Reverend Julian Armand Cook

A native of Chicago’s South Side, the Reverend Julian Armand Cook is an ordained Baptist clergyman, sought-after speaker, writer, educator and public thinker.Cook is a graduate of Houghton College (’13). There he majored in Music and Biblical Studies and minored in African American Studies. In April of 2013, Cook was named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.” Cook is a classically trained baritone vocalist whose gifts have afforded him a number of opportunities, including performing for notable figures like Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and Congressman John Lewis. In May 2009, Cook was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts by President Barack Obama—the nation’s highest honor that can be awarded pre-collegiate artists. As a result, he debuted in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. From 2014-2018, Cook served as the Senior Pastor of the historic St. Mark Congregational Church, United Church of Christ of Boston, MA. Founded in 1895, St. Mark is the city’s oldest black Congregational Church. In May 2016, Cook graduated with a Master of Divinity degree (magna cum laude) from Boston University (BU) School of Theology, where he was awarded a full scholarship as a Dean’s Fellow and Mary McLeod Bethune Scholar. At the time of his graduation, he was inducted into BU School of Theology’s Student Leadership Society, an honors guild formed to recognize theology students who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and commitment to BU’s legacy of prophetic social engagement. Additionally, Cook was the recipient of BU’s Charles Kenosian Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Ralph K. and June E. Shunk Prize. For two years, Cook served as Research Assistant and Teaching Fellow to Dr. Walter Earl Fluker. In this capacity, Cook aided in the completion of three major works: Volumes 4 and 5 of the Papers of Howard Washington Thurman and The Ground is Shifting: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America. Cook’s academic article, “Good Religion Must Rise Up: A Response to Moni McIntyre’s Keynote Address, The Role of Race/Ethnicity, Sex/Gender and Class in Identity Formation,” was featured in the Spring 2017 edition of Tuskegee University’s Journal for Healthcare, Science and the Humanities (JHSH).

In 2017, Cook was appointed Assistant Director of Thurman Networks at BU’s Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground – a student center committed to promoting Thurman’s principles of the “search for common ground” and the “unity of all people.” Most recently, Cook was appointed the Director of the Houghton College Bethel program in Buffalo, NY – an Associate of Arts degree program providing underserved students a low-cost, high-quality college education that promotes the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of a cadre of emerging leaders who are academically excellent and spiritually rooted, locally connected and globally minded, socially aware and courageously creative. He is also a Ph.D. student in Religion and Social Ethics at Drew University. Cook is unfathomably privileged to be the husband of Mrs. Sirgourney Cook, a gifted opera singer and teacher. They reside in Buffalo, NY.

Avada Church is a movement of churches working together to change the nation through a network of church leaders, national gatherings, training events and resources. Giving God all the glory he deserves.