There have been a lot of milestones in Pastor John Cody’s life and this weekend two more will be marked.
Cody will introduce his new book, “The 3 Biggest Lives in the Realm of Christianity,” Saturday at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Jonesville Church of God. Cody chose the Jonesville church as the setting for the book release because this was the first church he and his late wife, Maxine, organized 58 years ago.
Sunday at 11 a.m. The Greater Union Church, which he co-founded with his wife in 1961, will celebrate its 48th anniversary. Pastor Roger Estes will bring the message.
Cody, who has spent 62 years in the ministry as a missionary, evangelist, teacher and pastor, said some folks in the religious world might find his book controversial.
“To me, the book is positive all the way through,” he said. “It covers Christianity in America today.”
Copies of the book will be available Saturday for $5 each. All proceeds go to missions.
“I give an open and welcome invitation to all,” Cody said. “It won’t be a lengthy meeting.”
John and Maxine Cody were married in 1941 and have six children: Amelia, Bill, Nancy, Phillip, Debbie and Frances. The book is written in Maxine’s memory and is dedicated to their children and grandchildren, their church and to their friends who stood with them in their mission work around the world.
Both of the Codys were called into the ministry in 1947. Both graduated from International Bible Seminary in Plymouth, Fla. He holds a doctorate while Mrs. Cody held a bachelor’s degree in religious education. They founded Jonesville Church of God and pastored there for almost a year. They pastored in Jefferson, S.C., and Carmi, Ill., before serving as missionaries in the Caribbean for two years.
They were away from Union for 14 years. When they returned home they began building a house and preached at tent meetings on the Duncan By-Pass before building The Greater Union Church.
The original sanctuary burned in 1970 and the congregation rebuilt on the same foundation but enlarged the building to its present size. The World Mission Center was dedicated in 1994.
Over the years, the Codys frequently traveled to other countries to preach and the church supported mission work in several countries.
The Greater Union Church is interdenominational.
“We don’t like to say we independent because a true Christian is not independent, they are dependent on the Lord,” Cody said. “We welcome everybody. We have about 50 churches represented at our school (Union Christian Day School.)
Cody, who will celebrate his 87th birthday on July 9, said he felt led to write the book.
“I decided to do something definitive in the book to let it be known,” he said.