Less Pressure, More Loving

An interview with Jerry Cook

When Jerry and Barbara Cook came to the mission congregation in Gresham, Oregon, in 1965, they found six or seven families meeting in a building leased for $1 a year-"and that was a rip-off," he says. The Cooks did not sweep in with energetic plans for outreach and growth, however. "I'd been around the church all my life," Jerry says, "and I came to Gresham to get away from the politics and ladder-climbing. All I wanted to do was invest my life in a small group of people and work out the Christian faith in a not-too-obvious corner."

Then what is he doing pastoring a church today that numbers 3,000-after spinning off six daughter congregations with as many as 300 members at a time? "I think God double-crossed me," he says with a grin. "He told me to do one thing in the ministry and got me into something else."

That something else has been explained in several books, most notably Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness (Regal, 1979), which describes how this Foursquare congregation learned to reach ...

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