Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
Cook Brothers Funeral Directors was established years ago, and serving families has always been our focus. We take pride in being able to guide people through some of their most difficult days. We take pride in maintaining a setting that allows people to find solace. Celebrating life is our mission. That’s never changed. And with pride, it never will.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Rev. Tamarkus T. Cook
President and CEO
Pastor Tamarkus T. Cook, a passionate shepherd after God’s own heart, is the anointed, articulate, and passionate pastor of the Saint Smyrna Baptist Church, Inc. (SSBC) in Newnan, Georgia. With wisdom beyond his years, Pastor Cook is a much sought after preacher and motivational speaker for various churches, schools and organizations across the nation. He has served as the senior pastor of the renowned Saint Smyrna Baptist Church since the age of 24. Saint Smyrna Baptist Church is a loving congregation in South Metro Atlanta. Under Pastor Cook’s leadership, the church has grown to over 700 members with nearly 30 active ministries. Saint Smyrna, as it is affectionately known in the community; currently holds two services, one at eight a.m. and the other at ten a.m. Pastor Cook has a genuine passion for youth and seniors and is often recognized for his ministry efforts to improve the quality of life for both.
A gamut of community centered services and initiatives have been conceptualized and realized under his direction, such as Living Water for Flint. Living Water for Flint was an effort to offer aide to the people of Flint Michigan which through the organizational efforts of Pastor Cook resulted in 7 Tractor Trailer loads of water being delivered to various African-American churches in Flint. Pastor Cook personally delivered the water to Michigan and participated in several meetings with leaders there and continues to offer support.
As a socially conscious pastor, in March of 2016, he ran to be elected as the United States Congressman for the Third Congressional District of Georgia, and out of 12,000 votes, lost by 51 votes in the Primary. Pastor Cook’s passion for people and the opportunities afforded through the democratic process continues to serve the community through political awareness initiatives. During the 2016 presidential election cycle Pastor Cook organized the 1000 Souls 2 The Polls movement, which is designed to rally 1000 African-Americans to register to vote and participate in early voting.
Pastor Tamarkus T. Cook is the son of Terry (Tearrie) Cook and Adriane (Jeffery) Patrick and was reared by his great-grandparents the Late Deacon Alton Kirby, Sr. and Sunday School Superintendent the late Mother Margaret Kirby. A 2009 graduate of Morehouse College, he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. After his first year in corporate America working for Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in Minneapolis MN, he finally yielded to the call of God he had heard since the tender age of 8, and walked away from a banking career to begin serving God’s people. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in August of 2014 and is in his second year of matriculation at Emory University’s prestigious Candler School of Theology, in the Master of Divinity program.
As a result of his loving passion for God’s people he is a member of; Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc., Newnan Rotary Club, The Emerging 100 Black Men of Atlanta, NAACP (President Emeritus of Coweta Branch 5189), Coweta County School Board Community Advisement Board, United Way Community Advisory Board, Newnan Development Authority Board, The National Baptist Convention USA, The National Baptist Convention of American and The Morehouse National Alumni Association, Piedmont Newnan Advisory Board and much more.
The pride and joy of his existence are captured in his children. Pastor Cook is a gifted musician and has been playing the organ since the age of 4 without the aid of formal training. In his spare time, he enjoys fulfilling his passion in funeral service through various related capacities.
Terry T. Cook Jr.
Lead Family Care Provider
Terry is a 2012 graduate of Newnan High School. Currently he resides in Newnan with his wife, Jamara, their daughter Ava Cook and Son Tayden Cook. Terry is a member of the Zion Hill Baptist Church of Newnan and often enjoys attending service with his wife Jamara, at the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church of Newnan. In his spare time Terry enjoy's reliving his high school athletic days and enjoying the presence of family and friends.
Lead Family Care Provider
Terele is a life-long resident of Newnan, Georgia and a 2015 graduate of Newnan high school. He is the father of one son, De'Meer and a proud member of the Smith Chapel United Methodist Church. In his spare time, Terele enjoy's spending time with his big brothers.
Rev. Allisson Henderson-Brooks
A scholar, preacher, consultant and speaker Allison is the perfect combination of skill, wit, personality, passionate energy and insight. A native of Peachtree City, GA, Allison is a proud graduate at Atlanta’s historic Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature in 2008. In May of 2019, Allison received her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. In this capacity, she served as Arthur Vinings Davis Fellow for her work at Lee Arrendale State Women's Prison, the largest Women's Prison in the State of Georgia, working primarily with 150 women who have been given life sentences. She also was the President of the Baptist Students Association and Co-Chair of the Senior Class gift committee which was the second highest fundraising campaign in 7 years. Professionally for the past 9 years, Allison has successfully mastered the art of hospitality serving successfully in the disciplines of Operations Management, Systems Implementation and Revenue Management Systems. For 7 of those years, she has served in leadership positions within 3 of the world’s iconic and largest hotel brands having been recognized globally for her contributions. Currently, Allison serves as the Program Coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry Program at Candler School of Theology at Emory.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Allison is also a sought after preacher and motivational speaker that is passionately committed to social justice, scholastic achievement, and community service. A nationally recognized orator, Mrs. Henderson-Brooks has addressed numerous schools, churches, civic organizations and other bodies across the United States. One of the most notable was her recognition of being the youngest female to render the annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance speech for the United States Department of Energy in 2001. In January of 2006, Allison garnered another groundbreaking achievement by serving as keynote speaker for the Penn State University System’s Martin Luther King Jr. convocation. This convocation was the first school wide observance of this National holiday in the history of the institution. In May of 2016, she was blessed and humbled to be the first woman to ever preach a revival at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oliver, GA. This church has an almost 200-year history and still sits on the land purchased by slaves. She is humbled and vocally grateful for every opportunity given to stir up the gift in any forum that inspires others through innovative methods, messages, and interactions.
Baptized on June 2, 1992 at the Olivet Baptist Church in Fayetteville, GA by the late Rev. Howard W. Creecy Sr. and licensed to preach this liberating gospel of Jesus Christ on February 21, 2016, Allison seeks to be a bold witness and example of love throughout the world. On May 19, 2019 she was ordained in the Baptist Tradition by Pastor Tamarkus Cook and the Saint Smyrna Baptist Church. She has served as a Youth Pastor for the past 7 years and absolutely loves observing young people come to their own understanding of who God is but most importantly creating environments for them to answer definitively who God is to them. Allison has also served as Pastor of Congregational Development, Youth & Young Adults at New Life Presbyterian Church under the leadership of Rev. Hodari S. Williams for 3 and half years. Ministerially, she is an itinerant preacher traveling the country preaching the good news. All in all, serving, teaching, lecturing, preaching, learning, growing, inspiring and being authentically herself at all times is one of her life’s greatest joys. The ability to operate in the knowledge that her purposed passion comes from serving people and seeing them striving diligently to make their dreams become realities is the motivation behind all that Allison does. She truly is concerned with people being their best in all aspects of life. Allison's goals, dreams and aspirations in life are embodied in this quote by Benjamin Elijah Mays that simply states, “In all that you do strive to do it so well that no man living, no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it better.
Allison is happily married to an amazing and supporting husband and they are the amazingly blessed parents to an inquisitive and adventurous 8-year-old son. In her leisure, she enjoys traveling, reading books of all genres, and connecting with family and friends.
Shelesceyah (Lucy) McConnell, CFSP
Director of Operations | Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer | FDFCC
Lucy is a 31-year-old native of Stockbridge, GA. A 2008 graduate of Stockbridge High School, she graduated in the top of her class. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensic Science and minor in Chemistry from the Unsinkable Albany State University, Albany, GA, in December 2012. While in college, she was a member of the Student Government Association and was also a HIV/AIDS Peer Educator and Mentor.
After experiencing many deaths growing up, Lucy became interested in funeral service. In 2007, after the tragic death of her best friend’s sister, she became certain that funeral service was her calling.
Immediately after receiving her college degree from ASU, she enrolled at Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in March 2013. While at Gupton Jones, Lucy was inducted into the Theta Chapter of the Pi Sigma Eta National Mortician's Fraternity, where she served as the Master Artist (President). She also received the Mu Sigma Alpha Award from the Honorary Society established by the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Science recognizing those students who displayed outstanding merit in scholarship in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
Lucy received her degree in Funeral Service in February 2014. Before walking across the stage, she had taken and passed both the Arts and Science section of National Board Exam. This awarded her the privilege of being the only person in her graduating class to receive their diploma on graduation day; she takes pride in this wondrous accomplishment.
Lucy left Georgia in July 2014 to pursue her career of working in funeral service. While completing her 12-month apprenticeship in North Carolina, she gained experience making both funeral and cremation arrangements, and became a cremation technician. After obtaining her Funeral Service License in September 2015, she maintained residency in Charlotte, NC and took on the manager position at the funeral home she began her career in, until 2017.
Lucy obtained her Funeral Director and Embalmer licenses in the state of Georgia in October 2019. Her ultimate goal is to hold licenses to practice funeral service in the connecting states of NC, SC and GA, and someday have an establishment of her own.
In January 2020, Lucy was awarded the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. This is the highest professional designation that can be achieved in funeral service and distinguishes those who offer more than what is expected of them.
Before relocating back home to Georgia, Lucy was employed at Mecklenburg County Vital Records, in Charlotte, NC, as the Death Registrar. There she became acquainted with funeral directors nationwide.
Lucy has a passion for serving families at the most difficult times of their lives and making sure that their every unique request is honored to celebrate the life and legacy of their loved one. Although she is not in the funeral home daily, she continues to view her profession as not just a job, but a ministry to the families she serves.
Lucy’s love for funeral service and the death care industry is unmatched. She recently joined Emory University Hospital as the Decedent Affairs Coordinator, where she will provide support to the clinical team, families and funeral service providers to ensure a seamless transition from clinical care to final disposition.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and most importantly spending time with her two girls, London and Missouri.
Family Care Provider
Dentez D. Orr
Family Care Provider
Dentez D. Orr was reared in Atlanta, Georgia by his mother and grandmother. He attended Atlanta public schools and graduated from D. M. Therrell High School in 2014. During those years, his mother wanted him to be firmly connected to his family in Newnan, so she ensured he spent a great deal of time in their presence.
St. John Baptist Church at Shenandoah is his home church. Pastor Bartholomew Orr, licensed him to preach in 2011 and he was ordained at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church of Atlanta in 2012 by Pastor R.L. Jones. Orr has served as a youth pastor at Greater Liberty Hill Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia and Shiloh Baptist Church of Alvaton, Georgia.
At age 12, Orr’s passion for funeral service became a reality, when Herschel Thornton Mortuary (Atlanta, Ga) afforded him a career defining opportunity. Since then Orr has applied those and many other skills in service for over a decade at many firms throughout the Metro Atlanta area. He is the proud owner and operator of the Tri-State Mortuary Transport Service and continues to provide service to countless firms in the South-Eastern region of the country.
In addition to his professional service to the community, Orr has served as Youth Council president of the Newnan Branch No. 5189 of the NAACP. In high school, he started HELP – Helping to Establish Longterm Progress enabling 11th and 12th graders to mentor ninth graders. His work with HELP was one of the many factors which led to a scholarship at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. While a student at Livingstone, Orr was often asked to deliver the morning messages at the Elim Baptist Church, 274 miles away.
In April, the church called him as a 19 year old interim pastor, and in October, the church issued a call for him to serve as their pastor. He is currently a student at Columbus Teach, continuing his studies in mortuary science.
Orr considers himself to only know two things with Godly certainty, “Funeral Service and Preaching.”