Alice Cooper Says Religion Saved Him

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School’s out for summer! Alice Cooper wants you at Gather in June 2016.

With his ubiquitous rock anthem, School’s Out, playing in the background, Vincent Furnier invited his fellow congregants to Gather 2016, the group’s conference in June.

You know Furnier, but not by that name. The rocker adopted the name of his 1970’s rock band, Alice Cooper, after they broke up.

And Gather 2016 isn’t a heavy metal version of Coachella, it’s the Evangelical Covenant Church’s summer conference, reports The Blaze.

As was common on the time period, Furnier struggled with substance abuse during his rock and roll heyday through the 70s. It took a rediscovery of his religious upbringing to help get him sober.

In an interview with The Huffington Post back in 2012, Furnier shared his belief that “every word of the Bible is true.” He has called on his faith to found Solid Rock, a teen ministry aimed to keep kids out of trouble during their most vulnerable time: the non-school hours of the day.

The ministry’s goal, Furnier says, is to meet the “spiritual, economical, physical and social needs” by providing a “safe, engaging environment.” The adolescents are offered music, art and vocational programs designed to help them discover their passions in a program motivated by Christian fellowship.

It’s an amazing shift of focus for the rocker, who used to simulate animal sacrifice, and even his own execution, on stage. In fact, his band’s name, Alice Cooper, was chosen for its wholesome nature and obvious contrast to the band’s style.

In 1975, when the rest of Alice Cooper didn’t want to follow Furnier into crazier and more elaborate stage antics, the band split up. Furnier kept the name (with permission of the other members, as well as royalty payments), and created the villainous on-stage persona we all now know as Alice Cooper.

Furnier admits that he refers to Alice Cooper in the “third person,” because he “belongs on stage.” When his drug and alcohol abuse reached its low, Furnier knew he had to change his rock-and-roll ways. He also thought he would have to give up the Alice Cooper persona, but his pastor disagreed, “Does God make mistakes?”

Since then, Furnier has balanced his inner-rocker with his Christian beliefs to help local youth grow up happy and fulfilled in a Christian environment.

Gather 2016 kicks off on June 22 in Phoenix.

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