Tony Cooper outside the old downtown Mission in 1990

It’s the end of an era as Mission executive director Tony Cooper announces his retirement after 29 years of service. Under his leadership the Mission has become one of the most recognized and respected nonprofit organizations in central Alabama.

While at the helm the Mission has seen the addition of the Royal Pines and Jessie’s Place shelters, the Stewart Learning Centers for education remediation and career readiness, the Discovery Clubs programs, and the Mission Possible Bargain Centers as well as the relocation and expansion of the downtown Shepura Men’s Center.

Tony Cooper outside the new Shepura Men’s Center campus

“God is calling me to end this season of service,” he said. “I have been honored to serve our community’s homeless, hungry, and hurting for the last three decades. I have faith that whoever steps into this role will continue to lean on the Lord for provision and guidance. I pray that the community will continue to support the Mission to ensure another 75 years of helping those in need.”

The board of directors has retained a like-minded firm to help facilitate the search for the next director. Though Cooper has officially announced his retirement, his actual departure date will be a fluid one. He plans on serving the Mission through this process to help ensure a smooth transition into new leadership.