REVEREND Rutherford R. Cooke

Minister CookeReverend Rutherford Cooke is the third son and fifth child born to the late Giles N. and Ella Mae Cooke in Olivet, Calvert County, Maryland. He was educated in the local public school system there, having graduated from the William Samson Brooks High School. Reverend Cooke completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management, a profession in which he served over twenty-five years in industry. He completed his graduate studies at the Howard University School of Divinity with a Master of Divinity degree where he received the D.B. Barton Scholarship award for outstanding academic study in Ministry.

A long-term member of the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church (VABC), Reverend Cooke was ordained to the Deacons ministry by the late Reverend Doctor John R. Wheeler. He was subsequently licensed to preach the Gospel in June of 2008 and ordained to the Gospel Ministry in October, 2010 under the Pastorate of Reverend Cornelius Wheeler. He currently serves on the Board of Church Administration, is a member of the Men's Bible Class (immediate past President), a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Missionary Society and various other organizations of the church.

Reverend Cooke believes in providing active service to the community. He works with the church's Food Distribution ministry serving the Senior citizens and underprivileged throughout the community. He has worked with students at the Garnet-Patterson Middle School, the Calvin Coolidge High School (serving on the Truancy Task Force), and presently provides instruction in the Bible to homeless and overnight guests as a Chaplain at the Central Union Mission of Washington, DC. His ministry to the church and throughout the community is deeply rooted in the guidance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (emphasis on Mathew 28:18 20), following His teachings and calling disciples to realize the lived Christian experience.

After completing his military service, Reverend Cooke returned to Washington, D.C., wherehe resumed his membership at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church. He soon met his wife Ann, and in 1967, they were married by the late Reverend Dr. C. T. Murray. This union has been blessed with four children: Kenneth (Cathy), Kevin (Bethany), Kathryn (Brian), and Kristin and seven grandchildren (Zoe, Theodore, Gordon, Josephine, Olivia, Owen, and Ella).

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