As the sounds of his iconic hard-rock anthem “School’s Out” played in the background, the one-and-only Alice Cooper stood in front of a video camera and sent out a summer invitation — but not for any heavy metal festival.
It may surprise some people to learn Vincent Furnier – also known as the singer of bizarre lyrics and macabre stage theatrics, Alice Cooper, is a born again evangelical Christian. It may surprise them more to find out what he is doing with his Alice Cooper persona.
The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) received a video invitation from Phoenix native and legendary shock rocker.
Cooper isn’t bringing ECC leadership to one of his shows or to see him in the studio of his radio program Nights With Alice Cooper. He is inviting attendees at Gather ’16, the denomination’s annual meeting held this year at the Arizona Grand Resort on June 23-25, to come see the work his faith-based Solid Rock organization does in the Phoenix community.
He noted that those who come a day early can check out the music and art happening at the Rock at 32nd Street Church where Cooper founded his Solid Rock teen ministry. “You’ll even get to see real-live teenagers in captivity,” he told viewers, “and maybe listen to a few jam sessions.”
Like many in the rock universe, Cooper had huge struggles with substance abuse — but soon his faith came back to the forefront. In a 2012 interview with the Huffington Post, Cooper shared that he believes “every word of the Bible is true.”
Solid Rock’s goal is to meet the “spiritual, economical, physical and social needs” by providing a safe, engaging environment. Adolescents at the teen center are offered music, art and vocational programs designed to help them discover their passions in a program motivated by Christian fellowship, said Cooper.
When his drug and alcohol abuse reached its lowest point, World Religion News reports Cooper knew he had to change his rock-and-roll ways. The performer also thought he would have to give up the Alice Cooper persona, but his pastor disagreed, “Does God make mistakes?” Since then, Furnier/Cooper has balanced his inner-rocker with his Christian beliefs and used the Alice persona to help local youth grow up happy and fulfilled in a Christian environment.
“We are fulfilling a vision we’ve had for several years…to provide teens with a central place to learn, have fun, and explore their creativity in a supportive and safe environment. The Rock is the first of many teen centers in Arizona and, ultimately, around the country,” said 68-year-old Furnier/Cooper.