Former Professor and Director of the Missions Department, Dr. Norm Cook, was born and raised in northern Indiana. His journey as a believer began as a 16 year old high school senior, soon after he met his future wife, Muriel, and many of her missionary family and friends. Later while studying at Taylor University, he experienced an encounter with God that lead to a commitment to ministry and missionary work. He then married Muriel and started pastoring a church near the TU campus in June of 1950.
Called To Taiwan
In April 1952, they joined Overseas Crusades to do full time missions work in Taiwan. They remained there for 16 years as they preached in villages, set up city wide crusades, organized pastor/layman’s conferences, pioneered Sports Evangelism and taught Bible Classes. While on furlough in 1959-60, God led them to Multnomah Bible College (Multnomah University) where Norm took the one year grad program, coached the basketball team, and served on staff at Central Bible Church with Dr. John G. Mitchell.
Some years later Muriel and Norm were asked by the Overseas Crusades mission’s leadership team to become the Personal Director and Asia area Director, which they enjoyed for 13 years. At that time Dr. Joe Aldrich, President at Multnomah Bible College, asked them to come to Portland and head up the cross cultural program at Multnomah’s college. Norm describes his experience as, “It was like coming home for us. Teaching missions concepts to eager students, organizing annual missions thrusts for the college and church while sharing life with Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Aldrich, Ed Goodrich, etc. was challenging and very rewarding.” Norm worked at MBC for nearly 30 years until he retired in 2006.
What Is Dr. Cook Doing Now?
Since his retirement from Multnomah University, Norm Cook has been busy. Currently he is involved at Central Bible Church and until recently was also very involved in Mission Connexion Northwest, which is one of the largest mission’s gatherings in the Northwest. This interdenominational and inter mission event draws from many different churches. People come to listen to outstanding speakers, attend workshops and learn how to serve the Lord better by spreading the Gospel. Norm has been on the executive team for this event for the last 10 years and just recently decided to step off.
Norm has recently been examining the basic passages that have marked his life and to once again find refreshment from their simple and profound truths. These passages include John 3:16, Romans 5:8, John 1:12, Matt 16: 24 and Galatians 2:20. It is easy for a believer to become accustomed to these truths, but Norm seeks to challenge himself again when facing these passages by asking, “How can these principles apply to my life today?” Philippians 4:8 has been his meditation as of late. Norm does not merely want to be a follower, but a knowledgeable human being about the world around him. Because of this conviction he has spent a large amount of time reading widely and learning about history, geography, science, missions and of course, world religions.
When asked what he would say to alumni of Multnomah, he promptly responded by beseeching alumni to keep themselves informed about the world and how Scripture fits within their daily lives. While Multnomah is foundational education for life, don’t let your learning stop there. Scripture is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Back then they had no planes, computers, or light bulbs and yet they still understood the principles of Scripture. Norm says, “I’m amazed at how relevant Scripture is. It is like reading tomorrow’s newspaper”.
About The Author
Norm Cook is now semi retired while Muriel Cook continues to work at the Multnomah as Counselor-at Large. Norm continues to enjoy supporting his wife in her ministry of counseling, encouraging and speaking all over the states. Norm is also still involved at Central Bible Church, he coaches and mentors individuals on a consistent basis and remains involved in various missions’ related activities around Portland. He also enjoys meeting missions executives to discuss current trends in world missions.
Tags: Central Bible Church, counseling, cross cultural program, Ed Goodrich, Intercultural Studies, John G. Mitchell, Mission Connection Northwest, Missions, Multnomah, Muriel cook, Norm Cook, Overseas Crusades, Scripture, Sports Evangelism, taiwan, Taylor University