Monthly Archives: September, 2012


Today I am on my way to Cleveland, Ohio for the very first time. I’ve never set foot in Cleveland although I have been to Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Chillicothe and other cities. I’m preaching for Rev. Derek Witcher, pastor of the Israelite Missionary Baptist Church, who I met on the internet through my preachers Forum I’ve operated for years. They are having their Family and Friends Day on Sunday and I’m looking forward to the fellowship.

One of the leading pastors of that city is an old friend of mine, Dr. A. Charles Bowie of East Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I met Dr. Bowie when I was a teenager in Portland, Oregon and he was then pastoring the Tolliver Chapel Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. He is best known as “the voice” of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America and beyond for his rendition of “Rock of Ages.”

I’m leaving First Baptist in capable hands this weekend. I’ve been superbly blessed to have dedicated men and women to serve as Associate Ministers. I know they will be serve well in my absence.

Today my 4-0 Oregon Ducks take on the 2-2 Washington State Cougars. Normally you would expect a Cougar to devour a Duck, but in College Football, these Ducks are rabid. I’ll be surprised if Oregon doesn’t crack 60 on the Cougars. Home field advantage is a disadvantage in this case – the Ducks are the real deal this year. Adam Fentress from the Portland Oregonian gives a great analysis:

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Records: Ducks (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12), Cougars (2-2, 0-1)

Coaches: UO’s Chip Kelly (38-6 at UO and overall), Mike Leach (2-2 at WSU, 86-45 overall).

Latest line: Oregon by 28.

On air: TV ESPN2, radio on KXTG 750

What’s at stake: Oregon ventures out on the road for the first time this season to face a mediocre WSU team in a venue that has not been kind to out-of-state teams. Last Monday, Green Bay lost to Seattle thanks to a questionable call on a last-second touchdown pass. On Thursday, Washington upset No. 8 Stanford. Now it’s WSU’s turn to host a game at CenturyLink.

UO offense vs. WSU defense: Good defenses have a tough time slowing down Oregon. So how much trouble should WSU’s defense, ranked 12th in the conference, have with the Ducks? Plenty. Linebacker Travis Long leads the conference in sacks (6 1/2) and Deone Bucannon ranks tied for third in tackles (32). But even with them the Cougars have allowed 473 yards per game against teams below the caliber of Oregon. That said, last season WSU hung tough with Oregon. The Cougars trailed 15-10 at halftime before losing 43-28 and outgained the Ducks 462-454.

UO defense vs. WSU offense: The Cougars will come out slinging it. WSU is averaging 46.7 pass attempts per game. However, they haven’t been very impactful attempts. The Cougars rank fourth in the conference in passing yards per game (313.8) with Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel sharing the quarterback snaps and have produced 10 touchdown passes (third in the conference). Tuel missed the past two games with knee injury. Top wide receiver Marquess Wilson has 18 receptions for 317 yards and four touchdowns. But WSU lacks much of a running game and making it somewhat one-dimensional. Not a good formula for attacking Oregon’s defense.

Individual matchup to watch: Wilson vs. Oregon cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Both Oregon defensive backs have performed well this season but they have yet to face a wide receiver of Wilson’s caliber. ranks Wilson has a potential second-round pick in next April’s NFL Draft should the junior leave early.

Key injuries: Oregon — wide receiver Josh Huff (knee) has missed two games. Defensive tackle Jared Ebert (knee) has missed two games. Linebacker Keloni Kamalani (arm) has missed three games. Washington State — Tuel (knee) is questionable.

Key stat: 2.7 — Washington State’s average yards per rush. The Cougars rank last in the conference in rushing at 59 yards per game. Every other conference team averages at least 100 yards per game.

They said it: “I watched my boys (the Dallas Cowboys) lose a couple of weeks ago in Seattle (against the Seahawks). Hopefully I can get some revenge.” Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, a big Dallas fan.

Prediction: WSU lacks the defense to slow Oregon and the firepower on offense to score with Oregon. Oregon 47, WSU 17.

Adam Jude’s pick: Oregon 55, WSU 17.

10 Priceless Jewels I Have Learned About The Ministry

Can I share something that is brewing in my spirit tonight?

1.  I have learned that patience is necessary. Things don’t change in a day, neither do people. Ministry has to be approached as long-term and never as short-term. To think otherwise is to discover that time is not only a healer it is a provider.

2.  I have learned that what you learned early will knock on your door again. Things that I received from my Pastor 35 years ago is now becoming useful. Some things I learned as an associate minister is coming to the forefront again.

3.  I have learned that ministry is in seasons not in calendars. Every pastoral ministry has its seasons – winter (coldness), spring (renewal), summer (achievement) and fall (melancholy). If you think it will be well all of the time, you haven’t experienced seasons.

4.  I have learned that ministry is a continual maturation. I am growing as a minister daily. The Apostle Paul even looked at himself and said “I die daily” and it’s true. There is a maturation that should take place in the life of a minister – otherwise the alternative is immaturity which can wreck a minister and his or her ministry.

5.  I have learned that ministry is repetitive. What I go through as a Pastor is not a unique experience. When sharing some concerns about discipleship a pastor told me, “welcome to the club.” There is nothing new under the sun and what we go through in today’s modern church were some of the same afflictions in the early church.

6.  I have learned that God wants nothing between you and Him. A few years ago, I held on dear to my reputation and honestly, my pride – and then God stripped both from me in a ruthless and painful manner. It caused great personal pain but looking back, I had placed those things between me and Him. He shook me to free me, He kicked me to release me, and then He broke me to make me.

7.  I have learned that titles are not more important than production. I have been blessed with two honorary doctorates, but I no longer go by the title “Dr.” because the title doesn’t make the preacher. Production makes the preacher. I refuse to fall into the category of “he’s okay but he can’t preach” or “he’s a better showman than a teacher.” I don’t want to be known for my title, I want to be known for my service.

8.  I have learned that storms are beneficial. Whew… I’ve been through some storms in ministry. But they do something and I noticed it from the last storms in Florida and New Orleans. Storms move everyone off your street. Storms clear the beach. Storms force you inside. Storms inform you that you are not in control. Storms always provide for a rescuer and lastly, Storms prepare you for the next storm.

9.  I have learned that God is everywhere. When I was growing up some Pastors in Portland, Oregon called the city “the Preacher’s Graveyard.” Then I moved to Fresno, California and some preachers called it “The Preacher’s Graveyard.” Then I moved to San Diego and some preachers called it “The Preacher’s Graveyard.” Then I moved to Nashville . . . well, you get the picture. To deny God’s power in any city or any situation or any church is to make Him a liar. God is anything but a liar. He can move in any situation, any circumstance, any city. Remember, T.D. Jakes didn’t start in Dallas, he blew up in a small West Virginia coal mining area. Bill Hybels blew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Eddie Long blew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. It’s not where you’re planted it’s how you allow God to do the watering.

10.  I have learned that I’m still learning. After 35 years, pastoring, schooling, apprenticing – I can never say “I’ve seen it all” because I haven’t. Generations change. Circumstances change. People change. If someone had told me 35 years ago that the then-dying model of one pastor in several locations would become popular again, I would have said you’re out of your mind. If someone had said 25 years ago that Conferences would eclipse conventions, I would have said you’re crazy. If someone had said 10 years ago that I would find more personal fulfillment in pastoring in the rural areas instead of the “big-city” I would have said no way. But things change.

Homegoing of a Saint: Sis. Alice Perkins

Sis. Alice Perkins, who means so much to my family, went home to be with the Lord yesterday. Sis. Perkins and my mother, Naomi Houston, worked together for years and years (too many to count) at the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. She later moved to California and we were in the same state convention, the California Missionary Baptist State Convention and would bump into each other from time to time there and at the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.

I’m saddened to hear of her homegoing and express my personal condolences to her family. She was so proud of the generation of us at Morning Star – Timothy Phillips, Karen Phillips, Anthony Phillips, Glenda Jackson, Marci Jackson, Ricca Ott, Wayne Phillips, Marie Hardy, Denise Hardy, Lee Peters, Clay, Russell, Pierre White, and the list goes on and on. Even when some of us left to make our own way in the world, that never disconnected her affection for us.

She was a classic church woman. She wore them crowns! She served. She gave. She ministered. She encouraged. She corrected (and did it so smoothly). When I was a child, I used to think she could never get mad – she had such a cool persona.

As we all grew older she hugged us, I think, a little stronger and was proud of how we all grew up and we all started out at Morning Star. My heart is heavy but I’m grateful for her influence on a generation of us. Many of our elders from Morning Star are now with the Lord, but we’ll never forget them.

Rest In Peace Sister Perkins! See you in the morning!


The Funeral Service for Alice D. Perkins will be held on Saturday October 6, 2012 at 1:00pm
Public Viewing from 11:00AM – 1:00 PM the service will be held at:

Morning Star Baptist Church 4927 NE 55th Portland, OR 97218
(503) 284-0200

Funeral Home: Public Viewing Friday 10/5/12 10-4
20 NE 14th AVE
Portland, or 97232
(503) 232-4111

Tuesday October 9, 2012
11:00 AM
Willamette National Cemetery
Portland, Oregon, USA
Multnomah County
(503) 273-5250
Open to the public

Home Address:
1606 NE Going Street
Portland, OR 97211

Click below to view:
ALICE PERKINS Homegoing Program

Taylorsville Revival Concludes

Thank you Pastor Charles E. Burton and the people of Second Missionary Baptist Church for an awesome three nights of Revival. It was my privilege to be your evangelist for this year and tonight – wow, what a crowd! The sermon, “Don’t Let Your Past Mess Up Your Future” (Acts 9:26), was received very well. The Gospel Choir from FBC sung us crazy – thank you Lord for dedicated singers and musicians!

The fellowship on the Church Bus was awesome and thank God for Deacon J.D. Smith, who drove us from FBC to SBC safely each evening! I’m absolutely worn out and going straight to be but I just wanted to pen a few words of grateful appreciation to the Lord for the awesome week.

Sermon Snippet:

In our text is a prime example of the past attempting to destroy the future. The subject of this text is Saul, who you probably know better as the Apostle Paul, the Church Planter Paul, the Pastoral Advisor Paul, the Shaper of Young Preachers Paul, the Doctrine Gatekeeper Paul – but in the ninth chapter of Acts, he is simply Saul. But he is Saul in the midst of transition.

Born Saul of Tarsus, he was anti-Church, and anti-Christian. He started out on the wrong foot theologically. He was trained by others to hate Christianity. He held the coat of Stephen as he was stoned to death. He grew up, educated and foolish, rich financially and poor spiritually, smart but defiant, systematic yet wreckless. He spent the bulk of his younger years hating the church.

Let me say to all of us one thing that’s plaguing the church today – some people don’t like the church. They don’t appreciate the church house, the church preacher, the church ministries, the church goals, the church worship, the church meetings, the church evangelism efforts – they just don’t like the church. I also need to say thank God for the church.

Thank God for preaching preachers and singing singers and praying deacons and trustworthy trustees and matronly mothers and off the hook young people, ministering missionaries, excited young people, praying saints, Sunday School teachers, Bible Study students, prayer meeting people and tithing members – yes, thank God for the church. Because it was the same Church, the same God, the same Jesus, the same Holy Spirit, that Paul resented, hated and persecuted that God hand delivered him to.

I’ve come to find out that some of us are in the church today after having uttered those words, “when I get grown, I’m never going to church.” However we found out, just like Paul, that the same things that we hate wind up being the same thing that you serve.

Who hated the church, but now love worship.
Who hated the preacher, but now love preachers.
Who hated to carry a Bible, but now love the Word.
Who hated being in church all day, but can’t wait to get there.
Who hated all that noise, but now shouts all over the place.

Congratulations Rev. Jasper Jackson

Louisville’s loss is Brandenton’s gain. One of my dear brothers in the Lord, Rev. Jasper Jackson, who served as Vice President of the Kentucky State Convention of the PNBC, has been called to the St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church and is preparing for his installation service.

I’m saddened to see him leave Kentucky but also happy and excited for his new charge. He was very supportive of the PNBC locally and nationally. A very great soul! His wisdom and fellowship will certainly be missed. His wife and I served together in the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America some 20 years ago – and his son, was just called to a congregation in Louisville. God be praised.  The article below is from the Brandenton Herald.

Congratulations my friend – I pray the Lord’s blessings upon your tenure there.

BRADENTON — The small corner store. Wooden buildings all along First Street. The dirt roads.

Standing outside St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Jasper Jackson remembered all of it.

“I was a little boy then,” said the 67-year-old preacher. “To see how the place has changed — the streets, the houses, the traffic. It’s amazing.”

Some would say the same about Jackson’s return to the neighborhood where he grew up, not far from St. Mary where he will be officially installed Sunday as pastor.

“A wonderful thing,” said Deacon David McCarter.

“A most exciting thing,” said Deacon Tommie Anderson.

“There are so many people who remember him and he remembers them as well,” said Deacon Napoleon Mills. “It’s something to experience.”

Marian Copeland was overjoyed at the return of her Lincoln Memorial High School classmate.

“It’s a blessing and an inspiration to our community,” said the senior No. 1 choir president.

St. Mary had been without a pastor for more than two years when it reached out to Jackson, who’d spent

years in Indiana and Kentucky following his ministry.

“I got the call in July and I was asked, ‘Are you ready to come back home?’ Yes, I was. I said if the deacons choose me, I’ll be glad to come back home,” he said. “Can I come home again? Yes — and I thank God for that.”

Born in Palmetto and baptized at Providence Baptist Church, Jackson was one of 11 children — all his siblings were girls — and moved to Bradenton in elementary school.

“People who grew up with my sisters say, ‘Oooh, I remember you when you were a little boy.’ ” he said. “I said, yes, you’re right. I know most everybody in church. Of course, we’re all a little older.”

One person with whom Jackson goes back a long way is Chip Nelson, whose basketball prowess at Lincoln put him in the National Negro High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

They’d play hoops at all hours in the old 13th Avenue Community Center and that friendship led Jackson to St. Mary.

“I used to come here with Chip and I didn’t even belong here,” Jackson said. “If somebody had said back then I’d be pastor of this church, I’d have said, nooo.”

But Nelson had a hunch.

“Out of all us who ran together, Jasper was only one who always had to leave for church and the rest of us kept playing in the streets,” he said. “We knew he was going to be a preacher. We used to call him, ‘Preacherman.'”

Appropriately, Jackson is being tasked with revitalizing the congregation and its community. There are about 65 regular congregants and twice that on the books.

“We’re counting on him to the kind of leader St. Mary has been looking for,” said Deacon McCarter. “Our mandate is to take the word of God into the streets and bring more people into the church.”

Especially the young.

“When I see the kids in this area as I walk the neighborhood, I see what God’s showing me for the future,” Jackson said. “We have to get out there, knock on doors and let people know we’re here.”

Amen, said Deacon Anderson.

“It’s doable, it needs to happen and we intend to support him,” he said. “He felt he was led back into the community by the Holy Spirit. He’s enthusiastic, passionate and prayerful about what he’s trying to accomplish. There is an audience we can capture.”

So Jackson can go home again?

“Absolutely,” Anderson said.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Tonight I began a three-night revival at the Second Missionary Baptist Church of Taylorsville, Kentucky where Dr. Charles Burton is the senior pastor. Taylorsville is one hour from Frankfort and me, my wife, and several members of First Baptist Church drove there via church bus for the worship.

I met Pastor Burton shortly after I came to Kentucky in 2009 at the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky annual session in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Dr. Burton is not only pastor of Second church, but he is a professor at Simmons College of Kentucky, which has a cooperative relationship with GABIK. He’s also a member of the Kentucky State Convention and Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. He’s one of the people I look forward to hanging out with at the conventions because of his personality and sense of humor. He’s a great, learned brother.

Today I preached from Romans 7:14-25, “The Tug of War on the Inside.”  Three points: (a) The War is Real; (b) The War is Revealing; (c) The War is Rewarding. They were very receptive to the message. Before I preached the Choir (and they are very good) rendered “I Give Myself Away” featuring a FOUR YEAR OLD soloist. Very moving worship.

We made it home safely, thank God and now looking forward to another day’s journey.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I returned to the pulpit of First Baptist Church today after our 179th Church Anniversary celebration. I preached in both the 8 a.m. and our new 11 a.m. abbreviated worship service. We began promptly at 11 a.m. and surprisingly I gave the benediction around 12:10 p.m.

The new order of worship was interesting to unfold today. We didn’t have a choir due to all of our activities this week, so we had prayer, scripture reading, welcome, offering congregational singing and a soloist (Min. Sheniqua Roberts) and then the word.

I preached in both services the sermon, “Have You Lost Your Axe-Head?” It is an awesome text from 2 Kings 6:1-7 and it was definitely a pastoral sermon. I was led of the Holy Spirit to encourage those who had lost their axe-heads (which represents service, ministry). It was a great exposition and I believe well received in both services.

After worship I went to our monthly Trustee Board meeting and then home to rest for the 5 p.m. conclusion of the Young Adult Revival. Are you ready for some football?

Dallas 16, Tampa Bay 10 – could have been much worst, but we’ll take the win!
Chicago 23, St. Louis 6 – no surprise there.
Minnesota 24, San Francisco 13 – could the first few games of the year be a fluke and this was the real 49ers?
Tennessee 44, Detroit 41 – very exciting overtime game. 
Cincinnati 38, Washington 31 – RG3 is still the real deal but he’s going to have a long season with mediocre teammates.
Kansas City 27, New Orleans 24 – The Saints season is too early to declare it over, but…
NY Jets 23, Miami 20 – Should have never been this close.
Buffalo 24, Cleveland 14 – The Bills may be the surprise of the league. 
Jacksonville 22, Indianapolis 17 – Hello Mr. Manning, please stop laughing on the phone.
Arizona 27, Philadelphia 6 – I’m still pulling for Michael Vick. But I’m a Cowboys fan so this was good news.
Atlanta 27, San Diego 3 – Chargers are way overrated.
Houston 31, Denver 25 – Hello Mr. Tebow, please stop laughing on the phone.
Oakland 34, Pittsburgh 31 – There’s something missing in Pittsburgh’s defense – oh yeah, it’s defense.
New England 30, Baltimore 21 (4th Quarter as of this writing)

Tonight was the closeout of the Young Adult Revival. We had the KSU Gospel Ensemble and the Burnett Avenue Missionary Baptist Church of Louisville, KY as our musical guests.

Our guest preacher was a young man I’m really impressed with – Pastor Daniel Corrie Shull of Burnett Avenue Missionary Baptist Church. At the age of 25, he’s one of the most articulate, biblical and strong preachers of his generation. He’s been pastoring since the age of 20 and has served two churches, the other being First Baptist Church Campbellsville, KY. He blessed us tonight in his sermon about Noah’s nakedness before his sons. He scattered nuggets and made a tremendous impact upon us. I encourage Pastors to listen to his sermon and consider bringing him to your church.

After worship we had a chance to hang out at Buffalo Wild Wings. We had a great fellowship, ate well, and discussed ministry, life, etc.

Then home to watch the Emmys (Homeland won?) and then Boardwalk Empire (I still can’t understand how Nucky Thompson’s wife, Margaret is still alive after signing away all of that land to the Church. But in case she does it again, our church address is 100 . . .

Good night y’all.

Have You Lost Your Axe-Head? – Pastor Robert Earl Houston, Sr.

Recorded live during Sunday morning worship, September 23, 2012 at First Baptist Church, Frankfort, Kentucky.


Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Jesse Harris, Louisville, Kentucky

My heart was made saddened today by the homegoing a dear brother in the Lord, Dr. Jesse Harris, who was the founder and promotor of “The Faces of Our Children Sickle Cell Unity Choir” of Louisville, Kentucky.

I met Dr. Harris in 2009 through my member, Bro. Richard Smith, who had been the motivating force in bringing the Choir to First Baptist for years before my tenure. Each year, we were one of the leading contributors  to the Faces of Our Children’s efforts and we were always glad to have Dr. Harris and the Choir come to Frankfort. He honored us as “Gold Supporters.”

Dr. Harris was a DJ for WLOU in Louisville, playing Gospel songs for many, many years. However, it was 2002 when he began working with the cause of sickle cell. He traveled to Danville, Virginia to meet with Don Cash of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Minority Coalition of Landover, MD. He was sent by his employer, Gary Best, Secretary/Treasurer of UFCW Local 227. Faces of our Children, Inc. was holding a fund-raiser for sickle cell families there in conjunction with Howard University. As a result, Mr. Cash encouraged him to get involved with sickle cell disease.

As a result, he came back to Louisville and held meetings with local labor groups and concerned citizens. As a result over 14 fundraisers were held at Central High School, a breakfast held in conjunction with the Commemorative Stamp unveiling and a live video recording with the legendary Williams Brothers, implementation of Sickle Cell Sunday, billboard advertising, the Stomp Out Sickle Cell Walk, and of course, the choir.

Rest well, Dr. Harris. We’ll see you in the morning . . .


Visitation:  Friday, September 28, 2012 (5-9 p.m.)
Funeral:  Saturday, September 29, 2012 (11 a.m.)
All services are held at St. Stephen Baptist Church – 1018 S. 15th Street, Louisville, KY – Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, Pastor

HARRIS, DR. JESSE, 70, of Louisville (native of New Castle, KY), passed away on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at his residence.

Jesse was a member and deacon of New Castle Main Street Baptist Church. He was an employee of Fischer’s Packing Company for 35 + years; employee and organizer of UFCW Local 227; Kentucky State labor chair for NAACP; Kentucky Colonel; 2012 Candidate for Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame; founder and president of Faces of Our Children Sickle Cell Foundation; founder of the nation’s first and only Sickle Cell Choir; founder of Joyful Praise Ministries, broadcasted on WLOU 1350 radio station; member of the National CBTU Religious Outreach Commission; member of the Kentucky Alliance against racism and political repression; hired by the Henry County judge exec 1st County Youth Service Bureau; founder of the contributing writer of a children’s book, “Petera Comes to America”.

He was the son of the late Irvin and Mattie Lee (Scott) Harris. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Evelyn Tolbert and Ida Lee Johnson.

Survived by two sons, Greg Harris (Robin) of Crestwood, KY and Tim Harris (Melissa) of Lexington, KY; six sisters, Mary V. Beasley (Rev. Clayton), of Paducah, KY, Nancy Loving of Paducah, Hallie Wilson of Atlanta , GA, Carrie Reed (Rev. Jerrome), of Georgetown , Patsy Lindsay (Gary) of Louisville and Betty Burns (Steve), of Atlanta; brother, Rodney Harris of Paducah; ex-wife, Anna Harris of Eminence, KY; six grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service: 11a.m. Saturday at St. Stephen Church, 1018 S. 15th St., Louisville, officiated by Rev. Meredith L. Trabue, pastor of New Castle Main Street Baptist Church. Pallbearers: Billy Harris, James Goodloe, Frank Goodloe , Michael Henderson, Richard Smith and William Goodloe. Burial: New Castle G.U.O.O.F. Cemetery. Visitation: 5-9 p.m. Friday at St. Stephen Church. Prewitt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Faces of Our Children, 1920 L Street, NW, Suite 301, Washington, D.C. 20032. –

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Willie P. Cooke, Sacramento, CA

Dr. W.P. Cooke, 95, pastor emeritus of the Shiloh Baptist Church, who served from 1957 to 1982, but was called upon by the church to lead in times of pastoral vacancy, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, September 23, 2012.

Of personal note, Dr. Cooke was my wife’s, Sis. Jessica Houston, pastor. I know that she dearly loved and esteemed him. His loss is like the loss of a loved one in our household as well.

I met Dr. Cooke for the first time when I was living in Portland, Oregon and I was candidate for the pulpit at Shiloh in 1991. (I wasn’t selected, the church called Rev. Clifford Cheathon). I remember that he was very kind and he was called upon to serve as the Interim in that period. He seemed to be the steady hand in the pulpit and later when I moved to Fresno, California to assume the pulpit at Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, several of the members “adopted” me and I spoke on several occasions at Shiloh.

Every time I came to Shiloh, I looked forward to seeing Dr. Cooke. He was an original, had an amazing personal story of ministry and built a great, loyal congregation.


Dr. Cooke, we’ll see you in the morning!

As his homegoing approaches we’ll post more information below.

From the Sacramento Observer:

SACRAMENTO – In July, his beloved Shiloh Baptist Church was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as a a cultural resource worth perserving.

Those who heard him preach or benefitted from his spirtual guidance, would say its pioneering pastor emeritus, Rev. Willie P. Cooke was also a notable treasure.

Rev. Willie P. Cooke passed away Sunday, after a long illness. Rev. Cooke led Shiloh Baptist Church from 1957 to 1983. He returned and served as Interim Pastor from 1990 to1991. In his time the the church’s helm, Rev. Cooke doubled its membership and sponsored the building of Shiloh Arms, Inc., which provides quality housing and childcare for members of the community.

Rev. Cooke was a native of Mississippi. He studied electrical engineering at the American School of Electricity of Chicago. After moving to Oregon, he became the first African American to hold an electrical contractors license in the state of Oregon.

Upon moving to California he became an Armature Winder for Weismer and Becker Electric Company where he was employed when called to Shiloh Baptist Church. The aspiring minister attended the Conroe Normal and Industrial College of Texas, earning a bachelors degree in Theology. He later attended the Andrew Baptist College and Seminary and was conferred an honorary doctor of divinity degree.

Pastor Cooke was active in several civic endeavors, including serving on Gov. Edmund Brown’s Conference on delinquency prevention, the NAACP and the advisory committee for the UC Davis Medical Center.

The Sacramento OBSERVER honored Rev. Cooke as one of its community legends in 2003. Many local ministers counted him as their “father in Gospel” including the founders of Antioch Progressive Baptist Church and Bishop Parnell Lovelace of Center of Praise Ministries.

Memorial services are pending.

This is the condolence from the First Baptist Church in Frankfort:

September 28, 2012

The Family of Dr. Willie P. Cooke
c/o Shiloh Baptist Church
Rev. Anthony Sadler, Pastor
3565 9th Avenue
Sacramento, California 95817

Dear Cooke Family, Pastor Sadler and the Shiloh Baptist Church Family,

We are saddened by the homegoing of Dr. Willie P. Cooke, pastor emeritus of the Shiloh Baptist Church. Please know that you have our prayers and spiritual support.

This homegoing has affected us greatly, especially in the lives of this Pastor and my wife, Jessica G. Anderson Houston, who was baptized by Pastor Cooke after giving her life to Jesus Christ.  Jessica truly loved her pastor and we are the beneficiaries of the Christian foundation that she received at Shiloh.

I had the great blessing of meeting Pastor Cooke as a candidate for Shiloh in 1991. He was such a man of dignity, a true Christian gentleman, and he possessed a great love for the Shiloh Baptist Church and her future.

I know that he was beloved by Shiloh, the church community and he touched lives all over the nation. We regret that we are unable to attend, but please know that we are praying for you during this hour of celebration in the legacy of Pastor Cooke. The Scriptures remind us in Revelation 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

It’s All About HIM,

Robert Earl Houston, Sr.
Senior Pastor



by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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