Pastor Vern L. Cooper was born August 4, 1950, and spent most of his adolescent life in Houston’s Third Ward, where he attended public schools in the Houston Independent School, graduating with honors from Jack Yates High School in 1968.
After graduating from Jack Yates, Pastor attended college at Texas Southern University and University of Houston, while launching his professional career at Dresser Industries as a Computer Operator Trainee. He held many positions with that company both domestically and internationally that ended after 50 years and 1 day when he retired in 2018.
In 1973, Pastor Cooper married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Guinn. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters Nicole and Kimberley and grandparents to one granddaughter, Madison, who Pastor fondly refers to as “Maddy Pooh”.
While God has certainly blessed Pastor Cooper in his professional career, allowing him to travel to 35+ countries, all you have to do is talk to him for a short time to know that his real passion is with the church. He was baptized as a young child, at the Calvary Hill Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor B. R. Williams. He held many positions at Calvary Hill, including Brotherhood Instructor and President, Sunday School Teacher and Superintendent, Deacon, Trustee and Associate Minister. With Calvary Hill’s affiliation with the Southern District Association of Brazoria, Texas, he held the positions of Brotherhood Instructor and Vice-President. After a number of years of “serving well” on someone else’s mountain God did for him what he had done for Caleb.
In April of 1985, God gave Pastor Cooper his own mountain, when a small body of believers at the Ark of Restitution called him to be their Pastor. There have been ups and there have been downs but God has remained faithful. The church under the leadership of Pastor Cooper has made several purchases including a $1.4 million facility that they triumphantly entered in January of 2012.
Over the years, Pastor Cooper in his own words, “never gets sick” and has seemingly boundless energy. He loves his family and people in general. His simple pursuit in life is to help people to be all that God has called them to be. His favorite scripture in the bible is Galatians 6:9 … “And be not weary in well doing, for in due season, you will reap if you faint not”. That thought alone keeps him trusting in the God that is able to keep us from falling. Because of that and the fact that he understands that for much given, much is required, he tries to put himself in the lives of others and be a blessing to all whom God places in his path. His family has been instructed that when the Lord calls him home that someone would sing at his home going celebration … “May the Works I’ve Done Speak for me”.
Pastor Cooper now serves not only as Pastor of the Ark of Restitution, but as President and Founder of Lifeboat Ministries, a faith based organization designed for the total improvement of his community in particular and mankind in general; and District Overseer of NE/SE District of KECCM Fellowship of Bishop Leroy Woodard.
He is a dynamic leader, and riveting orator, whose preached word has caused many who were lost to find their way. His life has given us timeless lessons of tenacity and perseverance for those who will follow in his footsteps for generations to come.