Well- Known Georgia Pastor Was Laid To Rest Today In Athens, Georgia
Rev. Roger E. Cooper
The Rev. Roger E. Cooper passed on June 27, 2021. Visitation will be held at the Jefferson Civic Center, 65 Kissam St, Jefferson, Ga, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Final rites with limited capacity will be held on Friday July 2, 2021, at 1:00PM, at Galilee Christian Church, 2191 Galilee Church Rd, Jefferson, Ga.
Federal CDC guidelines for social distancing will be followed and face covering requested.
The Cooper family is being serviced by Batts & Bridges Funeral Home, 3035 Atlanta Hwy, Athens, Ga 30606.
Teacher Preacher Leader The Rev. Roger Eugene (R.E.) Cooper answered the ultimate call of his Heavenly Father early on the Sunday morning of June 27, 2021. Rev. Cooper was born on September 22, 1937, in Dublin (Laurens County), Georgia to the late Herman and Mary Bell Cooper. His father was a cotton farmer and his father’s brother, Roosevelt, was a vegetable farmer, who supplied large lots of assorted vegetables for many years to the farmer’s market in Macon, Georgia. His father and uncle’s farming business inspired Roger’s interest in agriculture. After high school, Rev. Cooper attended Fort Valley State College (now University), Fort Valley, Georgia, where he earned a degree in Agricultural Science and Math. Rev. Cooper pursued his dream of teaching and preaching and working with youth throughout his life; and he was an illustrious and well-loved educator, pastor, and servant leader throughout the Northeast Georgia region. He received almost 100 certificates, plaques, and resolutions of recognition for Christian service and appreciation from the community and church organizations. He began his teaching career at E.E. Bryan High School in Jefferson, Ga. While there, he met Lucille Hughey, whose family home was located only a few hundred yards away the school. Lucille kept Roger’s attention with her homemade lemon meringue pies that she would send to Roger’s classroom by one of her brothers; and soon Roger and Lucille married on December 24, 1961. Rev. Cooper continued teaching math and science; first at Alto Industrial Institute for Boys, then going to Commerce High School, where he retired after 30 years of service. Thousands of people in the surrounding Jackson County area will state proudly that they have a son, daughter, grandchild, or they themselves were taught by “Mr. Cooper”. After retiring from teaching, Rev. Cooper worked for the City of Jefferson as an Environmental Inspector and retired from there with 10 years of service. While teaching school, Rev. Cooper built a legacy of service and care in his Jackson County community in many ways. He married couples and baptized hundreds of people. He represented his district as councilman for the City of Jefferson for several years. Along with his wife, Lucille, Rev. Cooper had tremendous impact on Jefferson’s Black community during the years of integration. He and Lucille founded the Annual Jackson County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee in 1988, sponsoring programs annually to promote and raise awareness on equality and civil rights. Rev. Cooper was a man with many talents. He was an avid gardener. He prepared taxes. He was a classic car show enthusiast, winning several trophies. He was a high school basketball referee for more than a decade, and he loved his dogs. Above all of these things, he loved the Lord. At the tender age of 19, while in college, Rev. Cooper was ordained into ministry at Mt. Tillah Baptist Church in Irwington, Ga. and he faithfully served 64 years in ministry and pastoring, preaching up until he became ill last year. Rev. Cooper became known as a preacher that could pack the house, especially during revivals, and lead people to Christ, notably the youth. His first call to pastor was at Union Baptist Church in Buford, Ga. After the passing of the Rev J. W. Evans, founder of Antioch Baptist Church in Gainesville, Ga., Rev. Cooper was called as its second pastor. He founded New Life Baptist Church in Gainesville and later pastored at Timber Ridge Baptist Church, also in Gainesville; Cross Roads Baptist Church in Toccoa, Ga.; Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Commerce, Ga.; and the Shady Grove Baptist Church in Watkinsville, Ga. His last pastoral leadership was at Fork Bethel Baptist Church in Lexington, Ga. where he served for more than 15 years. Throughout his pastoral tenure, Rev. Cooper was a respected and influential leader in the Greater Northwestern Baptist Association, Inc, holding various officer roles. Rev. Cooper studied and achieved designation as a 33 ◦ Mason, the highest esteem for meritorious service and was Past Master in the Prince Hall Lincoln Lodge No. 62. He was a member of the Athens Jimmy Carithers Consistory No. 292 and the James G. Ray No. 34 Holy Royal Arch. God blessed the Coopers with 55 years together until Lucille’s passing in March 2017. Also preceding Rev. Cooper in death are his parents, Herman and Mary; his sister, Evelyn Cooper Pittman, and her husband, Warren; his uncles and their wives, Henderson (Emma) Cooper, Daniel (Mildred) Cooper, Roosevelt (Leila) Cooper, Joe Brown Cooper(Hannah) and Charles Bell; his aunts and their husbands, Bessie Cooper Stuckey (Charles) and Mary Cooper Watkins(Jimmy); his brothers-in-law, Vasco Hughey, Jr. and Master Sergeant U.S. Air Force Reserves (Ret.), John L. Hughey, and his father and mother in-law, The Rev. V.S. (Vasco) Hughey, Sr. and Lucy Bell Martin Hughey. Rev. Cooper’s legacy of life will be cherished by his daughter, Juanita L. Cooper of Charlotte, North Carolina; brothers-in law Willie (Annie) Hughey and The Rev. J. T. Hughey (Glenda) both of Jefferson, Ga, Ralph Hughey, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Jacksonville, Florida, and Bobby Hughey (Vivian), U.S. Army veteran, Stone Mountain, Ga; sister-in-law Brenda Evans Hughey, Gainesville, Ga; niece Sharon Pittman Honey, San Francisco Bay area, California; a special nephew, Troy Hughey of Jefferson, and a host of cousins, friends and church families.