LAWRENCEVILLE — On Nov. 8 North Metro Baptist Church celebrated the 35th anniversary of Frank Cox as pastor.
Cox is the quintessential Georgia Baptist pastor. He is known not only for his dynamic preaching ability and pastoral care, but his leadership, not only in the church, but also in the state and national conventions of Southern Baptists.
The typically well-dressed pastor, often characterized as having cufflinks on his pajamas, is a graduate of Mercer University in Atlanta, earned his Master of Divinity from New Orleans Seminary, and received his Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta. The North Metro pastor has been pastor of the Lawrenceville church since 1980.
Cox’s leadership is well documented, because he has served as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and as 1st Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is in great demand as a speaker and has preached in many conferences and revivals including the SBC Pastors Conference and Liberty University. In addition to being an excellent communicator Cox is a published author of Trusting God’s Heart, the story of the sickness and death of his first wife, Debbie, and what God taught him through grief and how God restored his joy.
Cheryl Mahr served on the North Metro staff and has served with Mary Cox, the pastor’s wife in the Women’s Ministry. Cheryl commented, “Dr. Cox has been our pastor since we moved to the Atlanta area 14 years ago. We have grown in our walk with Christ through not only his teaching, but through a friendship that has encouraged us in some very difficult times.
“Our pastor exudes a deep and strong relationship with Christ that comes through his compassion and gentleness toward those who are searching or hurting for something more.
“Dr. Cox’s ministry goes far beyond the doors of our church. He represents North Metro and Christ to our community in such a positive light. I started as a volunteer at North Metro and eventually was brought on staff for 12 years. In all those years I have never seen Dr. Cox be anything but a godly man with a big heart for others and a love for his church.”
Great teacher and pastor
Patrick Tyndall, current deacon chairman and Life Group teacher, observed, “Our church loves Dr. Cox not only because he is a fantastic teacher of God’s Word, but also because he is a great pastor. If you are around him for any length of time you will soon find out that he is passionate about making an impact for the Kingdom of God and that serving the Lord really matters to him – it’s not just words.
“I am amazed at how he manages to balance the pressures and responsibilities of pastoring a large church and yet has the desire and ability to see that the needs of each individual is being met.”
“I have known him for the entire 35 years he has been at the church; and I was called to full-time ministry under his leadership as pastor,” testified Alvin Hobgood.
“Over all those years he has been my pastor, my friend, my mentor in ministry and my boss while I was on staff as executive minister for over 21 years. When he came to our church as pastor I was an attending church member with my wife and two young sons. Through the years Frank saw spiritual potential in me and others like me. I grew spiritually under his watchcare and became more involved in leadership roles. Little did I know that God was using this man to be a major influence in changing the entire direction of my life from the business world to fulltime ministry.”
Hobgood continued, “I could speak volumes on how God has used him to help grow a tremendous church at North Metro, but for me it is something more personal because Frank took the time to make an investment in me and my family. As I reflect back on what has taken place over these 35 years, it is amazing to see how God has worked in the lives of so many who have called Frank Cox their pastor.”
Stephen Cox, the son of the North Metro pastor and the church’s director of communications, commented, “Not only have I grown up under my dad’s ministry, but I have also had the privilege of working with him. The unique aspect that I have always noticed is not only his love for the church, but also the church’s love for him.
… it is amazing to see how God has worked in the lives of so many who have called Frank Cox their pastor.
“While many pastors at churches of North Metro’s size begin to take a step back from ministering directly to the membership, he continues to embrace that role and the church loves him for it. Not only has he been a great preacher for 35 years, but he has also been a great pastor to his people and our community.”
Currently, North Metro has 5,090 members and has baptized 4,365 new converts during the course of Cox’s ministry. Additionally, the church has seen 211 young people and adults called into fulltime ministry. Since 1980 the church has given $7,040,452 to the Cooperative Program.
Pastors who have had long tenures have obviously learned to reconcile, to love, to show patient kindness, to forgive at the highest level, and like the Apostle Paul “to press toward the mark for prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Frank Cox has done that well.