Pastor Jared Bangs
Jared and Caitlyn, along with their 4 kids (Aleah, Sophi, Hudson, and Haven) have been living in the Cook area since the summer of 2011. Jared graduated from Bethel Seminary in June of 2011 with an M.Div. degree and then took his first pastorate later that summer when he was hired as the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Cook. He held this position for five years before transitioning to his current role as Lead Pastor. He has a passion for clear biblical preaching and he loves seeing people grow in their faith as they come to a deeper understanding of God's word. Jared also oversees the Youth Ministry and still enjoys hanging with young people as they learn to connect with Christ in meaningful ways.
Beyond ministering at First Baptist Church, Jared, Caitlyn, and their kids embrace the abundance of experiences this area offers. They spend their summers boating, fishing, and camping in the beautiful wilderness of northern MN before settling into the deer stand in the fall. In the winter Jared and Caitlyn coach youth hockey while also competing in several local adult hockey tournaments. When they aren't wearing skates, they might buckle on the snowboard or nordic skis and enjoy winter in whatever ways they can. Though they don't have family ties to the area, they've put down firm roots and truly love and embrace the place and the people to whom God has called them.
Pastor Brian Haynes
Associate Pastor of Care and Visitation
Brian and Brenda moved to Cook in January of 2019. Brian has been in ministry for 30+ years, serving in various roles, Youth Pastor, Senior Pastor, Family Life Pastor and now Pastor of Care and Visitation. Brian and Brenda have a passion for prayer and families. Brian has a true shepherd's heart for people, which makes his ministry here such a joy.
In his spare time Brian enjoys running (he has tackled the Blue Ox half-marathon twice), refereeing basketball games, golfing, and playing guitar. Together Brian and Brenda enjoy spending time with their kids and grandkids. They also love travel and are enjoying exploring the Iron Range and North Shore when they can. Often times, you will find them playing some sort of strategy game they learned from their kids.
When you call our church, the person who will most likely pick up the phone is our secretary Pam Ruuska. Not only is Pam our secretary, she also is on our Worship Team on Sunday mornings. Pam is married to Erick they have two sons, Joel and Seth (wife Jeannine) and 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.