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Scottsbluff minister receives state Recognition
October 23, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Courtesy Photo - Pastor Gary Cole, center, of First Baptist Church in Scottsbluff, receives the Pastor of the Year Award for the State of Nebraska at the American Baptist Churches of Nebraska annual convention held in Grand Island in September. Presenting Pastor Gary the award is Glenn Dappen, president of American Baptist Men of Nebraska. Accompanying Pastor Gary is his wife Cheri.

Gary Cole, who has served as pastor at the First Baptist Church in Scottsbluff for the past five years, has received a statewide recognition.

The American Baptist Men of Nebraska made the selection, which was announced at the denomination’s state convention last month.

“They looked at the candidates’ leadership, vision and the work they inspire their congregations to do,” said Chris Smith, chair of the deacon board at First Baptist.

Some of the church’s ministries that have been organized under Cole’s leadership include the Diaper Depot, which provides diapers for families in need with young children.

The Firefighter Ministry also got started during his tenure. The charitable outreach, organized in 2011, helps home and property fire victims. They arrange for temporary housing, replacement of clothing and furniture, supplemental food assistance and more.

“A lot of the ministries we already have in place have grown under Gary’s leadership,” Smith said. “He has the leadership and vision, but allows the people to use the gifts God gave them to serve others. He trusts the folks and trusts God to work through them.”
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