Monday, April 25, 2016

Evangelist Dewey Cooper, who built roadside signs exhorting people to seek salvation, dies at 93

Dewey Cooper, an evangelist known for building and placing signs across rural Kentucky, pleading for people to seek salvation, died Friday at 93, Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. "Cooper preached in scores of churches in Southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee, as well as on the radio, on the street and in jails and nursing homes during a career that spanned nearly 60 years. But he received perhaps the most attention for about three dozen eye-catching roadside signs he built in several counties in Southern and Central Kentucky. The signs consist of two placards angled to be visible to drivers coming from either direction, with a 10-foot cross rising above. Cooper painted the signs bright orange and included a picture of a clock showing time running out to be saved."

Cooper, who started installing the signs in the 1990s, "told an interviewer in 2002 that while some people might go to church only a few times in their lives, people traveling past couldn’t ignore the signs," Estep writes. "Cooper paid for the signs with donations and his own money and got permission from landowners to put them up. Ronnie Peters, a United Baptist pastor from Tennessee and longtime friend of Cooper’s, said Cooper told him he hoped the signs would make people think." He told Estep, “He just wanted them to really consider about their own soul. His whole life was centered around his ministry and serving the Lord and trying to get people saved.” To read Cooper's obituary click here.

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