Cook retires from pastorate, continues mentoring

Cook retires from pastorate, continues mentoring

Darrell Cook said his seven years as pastor of Dogwood Grove Baptist Church, Adger, in Mud Creek Association, were definitely eventful.

Right in the middle of that time, the church burned and the congregation faced a rebuilding project.

But Cook said he saw God’s faithfulness so much during that time. For instance, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions provided a mobile chapel and three years after the fire the congregation moved into a new building constructed by Carpenters for Christ.

“When I read my retirement letter to the church, I wrote that when I look back, God gave us three years to get ready for the fire, three years to recover from the fire and a year to enjoy the building,” he said. “And now it’s time to move on.”

Cook retired as pastor of Dogwood Grove at the end of January. It was his first and only pastorate — after a 40-year career as a businessman, at 60 he and his wife, Elaine, answered the call to serve in South Africa with the International Mission Board.

After five years, they returned and he earned his master of divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School and became pastor of Dogwood Grove.

“I’m not sure what the Lord has for me to do next,” Cook said. “I want to keep preaching wherever He says to preach.”

One thing he plans to continue is his role at Beeson, where he has served as pastor in residence for four years.

“That role has been extremely rewarding,” Cook said. “I’ve always been interested in mentoring young people, especially those heading into ministry.” (Grace Thornton)