Jeffery B. Cooper is a native of Savannah, GA, and a lifelong member of St. Phillip Monumental AME church, the Mother Church of African Methodism in the State of Georgia.
Rev. Cooper attended the public schools of Savannah, Georgia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. He holds an M. Div. & M.A. degree in Practical Theology from Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a Doctor of Ministry from Graduate Theological Seminary. Rev. Cooper holds a certificate in theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and has done further study at the University of Georgia School of Law and Emory’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rev. Cooper received his first pastoral charge while a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. This assignment was to Siloam A.M.E. Church in Siloam, Georgia from 1978-79. He then served the St. Luke/Nimno A.M.E. Church Circuit in Athens, Georgia, in the Augusta Conference from 1979-80. In December of 1980, Rev. Cooper was assigned to Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church in Athens, Georgia. During his tenure the church membership grew, the mortgage was burned, renovations were made to the church structure and parsonage, stained glass windows installed, church steeple installed, and the Annual Conference was hosted. Rev. Cooper also served as Chief Secretary to the Augusta Georgia Annual Conference and, following the passing of Presiding Elder J. F. Booker, for a brief period served as acting Presiding Elder.
In June of 1988, Trinity A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, Georgia received Rev. Cooper as its 36th Pastor. During his 24-year tenure, the church property was renovated, a one-million-dollar state-of-the-art Daycare center was built, and a house was purchased and converted into an enrichment center for the church and community.
Rev. Cooper has served as a consultant to the United States Central Intelligence Agency Personnel Department, a member of the General Board of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1984-1988), and as the Assistant Director of Admissions / Director of Minority Admissions at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia (1984-1995). In that capacity, minority enrollment increased and he was instrumental in having UGA removed from Federal oversight of admissions policies. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia as well as the Board of Trustees for the Sixth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. Rev. Cooper served as secretary of the Augusta Georgia Annual Conference (1981-1988). Rev. Cooper has served as a member of the Board of Examiners of the Atlanta North Georgia Annual Conference as well as a member of the Atlanta North Georgia Conference Board of Trustees. Rev. Cooper has served as Chair of the Credentials committee for the General Conference of the A.M.E. Church (2004 & 2008). Rev. Cooper has also served as the accountant for the Sixth Episcopal District. He is also the author of the book, A Financial Management Primer for the AME Church, which is used in the training of ministers by the A.M.E. Board of Examiners.
Rev. Cooper has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions during his ministry. Over his forty-plus years of ministry, Rev. Cooper has received many sons and daughters into ministry and continues to mentor and advise a host of others.
In the year 2012, Rev. Cooper was elected as the General Secretary/Chief Information Officer of the AME Church and serves to the present. He has served as President of the General Officers Council and is now the Senior General Officer of the AME Church..
Rev. Cooper is married to the Rev. Joanne E. Williams-Cooper, M.D. and they are the proud parents of four children: Ako, Ethan, Charity, and Jeffery, II. They have also been blessed with seven adorable grandchildren: Alex, J’adore, Imana, Jaylan, Legend, Mitchel, and Elijah.
Mrs. Marcia Fugh Joseph, Information Systems Project Manager (ISPM), is a 2001 graduate of Hampton University with a BS Degree in Management. After meeting requirements for graduation in December, 2000, Marcia enrolled in New Horizons Computer Learning Centers where she received specialized training in computer hardware and software usage. Then in 2006 Marcia received her Master of Public Administration degree (MPA), with an emphasis on Not for Profits from Tennessee State University. In her capacity as the Information Management Manager, she offers database support and maintenance, network installation support, manages the “help desk” for technical support, and is active in user training services. She also serves as the backup to the Webmaster.
Reverend Conitras M. Houston, Special Assistant, is a 2005 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. In 2008, Rev. Conitras earned her Masters of Divinity Degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as completed the Masters of Divinity thesis program focusing on homiletics. Bishop William P. DeVeaux, at the seat of the Atlanta-North Georgia Annual Conference, ordained her a Deacon in 2005 and an Elder in 2008. Currently, Rev. Conitras serves as the senior pastor of DuPage AME in Lisle, IL. In her capacity as Special Assistant, she offers an array of support to the entire office while aiding in both the administrative and technological needs of the General Secretary.