Roscoe D. Cooper III, pastor of Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, and a member of the Henrico County School Board, was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning.
According to CBS 6, Cooper was driving between two lanes around 1 a.m. when he was pulled over by Virginia State Police. The 43-year-old pastor, who is also the school board’s vice chair, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Friends and clergy members have asked the public to extend grace toward the pastor. Sharon Broaddus, a family friend, said, “We are put on a high pedestal and sometimes people cannot accept that we all have issues. They expect the pastor to be perfect with no problems. What the church and the Christians should do now is rally around Pastor Cooper.”
Video from Pastor Cooper’s “After the Benediction” YouTube Series
Below is the Biography of Roscoe D. Cooper III from the Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church website, RMZBC.org
“Dr. Roscoe D. Cooper, III, a third-generation of spiritually powerful preachers, is a twice scholar graduate of Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Philosophy and a Master of Divinity Degree from the esteem Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, graduating Cum Laude. Additionally, he sought to show himself approved, completing post-graduate study at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and in 2013, received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Richmond Theological Seminary.
“Richmond born, reared and educated, his achievements and recognitions are noteworthy throughout the state, country and world in which he has readily and successfully combined his evangelistic duties with the concerns and needs of the community. He is the recipient of numerous honors and rewards as an Outstanding Education Orator, a Prolific Communicator and Leader, Minister of the Year for four consecutive years, and a keynote speaker at the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education of the National Baptist Convention USA. Additionally, he has been honored and recognized by the Richmond NAACP, served as a community representative to the Congressional Black Caucus Discussions in Washington, D. C., a productive President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Richmond and Vicinity, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Capital Area Health Network, is a member of the Religious Advisory Committee of Virginia Senator Mark Warner, an invited participant in the Educational Seminar in Israel, and the elected Henrico County School Board Representative for the Fairfield District.
“His first pastorate was at the Long Branch Baptist Church in Woodford, Virginia where he honorably and diligently served for three years. In 2003, he was called to the historical Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church – Hartman Street, Henrico County as Pastor. Since his arrival at Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church, the church has continuously embraced a direction of spiritual growth, and has revolutionized, strengthened, and excelled in every aspect of its existence under his leadership. Pastor Cooper has more than quadrupled the membership, birthed several new ministries, and executed a comprehensive short and long term building and renovation plan, resulting in the funding and construction of phase 1 of a multi-million dollar sanctuary and administrative wing within his first ten years, refurbished the interior and exterior of the old buildings and the surrounding grounds to absolute condition and beauty.
“He is a devoted family man who is a called servant of God who is focused and inspired by the promises of God, unchained by the cross, intentionally lives his creeds, treads the path of excellence, credibly inhabits his sermons, and unashamedly proclaims the Word of God each time he stands. Consistently, he nurtures the spirits, minds and hearts of his congregants with the powerful and unadulterated Word of God that encourages everyone to seek first the Kingdom of God, walk in His Way, take up the cup of salvation, and thank and glorify God for all things.
“In spite of the indelible manifestation of God’s favor on this branch of Zion and its people, and the teaching and preaching of the Good News Gospel, he remains and encourages others to remain humble, study and witness the Word of God, and purposely relish the challenge to dare to make a difference! It is evident that he is spiritually anointed, socially engaged, and academically prepared for the task at hand—to teach and preach the Good News Gospel, bring souls to Christ and soundly lead the flock that God has given him.”