We have updated our Privacy Policy to provide you a better online experience.

Cooper Urges, "Search For One More!"

Oklahoma City Pastor Herbert Cooper told a combined youth and adult congregation in the Thursday night General Council service to search and keep on searching for “one more” lost person.

Oklahoma City Pastor Herbert Cooper told a combined youth and adult congregation in the Thursday night General Council service to search and keep on searching for “one more” lost person. Every follower of Christ is commissioned to be a searcher.

Focusing on Jesus’ parables of “The Lost Sheep” and “The Lost Coin,” he said we cannot let anything keep us from searching. We cannot let anything keep the lost from coming.

“The heart of God has always been and will always be to reach one more until Jesus comes back!” Cooper stated. “Jesus said I came to seek and to save that which is lost.”

Cooper and his wife Tiffany planted People’s Church in 2002 with eight people. Today the church flourishes as a multi-ethnic congregation of more than 2,000, and he says he is committed to leading a church where people belong before they believe.

The young and the older laughed, wept, prayed and praised as Cooper told of having to shed the Pharisee inside — “the spirit of I can’t believe what I’m seeing!” He realized “I’m not Holy Spirit Jr.! I couldn’t change peoples’ lives.”

Most people go on a journey. Not everyone gets gloriously saved the first time they come, he explained. “We decided to love these people. We decided to take people on a journey.”

Calling every individual to pray, he declared, “My prayer for you is for God to light a fire in your heart for one more!” It’s never been about protecting what we have. It’s about reaching one more person for Jesus.

The rally opened with worship leader Jeff Deyo striding the circular stage from side to side, reveling in the energy of the different generations worshiping together.

“He wants to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers,” Deyo said. Conceding the combined service would be different for everyone, he said, “That’s okay, as long as we are truly seeking Jesus Christ and worshiping the King of Kings!”

Spontaneous praise continued as Deyo stepped aside for General Superintendent George O. Wood to receive the evening offering. Dr. Wood and the congregation joined the hundreds of teens up front in an impromptu worship chorus, “Glory, Glory to the Lamb.”

Declaring, “Truly the Spirit of the Lord is in this place,” he thanked the students. “You are mentors to us in leading us into the Lord’s presence.”

Sixteen-year-old Marissa Flannery of Auburn, Washington, represented the new generation with a powerful stream of prayer, exhortation and promise before the offering.

Wood responded that this church is in for a great future with prayer warriors like that.

Then he called on the worshipers to make an investment in the future of our Fellowship with the offering for AGTrust scholarships. One of the core values of our Movement is to strategically invest in new generations of Pentecostals.

Statistics say most teens will drop out of church as adults. “It’s not going to happen in the Assemblies of God!” Wood said.

The AGTrust helps fund two categories of scholarships, the General Superintendent’s Scholarship, a $30,000 four-year award; and the Ralph Riggs Scholarship, a one-year $5,000 grant.

Thursday’s offering marked the launch of a new category, the “Make a Difference” Scholarship. These will be $1,000 awards, which school presidents say may be the decision tipping point for students wanting, but needing help, to come to an AG school.

Wood said our church’s most valuable possession is not buildings but our young people. “Let’s invest in them.” He asked for cash gifts and pledges to be paid within a specific period as indicated on the “Our Choice—Their Future” offering envelopes.

In his message, Cooper outlined characteristics of searchers and things which distract us from finding. Searchers care, searchers find and searchers celebrate.

When it comes to searching and reaching people who are far from God, we have either condemnation or compassion. The Pharisees condemned, but sinners were not afraid of Jesus. He cared, he related, and he hung out with the thugs because He wanted to reach them.

Cooper recounted a game of Hide-N-Seek in which his four-year-old hid too well. Unable to find the boy, he began to panic. “I didn’t say I’ve got two boys and the one on the way is a boy. I’ll still have three.”

The lost one was his focus. He was not even thinking about the other two. “The same care and compassion, the same motivation that drove me to find my lost son is the compassion and care God wants you and me to have for those who are far from him.” Not a drug addict, alcoholic, or whatever, “That’s somebody’s son or daughter, somebody’s brother or sister, or somebody’s loved one…”

Cooper warned of the distraction of “inwardness.” We naturally focus on ourselves. It takes work to stay focused outward. “We knew the Lord called us to be searchers.” He and his wife had prayed People’s Church would be a “safe place for people to hear a dangerous message.”

Still, when people far from God began to come, it pulled them out of their comfort zone. They had to determine not to put up barriers, but to build bridges. “We’re not going to put up security lights. We are going to put out search lights!” he said.

The church is not here for us. “We are the Church, and we’re here for the world!”

The Shepherd found the lost sheep and the woman of the house found her lost coin. Searchers find and they celebrate. The shepherd took the lost lamb in his arms, carried him home, and called in the neighbors to celebrate. The woman called her neighbors to rejoice with her over her recovered coin. Cooper said the Bible makes a great deal about one.

People coming to Christ never loses its awe, Cooper said. “When one person comes to Christ, heaven erupts!”

Mel Surface

The late Mel Surface (1946-2018) was a writer, pastor, and former staff member at the national and North Texas District Assemblies of God offices. A journalism graduate of the University of Houston, he served as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor. The author of two books, his writings regularly appeared in a variety of print and internet publications.