More than 25 years ago, a young youth minister from a small town in rural Illinois had a passion to teach young people about the heart of God outside the walls of the church building. He desired to teach his students about God’s love and compassion. Brook Brotzman was convinced these lessons were not the kind to be taught on a blackboard; they had to be taught through hands-on experience.
Trips to the inner-city of Chicago and later Philadelphia demonstrated both the immense needs of people and the way they could become instruments of God’s love to the poor. It occurred to Brook that if the needs were so great here in the U.S., they must be even greater in other countries, particularly impoverished ones.
In 1987 trips to Jamaica and then to Haiti with the youth proved to be life changing for Brook. From the back of a beaten down bus bouncing over dirt roads, they witnessed poverty, malnutrition, and oppression. They had landed in Gonaives, Haiti. For Brook, the need was so great and the opportunities were so clear he returned there for the following four years. In June of 1991, Brook returned to the island, but this time he traveled to the Dominican Republic. There he met the Gabriel and Gracesqui families and saw their passion for God and ministry. Their commitment to serve others was tangible. They introduced Brook to several other passionate pastors and Christian leaders who longed to share the love and hope of Christ with others in their communities. Brook said he also learned that, “Dominican and Haitian pastors and leaders longed to advance the Kingdom, but were working two to three jobs just to put food on the table while also trying to serve their communities.” Brook believed God was calling him to empower local leaders, and it was at that point the concept of GO Ministries was established.
For several years, Brook led teams and served as a bridge builder to create ministry partnerships between North American churches, businesses and individuals with Dominican and Haitian pastors and Christian leaders.
Though the ministry was growing long before incorporation, GO Ministries officially incorporated in 1996 in Illinois and in April of 1999 relocated its headquarters to Louisville, Kentucky. In 2006, GO Ministries expanded into Mongolia, Colombia, and Urban America. GO Ministries expanded across the island of Hispaniola with hubs of ministry in Santiago, Hato del Yaque, Batey 9, and Phaeton, Haiti.
By 2010, GO was partnering with over 100 indigenous Christian pastors and leaders, feeding over 1,000 children a hot meal six days a week through one of nine nutrition centers, offering education to over 600 children through its primary school, partnering with over 30 churches in the Dominican and Haiti, facilitating 12 sports leagues with at risk youth, and offering medical aid to the poor through a daily medical clinic. The organization employs over 20 full-time missionaries and staff.