Meet the Legacy Builders Staff

Mike Baese
Mike BaeseExecutive Director

Mike is the perfect example of a businessman who struggled to find purpose and whose life was changed by the Good News. Mike served in several sales and management roles from 2004 to 2014 with three international companies. He was on his way to financial and professional success but was spending most of his life pursuing things that make no difference in eternity.

In 2007, he met Stan Bower, who discipled him in the Christian faith for five years. This life-changing one-on-one relationship led Mike out of the business world and into full-time ministry to people in business just like him. He now devotes his time to helping men discover their biblical purpose and become ambassadors for Christ in their home, community, and respective fields of business.

When he’s not making disciples, you can find him camping, hiking, shooting guns, and cutting down trees at his property. (Strange hobbies for a man who loathes ticks and snakes). He also enjoys bicycling, listening to expository preaching, writing, Anejo tequila, and spending time with his family. Mike and his wife, Michelle, have been married for twenty years and have two children, Olivia & Christian. The most recent addition to their household is a German Shorthaired Pointer named Chloe, who eats too many treats and struggles with obedience.

Favorite Bible verse:
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. (Romans 4:4-5)

Will is a native of the St. Louis area, growing up in Jefferson and St. Louis Counties. He joined the military straight out of high school serving in the Air Force as a Cryptologic Korean Linguist stationed at Osan AFB, South Korea. Upon his Honorable Discharge and returning home back to the States, the transition proved to be exceptionally tough. Over the course of the next few years, Will was fully given over to his sin, racking up several felonies for drugs, alcohol, and firearms charges which ultimately landed him behind bars.

During his incarceration, the providential guidance of God ultimately landed Will alone in a cell with him and a Bible. It was during this time that he was captivated by the truth of Scripture, which ultimately led to his salvation, coming to faith in Christ behind bars at the age of thirty. After release, Will was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a local prison ministry that discipled him in his walk with Christ while transitioning back to society.

After graduating from the prison ministry program, he was further blessed with the opportunity to lead their St. Louis City location as the Program Director for 3 years where he ministered to newly released inmates and discipled them in their transition out of prison. God would later lead Will to enroll in college at Missouri Baptist University where he graduated with a BA in Christian Ministry & Leadership and a BS in Business Administration. It was during this period of life that Will was led to meet Mike Baese, who would go on to disciple him in the Operation Timothy program.

Will has been married to his wife, Kirsten, since 2019, and they have a daughter, Guinevere Arwen Cook. The Host of Heaven and the Patience of the Saints be upon him!

Hobbies & Activities

Bowhunting, carpentry, western classical literature, Church history, theology, and all assortments of outdoor activities. On the weekends, Will enjoys ministering with a group of fellow Christians at the MECC prison in Pacific.

Life Verse

For consider your calling, brothers and sisters, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the insignificant things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no human may boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Will Cook
Will CookMinistry Coordinator