About the Author
AnnaLee (Cousart) Conti, daughter of Bob and AnnaMae Cousart and granddaughter of Carl and Florence Personeus, is a fifth generation ordained minister of the gospel in the Personeus family. AnnaLee grew up in Alaska and met her husband, Bob, while they were students at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. They have pastored in New York State for more than 30 years, including pioneering a church. They have one son and five grandchildren.
AnnaLee earned a B.A. in music and elementary education at the University of Alaska, and an M.A. in Biblical Literature at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO. For many years she has written church school curriculum and freelance articles published in magazines, including The Pentecostal Evangel, Youth Alive, and Woman’s Touch. She also taught GED and adult basic education classes.
AnnaLee and her husband recently retired from pastoring Mercy Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God in Hopewell Junction, NY. AnnaLee has served as minister of Christian education in three churches, has taught adult Sunday school classes for many years, sings and plays the piano on the worship team, and has served in state and local Women's Ministries. She has taught Berean Bible courses, an extension of Global University, Springfield, MO, which trains pastors and teachers for ministry in local churches.
AnnaLee is now devoting more time to writing. For 4 years her daily devotionals appeared on the Sound of Life Radio web site. A sample is included on this website on the "Devotional" page. She is now writing a fiction trilogy set in Alaska.
About AnnaLee’s Husband
AnnaLee’s husband, Bob Conti, recently retired from pastoring Mercy Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God. As a bivocational pastor, he also served as the Chief Operations Officer of the Sound of Life Radio, in Lake Katrine, New York, where he worked for 15 years, and retired from that job last year. Sound of Life is a network of 13 Christian radio stations in the Northeast and on the World Wide Web. Here is a picture of Bob in the studio at Sound of Life.
About Our Son
Our son, Robert Benjamin Conti, is married to Sabrina. They live in Newburgh, New York, in the house built by his Great-Grandfather Conti. Bob teaches fifth grade at Balmville Elementary School in the Newburgh Public Schools. Bob and Sabrina are actively involved in several Christian ministries including Kairos and Tres Dias and a church in their home.
About Our Grandchildren
We have five grandchildren: Sophia Christine, Stephen Charles, Samuel Christian, Spencer Curtis, and Robert Quentin "Sonny."
About AnnaLee's Parents
The Cousarts have been retired from pastoring since 1997. They sold their mobile home in Kittitas, Washington, where they lived for 27 years, and moved to assisted living in Ellensburg, Washington, in 2007.
Bob, who will be 91 on New Year's Day, attends Ellensburg Assembly of God, where he has served as Treasurer of the Board and taught the adult Sunday school until this year. Bob was elected Mayor of Kittitas in 2004. When they moved to Ellensburg, he had to resign as mayor.
The Cousarts' son, Robert Paul, along with many of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in Yakima, the next valley south of Kittitas. Their daughter, Kathy McAlpine, lives in Hoven, South Dakota.
AnnaMae's brother, Byron Personeus, and his wife, Marjory, have both recently gone to be with the Lord. Their daughter Chantal and her family live in Port Orchard, Washington.
In April 2010, Bob Cousart was honored for 50 years of ministry as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. The following is a highlight of his ministry shared at the Northwest District Council of the Assemblies of God:
Ministry Highlight for Rev. Robert E. Cousart
Saved under the ministry of George Beverly Shea and called to preach, Brother Cousart was first licensed with the Methodist Church. Stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska, in the Coast Guard during World War II, he was introduced to Pentecost under the ministry of his future in-laws, pioneer Alaska missionaries, the Charles C. Personeuses. After marriage to their daughter AnnaMae, he attended Eastern Bible Institute in Greenlane, Pennsylvania, and returned to Alaska in 1948.
He was serving as a nationally appointed home missionary in Seward, Alaska, as well as president of the Seward School Board and an officer on several other state education boards when the Great Alaskan Earthquake, registering 9.2 on the Richter scale, the strongest earthquake ever in North America, struck on Good Friday in 1964. The quake ruptured the numerous oil storage tanks along the waterfront, which belched fire and black smoke for days, and along with three successive tsunamis, destroyed ninety-five percent of the town's industrial area and many homes and cut off all highway, railway, and shipping access. As president of the Seward Ministerial Association, Brother Cousart led the survivors in a combined church service that Easter morning.
That summer, with Alaska still struggling to recover from the earthquake, the Alaska Assemblies of God pastors and missionaries voted to become a sovereign district, and Brother Cousart was elected its first secretary-treasurer, a post he held until 1973. In 1966, the Cousarts were asked to pastor another town hard-hit by the earthquake, Valdez. Shortly after their arrival, the entire town had to be moved five miles when the Coast and Geodetic Survey determined that as a result of the earthquake the old town was sitting on a ledge that could break off into the bay at any time.
In 1973, the Cousarts accepted a pastorate in the Yakima area, and they ministered there and in the Kittitas Valley until their retirement, after which Brother Cousart also served as mayor of Kittitas for two years. He now lives in an assisted living home in Ellensburg.