Rev. Ralph G. Cook
United Pentecostal Church International
1899 ~ 1981
Reverend Ralph G. Cook was born September 1, 1899 in Bostaon, Massachusetts. His first memories of God were in the Methodist Church, but he states that he never found any satisfaction there, though he was sprinkled twice, once when he was a baby, and again when he was twelve years old. He did have a hunger for God, and attended services in the Nazarene Church, the Holiness Church, and the Salvation Army.
When Ralph Cook was sixteen, he heard the true Gospel for the first time. God's messenger was the boy's uncle, who had been an alcoholic, but had been marvelously saved in California. This uncle took him to the Pentecostal Church in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where he attended for about a month, and was brought under deep conviction. He went to the altar in this church. Brother Cook gives this inspiring account of being filled with the Spirit:
"Two nights after I first went to the altar, I was sitting in a boarding house with two young men. They were instructing me in the way of the Lord, when suddenly the power of God fell on me, and I began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. It was about 9:00 o'clock at night, and I really stirred that boarding house. The land-lady came down, and requested that I be taken out of there. They took me over to the church, and I was there until 3:00 o'clock. It was a wonderful experience!
"The church that I had been attending believed in three works of grace, and the pastor could not understand how I had received the Holy Ghost without first being sanctified. He stood over me for two hours, rebuking the Devil, but finally he reconciled himself to the fact that I had the genuine experience. Those were days of heaven on earth."
In 1917 Ralph Cook received the revelation of baptism in Jesus' name, and of the Oneness of God. He went from a church of about four hundred members into a little church of about twenty-five members. This was at Hyde Park, Massachuetts. While attending this church, he met and married Miss Hattie Lowell. They had been married about one year and two weeks when the dreadful scourge of influenza hit the country. His wife lived just three days after falling ill, and he had the sad experience of burying her and a premature baby together.
Brother Cook felt the call to the ministry, and was ordained in Boston by N. Alexander. He went to Indianapolis in 1919, where he attended G.T. Haywood's church. Afterwards, he went to Bloomington, Indiana and pastored a small group. Leaving loomington, he traveled through Indiana and Sourthern Illinois in evangelistic work. During this time, he met a young evangelist by the name of Nellie Reppond, and they were married July 3, 1920. Ralph Cook's next pastorate was in Carrolton, Illinois. Following that, he went to Louisiana, and then to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and remained there for about three years. In November, 1922 the Southern Bible Conference was held in this church. He resigned the pastorate in 1923, turning the work over to the late G.H. Brown, who had been assisting him. He founded the church in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and served as pastor for twenty-one years.
Ralph Cook held several official positions. He was a District Elder in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. He was a member of the Apostolic Church of Jesus christ, which he left to become affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus christ. In 1938 he was chosen to serve on the General Board of that organization, and held that position until the merger in 1945. He was then elected District Superintendent of the Ohio District (United Pentecostal Church), and served until 1954. In 1963 he was elected Assistant General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, serving until 1971.
On September 28, 1981, after more than sixty years of dedicated service to the kingdom of God, Ralph Cook departed this life.