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CHICAGO – On the 69th day of his 100-day rooftop vigil to build a community center designed to provide opportunities to his community, Pastor Corey Brooks tells the story of how he came to be a conservative and the price he paid. 

What follows has been lightly edited. We strongly encourage you to watch the accompanying video so you may hear the pastor in his own words.

I get a lot of text messages and emails and questions surrounding a question that has come at me so many times, and the question is: how did you become a conservative?

I always tell the same story of how I was at Ball State University and majoring in political science. It was a Political Science 101 class, my first political science class, where the professor put a bunch of viewpoints on the board. 

On one side, he had views of conservatives. On the other side, he had views of liberals.  But you didn’t know that because he had them covered up and they were switched. The liberal views were on the right and the conservative views were on the left.

He began to go down the list, and he said, „Write the ones that you agree with.“ And after going through the list, the thoughts and views, he uncovered the words, and there they were: conservative and liberal. 


When I looked at it, I discovered that for the first time that my views were more aligned to being a conservative. But then the professor said, „If you are conservative, and you hold these viewpoints, it is most likely that you align with the Republican Party.“ Whoa. „If you hold these viewpoints, it’s more likely, the liberal viewpoints, you’re aligned with the Democratic Party.“

And for the first time ever, I was challenged with being a Democrat. I had been taught all of my life, and I had seen it in my home, that blacks are Democrats, and that’s just the way that it is. 

But after looking at that board and staring, it set me on a path to try and discover what I really believe. Not what they were forcing upon me, not what they were trying to demand for me to believe, but what, at my core, in my heart, what did I really believe? 

After four years of college at Ball State University, where I got a degree in political science, I discovered that I am conservative.

But that discovery, let me tell you, has come with a lot of heartache and a lot of pain. Because, see, here I am years later on the South Side of Chicago, and being a conservative on the South Side of Chicago is not an easy thing to do, especially when you are a black pastor.


I could tell you on and on about so many things that happened to me just because I’ve declared I’m a conservative, just because I said, „I vote Republican.“ You wouldn’t believe it, but let me tell you, I’ve been threatened so many times. 

Did you know that the unions even picketed my church and my house where I live? Did you know that there was a [Republican] governor that I endorsed, Bruce Rauner? When I endorsed him, did you know that my family was threatened so much that they had to move us to a place just to hide, to protect my family, because of all the death threats? 

Being a conservative has had a great price.

Did you know that because I decided to say I’m a conservative and I’m a Republican, and I’m not going to budge on it, I lost three-fourths of my congregation. I lost three-fourths of our budget, just because I said I’m going to be conservative, that I hold conservative values. 

But here’s a heartbreaking thing: did you not know that most blacks hold conservative values? 

We have been so indoctrinated to believe that we must vote Democrat, there is no other way. I’m hoping and praying that my example of being steadfast and showing people that you can be different, that you don’t have to abide by the status quo, I’m praying that it will show people that you can stand on what you believe.

So, here I am on this rooftop, a conservative black preacher on the South Side of Chicago, trying to do the very best that I can possibly do for the people in our community, for the people in Chicago and for our great country. And for that, I don’t believe I have anything to be ashamed of. 

God bless you. God bless America.

Follow along as Fox News checks in Pastor Corey Brooks each day with a new Rooftop Revelation.

For more information, please visit Project H.O.O.D.

Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is „What Killed Michael Brown?“ Twitter: @Hebro_Steele.

Camera by Terrell Allen.