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Photo by Roman Fryscian
W Angel of Mercy in the historical Jewish and
Christian traditions means “A Messenger from God.”
hen Jim Cooper knew that death was imminent,
he wrote a love letter to Betty ending with the
words: “If I had another life to live, I would begin sooner
living it for Christ, and hopefully, would live it better for
Jim and Betty Cooper were saved at the Calvary Baptist
Church in Lakeland, Florida, in 1953. They surrendered
their lives to the Lord for Christian service and went to
Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
After graduation, Jim and Betty returned to Lakeland,
Florida, and established Memorial Baptist Church,
which was sponsored by Calvary Baptist Church, their
Barton Browning, who was a BIMI missionary, spoke
at the church and it was at that time that Jim and Betty
surrendered to be missionaries. Their former pastor
told them about some islands south of the Bahamas that
had never had a resident missionary.
1. Clifford E. Clark, “Jim Cooper Pioneer Missionary Pilot Church
Planter,” Drama In The Real Lives Of Missionaries, vol. 1. (Milford, OH:
John the Baptist Printing Ministry, n.d.,), 40–46.
Jim surveyed the islands and decided that he and his
family should serve on the Island of Caicos. They were
sponsored by their home church, Calvary Baptist Church
in Lakeland, Florida. They arrived as missionaries to the
island in September 1961.
J im and Betty’s residence was a house that had no
running water or electricity. A plane came twice a
month with supplies. The only contact the Coopers had
with the outside world was a radio.
Jim and Betty began their ministry with backyard Bible
clubs on Friday afternoons and started a church in the
living room of their home. Jim gave the message of
salvation and people were saved. He taught them the
Bible, but he also taught them hygiene, work ethics,
relationships, and character. 2
In 1965, the Coopers’ pastor, J.B. Buffington, advised all
the missionaries who were serving under his church to
2. Clifford E. Clark, 36.