A Block Party Celebrating Unusual Neighbors

Post a Comment » Written on October 11th, 2012     
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PHOENIX, AZ (October 11, 2012) – Hall of Fame rock star Alice Cooper stood on the stage at the grand opening block party of his Solid Rock Foundation’s teen center on Saturday and invited the crowd of more than 2,000 people to attend worship services at Genesis Covenant Church the next morning.

Alice Cooper

The foundation is partnering with Genesis and they are sharing space in a strip mall the church purchased and renovated. The carnival-like grand opening was held in the parking lot and featured a concert by Cooper.

The event was covered by all five local networks and included food vendors, a reptile zoo, Rockstar energy partnership, and a performance by Cooper.

Cooper’s invitation led to record attendance at the Sunday services. Pastor Pat Stark interviewed Cooper and his wife, Sheryl, at both services, and the couple shared about their faith in Christ.

The Coopers are long-time Phoenix residents, and he co-founded Solid Rock in 1995 with another local resident, Chuck Savante, because they shared a vision for a faith-based organization that would help teens.

The foundation has contributed funds to other programs working with teens and developed its own outreaches. The foundation’s work has included a heavy dose of music and dance-related opportunities. Sheryl Cooper is a long-time dancer and dance instructor.

“None of this would have ever happened without Genesis,” Cooper says in a video promoting the teen center.

The partnership is a natural one, says Sheryl. “You look at both of our mission statements—Genesis Church and Solid Rock—you overlap them, and they’re just hand in glove, so to partner together, I think is going to have a profound affect on this community.”

Genesis has met in temporary locations since it was planted eight years ago with a group of people from Paradise Valley Community Church. It has grown to about 220 in worship.

Stark said last November that Genesis longed to have a community center since the church’s inception.

“When we planted the church in 2003, we told the core group that if you’re looking for a beautiful building, don’t come,” Stark said. If the church ever bought space, they wanted it to be used for multiple purposes, he adds. “We are finally realizing our dream.”

He just never imagined it would happen by partnering with Cooper. “I couldn’t be more excited that we have a partnership with Alice Cooper,” he says.

Solid Rock ministers to all teens but especially targets youth at risk. In the new facility, the foundation offers arts education, including music lessons that are given in soundproof rooms. National Covenant Properties provided the funding to renovate the property.

Cooper noted in a previous interview that few students at schools in low-income neighborhoods have access to music lessons because of budget cuts that eliminated many programs. Genesis uses the same rooms for Sunday-school classes.

Cooper says he is amazed at how the center—also a long-time dream for the couple—has become a reality. “I don’t take anything for granted at all. I come in and I go, ‘Wow, this is more than I expected.’ ”

To watch a video interview with Alice Cooper on Solid Rock, click here.

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