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Michael Cook was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Central Michigan University on an academic and athletic scholarship and graduated in 1986 with a B.S. in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing and Advertising. He worked for several West Michigan advertising agencies as a client side account executive before studying at Concordia Theological Seminary Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1994.  He served for nine years as a pastor in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  From 2003 to 2013 he held the title of Marketing Director and event planner for two prominent evangelical publishing houses in Grand Rapids: Zondervan and Baker Publishing Group. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, where he teaches marketing in the school of Business Administration, and is an ordained deacon serving at St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church, Grand Rapids, a church of The Patriarchal Parishes USA (Moscow Patriarchate).