Small Broken Arrow Church is Making a Big Impact Around Town and the World
By BOB LEWIS
HELPING OTHERS: The Hope Church pastoral team works diligently to help spread the Word of God. From left are Teaching Pastor Joel Leitch, Senior Pastor Joe Cook and Senior Pastor Danielle Cook.
Broken Arrow’s Hope Church may rank among the community’s smallest houses of worship, but it is making its presence felt in a big way around the community — and around the globe.
Senior Pastor Joe Cook is one of the community’s most active volunteers, devoting considerable time and energy assisting Broken Arrow Public Schools and the chamber of commerce. Despite these highly visible undertakings, he says he often feels his greatest contributions come from working behind the scenes with a variety of organizations.
Those close to Cook and his wife and fellow Senior Pastor, Danielle, say they make a dynamic team. “Much of what I am and what this church has become is a direct reflection of her influence,” he said.
Since adopting Sequoyah Middle School as a Partner In Education, the Hope Church congregation has become involved in a myriad of educational activities ranging from helping teachers secure supplies they need to an outreach that focuses on serving hungry kids.
Church Member Ina Dilldine jokes that she has spent more time behind bars than many of the inmates in the state’s penal system. That’s literally true because she has led a prison ministry for many years. In this role, she makes monthly visits to death row and has been a chaplain to local youth in need of spiritual guidance during some of the most high-profile cases in Tulsa County.
As a service to elderly men and women who can no longer maintain their own residences, Hope Church members provide spiritual assistance to a number of the community’s nursing homes and assisted living centers. Then, there are those who devote themselves to supporting local school athletics and a member who serves as an officer of the Build A Better Broken Arrow Committee.
On a global front, Teaching Pastor Joel Leitch and his Ministries operation is helping spread the Word of God in some of the world’s most remote and dangerous countries. By using his professional credentials he is able to enter mostly closed nations and then work with long-term medical missionaries and the underground church to provide support and training.
A former naval aviator turned counselor, Leitch teaches behavioral medicine with the “In His Image” family practice residency program housed at Saint John’s Family Medical Care center. His focus on mental health is complimented by more than 30 years as a licensed medical health professional.
Augmenting these activities, the church supports ministries in Africa, the Czech Republic, on college campuses across the nation and orphan homes through their giving and sending of members on short-term missionary outings.
In many ways, Pastor Cook says Hope Church is like “the little engine that could.”
“Don’t be fooled by our physical size,” he said. “This church family has a big heart and a strong desire to give back to the community. To look at all they do is a constant source of amazement.”
Hope Church is located at 1502 E. College St. in Broken Arrow.