A humble servant of the Lord, a visionary, builder, teacher, preacher, pastor, husband, father and spiritual leader in the community are just a few superlatives that can best describe The Reverend Willie J. Cook, Sr. He is a native of Lakeland, Florida. He is the son of the late Mrs. Christine Lott and the husband of Mrs. Dorothy DuPree Cook. Rev. Cook is the proud father of four children, one son in-law, one daughter in-law and three grand children.
Rev. Cook was an active member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Lakeland, Florida. He is a graduate of Kathleen High School Lakeland, Florida. He attended Florida Agricultural Mechanical University (FAMU) on a football scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Management. He was employed by Bell South as a Manager of Accounting for the Yellow Pages Sales Department. He was co-founder and administrator of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy for Miami-Dade County Public Schools as well as an employee of the Metro Miami Action Plan (MAAP).
The Lord called Rev. Cook to a higher level of service, to preach the Gospel and he answered the call. He prepared himself by attending and graduating with honors from Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned the Master of Divinity Degree concentrating in biblical studies. While attending ITC, Rev. Cook was elected Turner Fellowship President, was a recipient of the Bishop Fredrick Hilbron Talbot Scholastic Scholarship Award, was on the national dean's list and was a member of Who's Who among Colleges and Universities.
He received his pastoral appointments and served as pastor of the following A.M.E churches: St. James., Inverness, Florida, Mt. Zion, Homestead, Florida, Mt. Olive, Gainesville, Florida, Allen Temple, Tampa, Florida, Historic Mt. Hermon, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Greater Bethel located in Downtown-Overtown, Miami. While serving at Allen Temple, he along with the fine members completed a 1.8 million dollar Family Life and Community Center. Rev. Cook is currently serving as Presiding Elder of the Noble North District of the South Conference.
He served as chair of the Board of Examiners of the South Annual Conference, vice chair for AMEC Ministries, Inc. He also served as vice chair of the Board of Christian Education (West Coast), Historiographer and Statistician of the (old Tampa Conference), vice chair for the Board of Trustees (West Coast), and acting Presiding Elder for the Tampa District. Presiding Elder Cook was just recently inducted into the 2019 Turner Seminary Hall of Fame at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
In the community Pastor Cook served as a member of the Pastors on Patrol Commission, NAACP, Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality Inc., Pastors Caucus, FAMU Alumni Association and numerous other civic and community organizations.