Fred J. Cook — former missionary and the first director of the Southeast Alabama Baptist Association Ministry Center — died May 30. He was 77.
Cook served in the U.S. Air Force and was awarded three Distinguished Flying Cross medals and numerous others. After retiring from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 1982, he continued his education and earned his bachelor’s degree in theology at the Baptist College of Florida in
Graceville and his master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Troy University.
He worked with the State of Florida in various areas before serving six years with the International Mission Board as a missionary to Mexico alongside his wife, Melba.
In 2005, the Cooks were appointed by the North American Mission Board to serve in Dothan, where he was the first director of the Columbia Baptist Ministry Center (now SABA Ministry Center).
Over the years, he was also a chaplain for Florida Baptist Disaster Relief and chaplain for Alabama Raceway Ministries. He had the privilege to give the opening prayer for Talladega 500.
At the time of his passing, Cook was director of Chipola Family Ministry Center in Marianna, Florida, where he has served for the past 14 years.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years; daughter, Sheila; son, Darrell; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.