The Revd Barry L Cocker: 1944-2017
Beloved pastor of Longhope Baptist Church, Glos
Our beloved Pastor, Barry L Cocker died on 31 January after a short illness.
Barry came to Longhope Baptist Church, Glos, in 1984, and ministered faithfully for over 32 years. The personal emphasis of his ministry has been the uncompromised integrity of the Word of God, and faith. The church quickly grew as people were drawn from all around – from Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean. There were a number of baptisms and some remarkable physical healings.
Along with leaders from different denominations, Barry began a work in the 90s called ‘Forest Ablaze’ that covered the area. That work brought encouragement and blessing to people in a wide variety of church situations from across a wide area, and many folk came to a personal faith or a renewed walk with God at this time. Also two other non-denominational fellowships were planted in the Forest of Dean area.
In the last 10 to 15 years some of our folk have moved away and are now linked to their local churches. Also a number of our elderly members have died, but the present membership stands at about 26 adults and six children. Barry’s wife, Heather, works tirelessly and their three daughters, husbands and children are with us.
Barry was a great encourager and a visionary leader. As a result a number of ministries have been developed in the fellowship and have been well used of late. They will, we believe, continue to function. We have also been blessed with several very able musicians!
We have lost a good Leader, Pastor and Friend; but Barry has left the church in good heart for the work ahead of us: and he is “with Christ, which is far better”.