Dr. James H. Cokley, DMin
The Reverend James H. Cokley, native of Andrews, South Carolina, graduated Valedictorian of his high school, and received scholarships from the James F. Byrnes Foundation, Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc., and the Vocational Rehabilitation.
While a student in high school, he accepted Christ and was baptized at the Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Andrews, South Carolina and became the first black Eagle Scout of Georgetown County and the first black member of the Order of the Arrow, a program for honor scouts.
After high school, Dr. Cokley was a student matriculating at the University of South Carolina majoring in Biology-Pre-Medicine when he accepted the call to the ministry and became a Preacher in Learning at the Zion Baptist Church in Columbia. While a student at the University of South Carolina as a Stay-in-School employee gaining expertise in rural housing, rural rental housing and business and industry with the Farmer's Home Administration.
In August 1982, he received the Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from the University of South Carolina just two months after receiving the call to serve as Pastor of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church of Saluda. He served the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church faithfully for three and a half years while teaching Earth and Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry in the middle and high schools of Lexington County School District II.
In December 1985, he accepted the call to the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Laurens where he pastored for the twelve years and three months leading the church in Christian Education, discipleship and community development. While at Mount Zion, Reverend Cokley attended Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West and received the Master of Divinity Degree in Theology and a Doctor of Ministry in Parish Revitalization from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.
On April 1, 1998, Pastor Cokley took the reins of the Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church where he has led them to do transforming work for the Lord where the church has grown spiritually, physically, fiscally, numerically, and emotionally. Having completed Phase I ($1.8 million Educational and Fellowship Complex) of a five phase project, the church's net worth has risen from just short of one half million to over four million dollars.
In addition to his work as a Pastor, Dr. Cokley currently serves as Fourth Vice-President (Vice-President for the Southeastern Region covering the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia) of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., life member of the NAACP, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Board of Counselors, Erskine Theological Seminary, and Board of Trustees, Morris College.
He formerly served as President of the South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education and as Assistant Dean of the of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc..
He has received numerous awards including the Key to the City of Conway, SC, Who's Who Among Christian Leaders in America, and Outstanding Young Preachers Award, American Academy of Ministry.
The Reverend James H. Cokley is married to the former Cindy Graham of Conway and they are the proud parents of three children, two daughters, Jami Davina, Bakir Allyne and one son, D'Oscar Haynes; and one foster daughter Adrienne LaTres Sullivan.