Austin Cooke Hellraiser to Crusader


One man’s inspiring journey from feared gang leader to fearless champion in the cause of Heaven.

Autobiography edited by Rod Cooke.

Foreword by Dr Allan Lindsay.

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Born into a dysfunctional home with 12 siblings, Austin seemed to be the target of his father’s violent vindictiveness. Arbitrary, extended thrashings didn’t deter 8-year-old Austin trying to protect his mother. But there was a price…

While the young Austin wasn’t cowed by the violence, in the absence of love, it turned him into a teenage rebel and the leader of a violent gang, which created mayhem. He fled town at 2am one night to escape the police, but was ambushed spectacularly by God.

At 16 Austin became a Christian, telling God that he only wanted to be “a dinkum one”. That’s when the dreams began—baffling but portentous. Now, even as a teenager he influenced people to accept Christ.

Austin understood rejection, injustice and suffering. The police frog-marched him from his family home and his belongings were strewn across the road. Yet Austin determined that no persecution would prevent him being faithful, not from taking a stand for his God, for His Truth and for the Adventist Message.

A gripping story about a man upon whom God put His hand and, like Joseph, was prepared for a special role. Through a life of drama, adventure and conflict, Austin testified of God’s providence and leading.

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