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A “Good Man” leaves an inheritance


The Greenville Standard


As we reflect during Black History Month, I believe that most people who knew him would agree that Rev. Dr. James E. Cook was a “Good Man.” He was a local pastor for many years, a community advocate, an educator, a civil rights activist, a friend, and father figure to many.

His family shared Rev. Cook with all of us and he touched many lives as he shared God’s love and showed great compassion. He corrected and challenged us as well. He wanted the best for all of God’s children, not just his own.

When I think of his family legacy, this commentary on Proverbs 13:22 comes to mind.

A good man leaves an inheritance of moral stability and goodness to his children’s children. He files many prayers in heaven on their behalf and his good examples and advice are quoted from generation to generation.

His grandson, Girard Warren is continuing to show Rev. Cook’s love and concern for a healthy and wholesome community.

He has brought an enthusiastic sense of unity to the graduating classes of Greenville High School as he hosts the All Classes Reunion during Memorial Day Weekend.

I am sure that Rev. Cook would have supported the event, but I know he would be enormously proud of Girard’s prayer initiatives, especially the prayers that he has hosted on the steps of Butler Chapel AME Zion Church.

This year Girard has enlarged his vision for prayer. On Saturday, Feb. 24, he is inviting 100 men to join with him in prayer at Garfield Park in the City School Hill Community. The park is located at the corner of South Park and Garfield Street.

The prayer will begin at 11 a.m. and women are also welcomed to come out and support. I am believing God for an Ephesians 3:20 overflow of men to come out and pray for our community.

Girard was 20 years old when his grandfather passed away and is using the wisdom and knowledge that he was blessed to receive.

He is self – employed as a personal trainer, referee, and track coach. He remains connected to our youth and stays connected with them as he referees their games and speaks words of hope and encouragement to them at every opportunity.

He takes immense pride in coaching young men in the game of life. He supports his mother’s churches, Indian Hill and Oak Grove and their beloved Butler Chapel.

He is carrying the torch that has been passed on to him. Let me leave you with Girard’s vision.

“The vision for the community prayer is for all the men in the surrounding areas to come together and be visible within our community.

“It’s time for the adult males to make their presence felt throughout the city.

“There are strengths in numbers in having one hundred men to stand together, unified, in the presence of God will speak volumes for the change to come.

“My goal is for this to be the start of actions from men and not just words. For so long, we have sat back and solved the problems individually, but we never came together for a solution collectively.

“And it’s easy to identify a problem but hard to solve problems with just words and no action.

“I have personally been left with a legacy that is rich within this community. Our grandfather, Rev. Cook, was an educator and a pastor here in Greenville for over 40 years.

“My mother followed in his footsteps as an educator and pastor and is still leading this community with her work. It is only right that I come behind and continue this work although I am not a preacher.

“Although I put my feet in the footsteps that are left for me, it’s not going to be easy, but I see an opportunity to leave my own legacy behind. This community prayer will be the start of that.”

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