Ruby Cook describes herself as “having a heart to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
One way she does that is through song. One way she gets her music to people is through a series of cds.
She assists her husband, Bryan, in his duties as pastor of Union Grove Church, located at the junction of farm roads 1222 and 2220 between Aurora and Marionville. She has also done jail and prison ministry.
Cook was born in Aurora and is one of three generations to graduate from Marionville High School.
“The Lord gave me three songs when I was 13. Mom played guitar forme,” she recalled of her early singing days.
Several years ago, she rededicated her life and got involved in a church again. Soon thereafter she realized the Lord inspired her with gospel music.
“Once I was back in church, he gave me new songs,” added Cook.
She recalled performing in a vocal contest in Springfield several years ago. The night she was to perform, she had laryngitis. She asked to reschedule for two weeks later; organizers had an opening a week later.
She went the following week and performed. Jimmy Gately, a Nashville recording artist, sang to the crowd while judges tallied their votes. He even asked to borrow Cook’s guitar.
She explained how she felt she was supposed to be there that specific night and not there the week before. The only way to keep her from going to the earlier performance was to be ill.
Gately arranged for her to record in a studio in Nashville a short time later during her vacation from work at a local shoe factory. She had two three-hour sessions and did 10 songs.
After she came home, Gately arranged for popular musicians Gary Primm (piano), Bruce Watkins (fiddle/bass) and Terry Crisp (steel guitar) to provide background music on her recording.
“It was so exciting. God was opening a door for me. He gave me the songs and music and a way to record them,” said Cook.
Her recording received mixed reviews. It was several years before she made her next cd.
Jamie Haege from Branson did the music behind her second and third cds.
Her latest cd is a two-disc set featuring 32 songs. The set is registered with Broadcast Music, Inc. It sells for $15, including shipping and handling. It can be ordered from her at 425-9054 or by emailing union
The set includes one song she co-wrote with her brother-in-law when he married her sister. He had the words and “the Lord gave me a melody, said Cook, who sang the song at the couple’s wedding.
Page 2 of 2 - The basis of Cook’s message as she talked about her music seemed simple: “God came to give us abundant life.”