FOLLANSBEE - Following the lead of the teens in their joint youth group, the Follansbee and Hooverson Heights churches of Christ are working together as one.
After months of prayer and planning by the leaders of both churches, Dan Cooper, pastor of Hooverson Heights Church of Christ, has been called to serve as senior minister of Follansbee Church of Christ, at the corner of Penn and Neville streets while continuing to serve in the same capacity at Hooverson Heights Church of Christ at 100 Church Ave.
He began serving in the dual role on Easter Sunday. While there were Easter Sunday services at both churches, the two churches also held a series of shared events during Easter week.
Cooper said the two congregations will continue to hold services at both locations, with him preaching and providing ministerial leadership for both.
"I couldn't have dreamt this," said Cooper, who grew up as a member of the Follansbee Church of Christ but returned to the area as the minister of the Hooverson Heights church after being away from the area for 28 years.
Cooper was called to the ministry while living in St. Albans, W.Va., and serving at Gateway Christian Church, which became the largest Independent Christian Church-Church of Christ in the state while he was on staff there.
"I now must assemble a ministry staff of full-time, part-time and volunteer ministers and directors to help lead this church in a way that is pleasing to God. There is a big difference between a church of 100 or less and one of more than 200. There is so much more that can be done, and with that comes greater challenges as well," Cooper said.
Cooper said while retaining their autonomy, the two churches will work together under the banner of ReFocusChurch.com, a mission created to share the ministry of the upper Ohio Valley.