There will be a new face in the pulpit at the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services at First Baptist Church in downtown Wilmington on Sunday (Aug. 26).
The Rev. Matt Cook has been hired as the next senior pastor of First Baptist, nine months after the search for a new leader there began. The church's long-time former pastor, the Rev. Mike Queen retired in 2011 to spend more time with his family.
On Sunday (Aug. 26), the 41-year-old pastor be preaching from Matthew in "The Parable of the Wicked Tenants."
Cook and his wife, Allison, have a young boy and a girl and are moving to Wilmington from his former pastorate in Little Rock, Ark.
First Baptist's pastoral search committee noted Cook's energy and passion and spirituality as his major strengths.
"The first thing was just his strong faith that came across immediately as soon as we met him," said Fred Nelson, who headed the First Baptist Church search committee. "He is a very compassionate person. He is very intelligent also and the intelligence shows as you enter into a discussion with you. You ask him a question, and you're probably going to get four questions back and the answer. . .He's forward thinking. In terms of thinking about where the larger church needs to go in relation to the world we're in, he's the kind of person I think will come up with ideas and be a leader to take us to the next step, whatever that is."
Nelson said the church will have a former installation Sunday service in the late fall.