He Lives.
The choir was invited to support superstar Diana Ross on the single Hope Is an Open Window, which was included on her 1999 Billboard-charting Motown album, Every Day Is a New Day. Keith Brooks and New Creation has also provided background vocals for gospel albums by artists such as LaShun Pace (Just Because God Said It on Savoy, 1998), Angella Christie (Hymn & I on AIR, 1998) and Dottie Peoples (Churchin’ with Dottie on AIR, 2002).
Like many gospel artists, Keith Brooks accepted the call to ministry. In 2001, he was named senior pastor of All Nations Church of God, succeeding Bishop George Hoke upon his passing. During Brooks’ tenure, the church changed its name to All Nations Life and Praise, expanded the scope of its services and moved to Stockbridge, Georgia. Though most of his time these days is spent leading the church, Pastor Brooks hasn’t left gospel music. He can be heard soloing on the All Nations Life & Praise Choir’s 2012 single, the foot-stomping I’ve Got a Reason.
—Robert M. Marovich