He was born in Pasquotank County in 1934 to the late Ivie A. and Mae Boyce Cooper and was the loving husband for sixty-one years of Gloria Luton Cooper of the residence. He was a retired minister after fifty-three years and a retired manager of Big Star Foods. He was pastor, mentor, counselor and friend to many and his calm demeanor and deep faith was a rock to family and friends. He gave comfort to many not only by his presence and words, but by his music as well. He treasured his family and was a loving and loved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and brother.
At a very young age Roland was called to be a minister of the Gospel. On June 2, 1961 he became a local minister in the Pentecostal Holiness Church. He went on to become an ordained minister on May 21, 1965 in the Eastern Virginia conference. His first pastorate was at the South Mills Pentecostal Holiness Church. Two years later he was sent to the Riddle Pentecostal Holiness Church where he was the Shepherd for forty-eight years. He touched many lives along his pastoral journey. He loved his years at Riddle and made many wonderful friendships. He retired because he wanted Mrs. Gloria to be looked after because she was having a few medical issues. God was not through using Roland in his pastoral capacity. He asked God to direct him in the path He wanted him to go. Roland was directed to take on an interim position at Shiloh Baptist Church that lasted three wonderful years. He met some precious people there whom he loved very dearly. Roland retired once again but God’s plans for Roland were not completed yet. He was asked to take another interim position for Symonds Creek Tabernacle where he stayed until he became too ill to lead the congregation. Roland has touched so many lives during his lifetime we’re sure God is saying, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of heaven."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Lynn C. Perry (Martin) of Hertford; his son, James R. “Buddy” Cooper, Jr. (Judy) of Camden; three grandchildren, Kristin Stokes (Mike), Justin Perry (Cariss) and Blake Cooper (Tiffany); a great granddaughter, Hannah Stokes; a sister Annie Stafford of Elizabeth City; and a brother Osie Cooper of Hertford, NC. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Delia Hufton, Iola Jordan, and Clarine Jett; and three brothers, George Cooper, Ivie Cooper, and Horace Cooper.
A funeral service was held Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Fountain of Life Church officiated by Pastor Hans Hess, Pastor Preston Pitchford, and Pastor Jon Mason. Burial was conducted in New Hollywood Cemetery. A visitation was held Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 at the funeral home and at other times the family will receive friend at the residence and immediately following the service at the church.
Twiford Funeral Home, Memorial Chapel, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Cooper family. You may express condolences to the family by visiting .
Twiford Funeral Home(Elizabeth City)
405 E. Church Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
United States (US)
[Editor's comment: I am grateful to Don and Judy Milner for this announcement of this great man of God, J. Roland Cooper who touched so many lives during his many years of pastoral ministry. He had an amazing life, and I know he will be greatly missed. I just received this news on Friday, January 22, after Brother Cooper's funeral.]