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Cole's Impact on Colorado
By Dr. Mark Edlund
Greg Cole’s impact on Colorado can be recorded in chapters of ministry. I first met Greg when I came to Colorado as Executive Director in April of 2001. I made it my goal to tour each of the 11 associations of Colorado to meet the pastors and learn about the churches. I was guided by the Associational Directors of Missions (ADOMs) for each of these groups of churches. At the time Greg was an ADOM and he was the one to introduce me to the churches and pastors of the Pikes Peak Baptist Association, but I’m getting ahead of myself in relating Greg’s impact on Colorado.
Greg’s first chapter of ministry in Colorado dates back to 1986. Greg is a civil engineer. However, God had other intentions for him and called him into full time ministry. He left a successful engineering practice and entered seminary. After graduating from seminary he ministered in two churches in Texas before being called to Vista Grande Baptist Church in Colorado Springs in 1986.
Church planting was his next chapter of ministry in Colorado as he left Vista Grande to plant Cross Roads Chapel in 1991. Beginning with home groups, they launched public worship the next year and by the time he moved to his next chapter eight years later the church was running 125 in attendance. The church is now pastored by D.L. Mitchell.
After spending two years at Pikes Peak Park Baptist Church, the churches of Colorado Springs recognized his missionary spirit and called Greg as their Associational Director of Missions. Now we are back to where Greg and I crossed paths. As we toured the association in 2001, it was already evident that Greg had a missionary heart and strategic eye for strengthening churches so they could reproduce and address the great lostness in the “capital of para-church organizations.” Although Colorado Springs is home to such large evangelical institutions as Focus on the Family, Compassion, and Navigators it remains one of the most unreached cities in Colorado. It is home to the gambling community of Cripple Creek and stretches to Manitou Springs that hosts every conceivable pagan religion known to modern man. It is also a major platform for the U.S. military housing NORAD, the Air Force Academy, and several very large bases and forts. Colorado Springs is an extensive mission field.
Completing his Doctor’s degree, Greg entered academia by moving for three years to Mill Valley as an Associate Professor of Leadership Formation and Director of Theological Field Education at Golden Gate Theological Seminary. It was during this time that Greg developed his passion for coaching and mentoring pastors and church planters.
In 2009 he was once again called back to missionary work in Colorado. The Royal Gorge Baptist Association (RGBA), centered in Pueblo, recognized his passion for our state, his passion for starting churches and especially his passion for coaching and facilitating pastors. They called him as their Associational Director of Missions. One of the leading pastors in the Royal Gorge Association is Scott Bailey, pastor of Majestic Baptist Church in Pueblo West. Scott testifies:
Greg Cole strengthened the RGBA body by sharing his excellent administrative and computer skills and his breadth of ministry experience as an Associate Pastor, Church Planter and Pastor, Association Director of Missions, and Seminary professor. He encouraged the pastors with many visits to find out about their church and personal life. He served as an interim pastor on occasion and I know the churches were blessed by his faithful exposition of and creativity in presenting the Word. One of his most valuable serves was coaching a number of pastors regularly. He is a wise coach as he knows the questions to ask and how to answer, if requested. His wife, Cheryl, loved on the Pastor’s wives through planning retreats and women’s events and was right by his side through his service with the RGBA. We were blessed and encouraged big-time through their faithful ministry!
As mentioned in Scott’s comment, one of Greg’s greatest assets is his wife Cheryl. Throughout his ministry she has touched multiple lives, especially Pastor’s wives. One more asset that Greg and Cheryl have brought to Colorado is their son Sean and his wife Dawn. They pastor in Sterling and Sean has served our state extensively as a Board member and President of Colorado Baptists.
Colorado has truly been impacted by Greg and Cheryl Cole. He has served as associate pastor, church planter, pastor, and missionary. Thank you Greg and Cheryl for your service to Colorado Baptists and to His Kingdom.