The First Family

Pastor Tamarkus T. Cook, a passionate shepherd after God’s own heart, is the anointed, articulate, and passionate pastor of the Saint Smyrna Baptist Church, Inc. (SSBC) in Newnan, Georgia. With wisdom beyond his years, Pastor Cook is a much sought-after preacher and motivational speaker for various churches, schools and organizations across the nation. He has served as the senior pastor of the renowned Saint Smyrna Baptist Church since the age of 24. Saint Smyrna Baptist Church is a loving congregation in South Metro Atlanta. Under Pastor Cook’s leadership, the church grew to over 700 members with nearly 30 active ministries. Saint Smyrna, as it is affectionately known in the community; currently holds one service at 10 AM,  Lunch with the lord every first and third Wednesday, and Bible Study every Wednesday evening at 7 PM. Pastor Cook has a genuine passion for youth and seniors and is often recognized for his ministry efforts to improve the quality of life for both.

A gamut of community-centered services and initiatives have been conceptualized and realized under his direction, such as Living Water for Flint. Living Water for Flint was an effort to offer aide to the people of Flint Michigan which through the organizational efforts of Pastor Cook resulted in seven tractor-trailer loads of water being delivered to various African-American churches in Flint. Pastor Cook personally delivered the water to Michigan and participated in several meetings with leaders there and continues to offer support.

As a socially conscious pastor, in March of 2016, Pastor Cook ran to be elected as the United States Congressman for the Third Congressional District of Georgia, and out of 12,000 votes, lost by 51 votes in the Primary. Pastor Cook’s passion for people and the opportunities afforded through the democratic process continues to serve the community through political awareness initiatives. During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Pastor Cook organized the 1000 Souls 2 The Polls movement, which was designed to rally 1000 African Americans to register to vote and participate in early voting.

A Newnan native, Pastor Cook is the son of Terry (Tearrie) Cook and Adriane (Jeffery) Patrick. He was reared by his loving great-grandparents, the Late Deacon Alton Kirby, Sr. and Mother Margaret Kirby, former Sunday School Superintendent. He is a proud 2009 graduate of Morehouse College, where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.  Upon graduation, he worked in Corporate America for Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in Minneapolis, MN. After one year, he finally yielded to the call of God he had heard since the tender age of 8 and walked away from a banking career to begin serving God’s people.  Additionally, Pastor Cook also earned a degree from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in August of 2014.  Currently, he is pursuing his Master of Divinity at Emory University’s prestigious Candler School of Theology.

As a result of his loving passion for God’s people, he holds active membership with the following local and national organizations, Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc., Newnan Rotary Club, The Emerging 100 Black Men of Atlanta, NAACP (President Emeritus of Coweta Branch 5189), Coweta County School Board Community Advisement Board, United Way Community Advisory Board, Newnan Development Authority Board, The National Baptist Convention USA, The National Baptist Convention of American and The Morehouse National Alumni Association, Piedmont Newnan Advisory Board and much more.

The pride and joy of his existence are captured in the presence of his precious children. Pastor Cook is a gifted musician and has been playing the organ since the age of 4 without the aid of formal training. In his spare time, he enjoys fulfilling his passion for funeral service by continuing the family business at Cook Brothers Funeral Directors and Cremations located in Fairburn, Georgia.

First Family from left to right.
Theodore T. Cook | First Lady Brittany I. Cook | Ivery T. Cook | Rev. Tamarkus T. Cook, I | Tamarkus T. Cook, II