Foursquare ordained minister and bestselling author M. Gerard (Jerry) Cook passed into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at age 75. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006, and treatments were successful for several years. However, his health declined significantly during the past few months. Jerry is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children and five grandchildren.
Jerry was senior pastor of East Hill (Gresham Foursquare Church) in Gresham, Ore., for 20 years, helping the congregation expand from a handful of people to a large, vital community of believers. The church continues to grow and influence the Gresham community.
Jerry served The Foursquare Church in varied roles, including several years as a cabinet member. But what most will remember about him, particularly in later years, was his ability to address Foursquare people with the boldness of a father, without losing his loving, gracious manner. Jerry had a wonderful sense of humor and an ability to make people feel as though he was speaking directly to them as individuals.
Following his tenure as senior pastor, Jerry continued as an associate pastor but also devoted time to writing and to speaking at various conferences. It is not surprising that he was much in demand as a speaker. In fact, he addressed the Foursquare convention body in 2013, reminding everyone of Foursquare’s mission and the essential information all must have in order to engage the mission successfully.
President Glenn Burris Jr. notes: “A lot of people want to know the mind of God. But Jerry Cook intentionally pursued the heart of God and ended up with a deep grasp of both. His ministry was incredibly successful on anyone’s terms—he led an influential congregation, and captured the world’s attention through his teachings and his writings. But he was as comfortable sitting in a chair in a coffee shop sharing stories and scars with just one person as he was on a platform sharing with a multitude.
“Jerry Cook was quotable, and he was believable,” President Burris continues. “He was compelling, and he was clear. He was as relevant at 70 as he was at 30. His contribution to The Foursquare Church will continue to live through the ministries of the many whose journeys were transformed by his life. All because Jerry passionately pursued the heart of God above all else.”
The renowned pastor wrote six books, including the bestselling Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness, The Monday Morning Church and his most recent, The Holy Spirit: So, What’s the Big Deal? With his wife, Barbara, he also wrote Choosing to Love: The Odyssey of a Relationship.
Please pray for the Cook family during this season of loss. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m. at Eastside Foursquare Church in Bothell, Wash. The church is located at 14520 100th Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Jerry Cook Memorial Fund” and sent to Eastside Foursquare Church at PO Box 1439, Bothell, WA 98041-1439.