Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook Challenges W.O.W. Women to Move Beyond Circumstance

Rev. Angela Lee Price

Wow! March came in like a lion as three of the nation's most recognized female pastors took the pulpit at St. Stephen Church last Saturday, March 1st for the Women of Wisdom Conference, Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake, and Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart. About 1,000 women attended the day-long event that included praise and worship, proclamation of the Word, and prayer.

Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Pastor, The Bronx Christian Church, Bronx, NY challenged W.O.W. attendees to move beyond their circumstance. Preaching from Numbers 27:1-8 on a message entitled, "It's Your Time," she spoke on how the sisters of Zelophehad overcame the challenge of not receiving an inheritance at their father's death. The sisters of Zelophehad, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah experienced a kiros moment, but they 1) had a strategy, and 2) practiced "the 10 Ups." They respected authority. They went to Moses, the leaders, and to the entire congregation regarding their predicament. Then, they Stood Up, Spoke Up, Let Up, Got Up, Cleaned Up, Fessed Up, Looked Up, Thought Up, Shaped Up, and Listened Up.
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Rev. Cook, a native of New York, is the founder and senior pastor of the Bronx Christian Fellowship, a new church plant for the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York. Prior to this, she served for 13 years as the senior pastor of the Mariners' Temple Baptist Church, the oldest American Baptist Church in New York City where she was the first African-American woman to be elected senior pastor of an American Baptist congregation in its 200-year history.
Motivation and empowerment are the common threads in the diverse work of Rev. Cook. Her efforts to inspire and uplift are demonstrated via sermons, motivational speaking, seminars, and workshops. She leads by example as the first woman officer of the historical 7,500-member Hampton University Ministers' Conference, the largest gathering of African American clergy in the world.

Rev. Cook's most recent endeavors include Sujay Ministries, an exciting and relevant audio and video ministry designed to meet the needs of urban professionals, and youth and Jonco Productions, established to promote her oral, video and written motivational works and concepts. She is also the editor of Judson Press' Wise Women Bearing Gifts and co-author of Preaching in Two Voices (Judson Press, 1995). Her latest release, Sister to Sister: Devotions for and from African American Women, is a best seller and has won her international accalaim (Judson Press, 1996). At the end of 1997, she will release a book on spirituality for women in the work force with Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Rev. Cook received a B.S. from Emerson College, an M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University, an M.Div. from Union Theological Sminary, and a D. Min. from the United Theological Seminary as a Sam Proctor Fellow.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus Saves!

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