When Pastor Cook took the reins of AFBC the church was at an all-time low. Membership was declining and there was an internal struggle about moving to the west side. Church leadership was looking for a man, the man, that would lead them forward, into the promised land, you might say. God called Michael M. Cook to be that man.
“He was the only one. We didn’t have a second choice or even a third. It was Michael Cook or no one.” This is the story that Dr. Lenton Malry frequently shares about bringing Pastor Cook to Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church in January of 2006.
That was eleven years ago, and on Sunday, February 19th, Pastor Cook announced to the congregation that he would be leaving AFBC to accept a call at Oakland Heights Baptist Church in Longview, TX.
While serving at AFBC, the church made the move to the west side, first to Petroglyph Elementary School and in early 2010 into their brand-new home on Paseo del Norte. This past year, Pastor Cook led our church through the expansion of our children’s department, and now AFBC is home to a thriving Parent’s Day Out program in our new preschool hall. Now seven years later AFBC continues to grow and thrive.
Those years were not the easiest, and time and again, AFBC found itself in the midst of new challenges. However, Pastor always put the people of the church first. He carried many home-cooked meals to members, sick or grieving. He counseled and prayed, mentored and taught, listened and encouraged, all the traits of a good shepherd. And he coached, one of the many gifts that come naturally to him. While at AFBC he has invested much of his time in developing a winning team, a team that will continue long after he has moved back to Texas, an accomplishment he can be proud of.
Now God has a new assignment for he and Becky. Oakland Heights is facing some challenges and God has asked him to step in. He will be missed, but we send him on to his new position with our prayers, knowing that God will use him again to do great things for His Kingdom.