Unconventional Calling: A Journey from the Marketplace to Ministry

“Some of you have the calling of teaching. You do not have the opportunity because you are not ready. You don’t have to be the best at what you do to be the best person for the job. You have to be the best person for that moment.”
Mike Glenn

Gerald Cook never planned to become a pastor, yet he felt the unmistakable calling while sitting under Mike Glenn‘s teaching: “One of you middle-aged guys out there that’s had a career outside the church is going to enroll back in seminary, and you’re going to find yourself pastoring the next church in the community,” Mike said. Gerald listened to this call, enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and pursued a Master’s in Church Revitalization.

Upon joining College Grove Baptist, Gerald observed a dwindling congregation, with seven or eight faithful attendees on a Sunday morning. “We had quickly realized something needed to change, or else we’re going to end up having to close the doors, which was something that we just were not going to allow to happen,” James Alloway, a member of the leadership team at College Grove, said.

“The atmosphere is totally different,” James shared. “We have new members, new people that have come to Christ. And just seeing the excitement on their faces as they grow and they learn. Words can’t describe, really.” This transformation has taken place because of the partnership that the Lord has allowed us to enter into with College Grove.

The once dwindling congregation now thrives with new life—the transformation evident in the eyes of those who eagerly attend Sunday services. Members are no longer merely checking off a box; they are actively engaged, growing in faith, and living out the gospel on a daily basis.

At Brentwood Baptist Church, our hope is to put the gospel first in everything we do. The story of College Grove Baptist is a testament to that mission. It represents our unwavering commitment to initiating gospel conversations, fostering discipleship relationships, and creating healthy congregations that resonate with the heartbeat of God’s kingdom.

“Whether you attend College Grove, whether you visit College Grove, I ask that you would pray for College Grove Baptist and that the relationships that are forming here will be fruitful,” Gerald urged. “They will multiply, and ultimately we will be obedient to the great commission and create disciples who create disciples.”