As the Azusa Street meetings began to produce concentric waves of revival throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, many holiness ministers visited the mission at 312 Azusa Street to contend with William Seymour, the African American leader of the burgeoning Pentecostal group, concerning his strange new doctrine of speaking in tongues. One of the early preachers to withstand Bro. Seymour was Glenn A. Cook, who was conducting holiness tent meetings at Seventh and Spring Streets in Los Angeles. Cook was deeply impressed by Seymour’s humility and patience and began to attend the Pentecostal meetings. He eventually apologized to Bro. Seymour for his “hard sayings” and spent five weeks in heartfelt repentance and spiritual agony before receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost:
I felt that I was really lost and unless I received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues I would miss all. When I had just about given up all hope, the Holy Ghost fell on me as I lay in bed at home. I seemed to be in a trance for about twenty-four hours and the next day in the meeting began to speak in tongues.
Bro. Cook proved to be an important asset to the work of the Azusa Mission and was soon ordained an elder by Bro. Seymour. A former news reporter and a printer by trade, Cook assisted with the publication of The Apostolic Faith, the mission’s international publication, answered correspondence, and handled the mission’s finances.
In December 1906, Bro. Cook began an effective evangelistic campaign throughout the West, Midwest and South, spreading the Pentecostal message. He arrived in Lamont, Oklahoma where “quite a number were tarrying and waiting for Pentecost.” Hungry souls traveled to his meetings from over 100 miles away. Heading eastward, he delivered the doctrine to Mother Mary Moise in St. Louis then on to Chicago. In Indianapolis, he held powerful meetings, where several members of the Christian Missionary Alliance received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, including the Flower family, defectors from Dowie’s Zion who later became influential leaders in the Assemblies of God. In an Apostolic Faith report, Cook accurately predicted that Indianapolis would become “a center of power, being an inter-urban railway center like Los Angeles.” Cook was gladly received by a number of Church of God in Christ adherents in the South, while their bishop, Charles H. Mason, was on site at Azusa receiving the Holy Ghost.
In 1914, Cook was evangelizing in the east when he received a letter from Frank Ewart, who was conducting meetings in Los Angeles “stating that he and a number of my friends had started a tent meeting and were baptizing people in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ewart invited Cook to return to Los Angeles to assist in the work. He accepted Ewart’s scriptural message, and he and Bro. Ewart rebaptized one another in a rented trough. “During the following months,” wrote Bro. Cook, “the great revival broke out, many hundreds being baptized in the Name of Jesus.”
Bro. Cook’s acceptance of the doctrine of the mighty God in Christ placed him in the ranks of the Oneness Pentecostals, who were transforming the movement with a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ. As a church planter, Cook took up the burden to revisit the works he had helped to found in 1906 and 1907 with the Oneness message:
During the spring of 1915, the call came to me from the Lord to go back East and carry the message to the places where several years before I had carried the message of the Holy Ghost baptism with speaking in tongues. My first stop was St. Louis, where I visited the Rescue Home of Mother Moise . . . Before leaving St. Louis, Mother Moise, Ben Pemberton, and about forty others were baptized in the Name of Jesus in the Mississippi River.
Afterward, he traveled on to Indianapolis where:
. . . the saints were prepared and hungry for the new message. Great crowds turned out from the beginning, people coming in from different points in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. During the thirty days of the meeting, I was informed by those who kept a record that some 469 were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Among those baptized were G.T. Haywood, L.V. Roberts, the new Bishop [Samuel N.] Hancock, Brother [T.C.] Davis, and about all the leaders of that day. The Lord made a clean sweep, leaving few Pentecostal people in te city who were not baptized in the Name of Jesus.
Throughout his lifetime, Cook continued to promote the powerful message of baptism in the Name of Jesus and the fullness of the Godhead in Christ. He contributed articles to a number of Apostolic circulars including The Blessed Truth, The Herald of Truth, and Meat in Due Season. He continued a deep friendship with Bro. Frank Ewart, who introduced him to the Oneness truths, and worked alongside him in Pentecostal ministry in Los Angeles, where he pastored a work in Belvedere. When he died in 1948, Bro. Glenn A. Cook was memorialized as a trailblazer. The seeds of truth that he scattered throughout the United States as an apostle of the Faith continue to bring forth a mighty harvest.