Pastor Ron and Susanne Cox will speak at the church on Friday, March 5, at 7 p.m. Pastor Ron Cox recently retired after serving as senior pastor at Kingwood Church in Alabaster for 35 years.
Cox said he and his wife now travel across the country telling their story, in the hope that it can inspire others and provide them strength. He said the story is told in two parts: his time before meeting Susanne and her time before meeting them.
The couple’s story then comes together when the two meet. It was a journey made into the book “Call It Incredible: The Ron and Susanne Cox Story.”
“It’s a story of reconciliation to my own family that was scattered and broken,” he said. “Then, here at the church, at 28 years of age with a little daughter and a baby, my wife got a neurological disease. So, for 24 and a half years, I raised two little daughters and then cared for an invalid wife and a growing church.”
He cared for his wife until the day she died, all the while taking care of his growing children and a growing congregation.
He said nearly two years went by after his wife’s passing when he met Susanne. He described their love story as a “chick flick,” with a lot of laughter and tears.
In Susanne’s story before Ron, she dealt with trials of her own. Ron said she struggled with drug addiction as a young woman before turning her life around.
Susanne’s new mission took her to India, where she helped troubled and poverty stricken girls.
“As she says, she was radically changed,” Ron said. “She went off to India as a single woman, where she served in a ‘Home of Hope,’ where they rescued little girls out of slave prostitution and place them inside of a Home of Hope.”
Ron described it as a living story of Christians that are not exempt from pain but who can wipe away the tears and have “a new beginning.”
“We cover the threshold, as much as one couple can, on many levels of life and pain,” he said. “I guess what the story is about is weeping, as the Bible says, can last for a while. But joy does come in the morning. You can make it through.”
Regina Clark, a member of the Valley View congregation, said Susanne had previously spoken to a women’s group at the church. Clark said the church was excited to have her back and to hear Pastor Cox for the first time in person.
“Their interest and their love and compassion in their mission, they love helping people, they are good motivators, those were the reasons we wanted to bring them to Valley View,” she said. “[Susanne] was so real, the testimony she had about her life and the struggles she went through just touched so many people.”
Clark also said the Cox’s message was important now because of all the struggles people are going through.
“So many things that people are involved with, they think there is no hope,” she said. “I just think it’s meant for them to be in Sylacauga at Valley View. And it is open to all churches; we want everyone to come hear.”
Information on Kingwood Church’s Web site described the growth the church has experienced during Pastor Cox’s 35 years. The church has a congregation of 1,200 to 1,500 people, has expanded facilities and established Kingwood Christian School and Child Development Center.
“The church has gained a reputation as a leading missions church in its fellowship, the Assemblies of God, giving generously to support missionaries around the world, sending hundreds of its people on short-term mission projects and facilitating the call of dozens more into career missions assignments,” it stated.
The Coxs and their “Legacy of Purpose Ministry” now travel across the country to speak and internationally to Costa Rica and India for mission work.
Ron said part of that “Purpose” has been and will continue to be a mission of bridging the generations. It was a mission he first started at Kingwood.
“It’s a very progressive church, a lot of young people,” he said. “I have always fought for the younger generation, so it’s very youthful in nature, very alive and cutting edge.”