The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) received a video invitation from Phoenix native and legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper.
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. The religious conference is considered the highest legislative session in the ECC, so not only will church administration be networking with other members, listening to speakers, and participating in worship services among the scenic golf courses and swimming pools, but they’ll be seeing their faith in action.
Cooper, who is very open about his Christian beliefs, is hoping that attendees will come a day early to visit The Rock at 32nd Street, Solid Rock’s partnership with Genesis Covenant Church, located at 13625 North 32nd Street. According to the conference’s website, the man behind “School’s Out” is not on the itinerary to visit, so those hoping to hang out for a quick refresher on the history of French missionaries trading with Native Americans in Milwaukee will be disappointed. However, the work his organization does with at-risk teenagers will be on full display.
Attendees will take a tour of Genesis Covenant Church and meet with board members of Solid Rock Foundation and members of the church. Afterwards, visitors will, as Cooper sarcastically puts it in his video invitation, “get to see real live teenagers in captivity and maybe listen to a few jam sessions.”
Cooper, whose father was a preacher, holds several events throughout The Valley to raise money for Solid Rock, including Alice Cooper’s Annual Christmas Pudding, which in the past has included performances by Johnny Depp (his bandmate in the supergroup Hollywood Vampires), American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Rob Zombie, and KISS leader Gene Simmons.
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News of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s invitation to see the fruits of his unselfish labor reached the right-wing news website The Blaze, which was founded by conservative pundit Glenn Beck. The outspoken Cooper, who has publicly stated he was a fan George W. Bush in the past, has called the mixing of rock and politics “treason” and music “should never be in bed with politics,” only to mock rock stars who support a Democratic candidate. He also stated in the Huffington Post that he believes that every word of the Bible is true.
Cooper, whose outrageous onstage antics have drawn crowds to his show for decades, doesn’t want to be seen as a Christian celebrity who shoves his beliefs down the world’s throat (see actor Kirk Cameron).
“I’m not going to be the car salesman,” Cooper stated on the religious program The Harvest Show, declaring that TV evangelism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons because it puts preachers “on a pedestal.”
Correction, 11:37 a.m., 5/3/2016: This article originally misquoted an Alice Cooper interview. He said mixing rock and politics was "treason," not rock and religion.