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Daniel Cooper named chaplain at Veterans’ Victory House

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Daniel Cooper knew he was going to end up in Walterboro long before he actually arrived in our city. He called it a premonition, of sorts.

“I feel that my eventual destiny was to be here in Walterboro. When I was a boy, we used to carry watermelons from our fields in the Santee River Delta to the icehouses near Georgetown, and passed through Walterboro while doing so. Back then, whenever I would see the Walterboro sign, I would always tell my father that I was going to Walterboro. After being involved in the ministry for 15 years, the Lord told me to come to Walterboro, and I’ve been here going on 31 years.”

Cooper, who is the 13th and final child birthed by his mother, turned 71 in January. “My mother used to tell me that, before I was born, the Lord told her that she would have one male child and that he would become a minister.”

Cooper has been involved in full-time ministry for the past 46 years. He remembers signing up for the volunteer draft during the War in Vietnam in 1971, but draft board officials told him that, because he was involved in the ministry, to stay stateside, and they would notify him if he was needed.

Cooper, named to serve as Chaplain at the Veterans’ Victory House Nursing Home at 2461 Sidneys Road just north of Walterboro, started at his position on February 11. He first came to Walterboro after serving as Pastor of the Church of God in Rock Hill, South Carolina for four years in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

“I came to Walterboro and pastored at the Church of God here for three years and one month. And then the Lord led me to Living Word. This was the first interracial church in Walterboro, and it was first located in an old building located across the street from McDonalds, where services were held for four years. “We had a tremendous turnout there,” Cooper said.

The Living Word Church was relocated to its current location at 1705 Barracada Road in Walterboro after the construction of the first log church to be built in Walterboro in recent history. Today, it remains the only functioning log church within Colleton County.

Cooper’s call to serve at the Veterans’ Victory House also came under unusual circumstances. “Bernard Warshaw called me and asked me to pray, and then recommend three people to interview at the Veteran’s Victory House due to the retirement of Pastor Walt Doyle.” Warshaw is active in working with the home.

“When the position of chaplain became available, I gave myself to much prayer concerning the will of God for me and the will of God for my family,” Cooper said. “From that moment, I knew I wanted to go. I had received a definite call to come here. I prayed and prayed about it, and then recommended myself. I met with the officials there, and asked to serve. After being interviewed for the position of chaplain, I was accepted and began working on February 11.”

Cooper, looking back, said that he “has thoroughly enjoyed pastoring this wonderful congregation at Living Word Church, they are near and dear to my heart.” However, after serving as Senior Pastor there for 27 years, he felt that it was time to move on.

“I feel very honored and blessed to serve the residents of Veterans’ Victory House. I have always majored on loving God and loving people, and at the Veterans’ Victory House, I have the perfect opportunity every day to demonstrate the love of God to these great men and women who sacrificed so much for our nation. I just pray I can do a great job like my predecessor, Chaplain Walt Doyle, has done for this great generation.”

Cooper noted that Daryl Hunt, who has served for 18 years as church administrator and associate pastor, “has stepped up to serve as senior pastor of the congregation. “The greatest thing I could say about Daryl is that he has the heart of a true servant, and he has a wonderful teaching gift. He is all about serving others and mentoring believers.” Cooper added that Ben Langdale has been faithfully serving Living Word Church as the Youth and Children’s pastor. “Daryl and Ben will continue to work together to see the church flourish and grow for the Kingdom of God.” Cooper added that he will continue to serve the church in the capacity of senior advisor.

“My life has been totally directed by the Lord. He directed me to present Daryl as pastor, and he is doing great. Here, I go from room to room to talk to the vets. I have been with three of them who passed away, and eased them into their Homecoming.”