Dave's Story

Back from Death
On his 18th birthday, Dave Cooper technically died.
Involved in an horrific car crash, he broke the steering wheel of his mini with his head and opened up the entire left side of his skull. He had enough adrenaline to get out of the car...stand...put one hand to his head...and then collapsed. His heart stopped as he was slumped against the railings of the dual carriageway.

He became aware of standing...slightly higher than the assembled crowd...watching his crumpled figure. He recalls that there was no pain, only peace and warmth. And it was quiet. He wasn't afraid, just watched with curiosity the panic that was going on before him.

And then, he heard his name called. And at that moment he was back in the wrecked body, pain searing through his head, paramedics frantically working on him. His heart stopped twice more in the ambulance and, at the hospital, he endured countless stitches, without anaesthetic, throughout the night.

The Rock Road Animal
After that, he decided any day of his life was a 'bonus'. First as a rock singer, then working as Production Manager for some of the most famous names in rock, he spent the next 25 years of his life living between airports and hotels - the world a blur as he inhabited the surreal world of rock and roll. He felt invincible. He had died and he had come back. That was all there was to it.

All that Glistens
But, the glamour faded. Dave was getting tired. He wasn't content to stand in the wings and watch on as the world of celebrity glistened out from the stage. Somehow, it all seemed wrong, futile...but he didn't know why. He threw his battered travelling bag in a wardrobe and decided to stay put. The next 10 years were dark and sullen. He couldn't adjust to this 'daily life', this routine world that everyone else seemed happy with. He started to think maybe he had lived outside it for too long...maybe the world didn't want him back.

Singing Again
In 2004 Dave was cajoled into singing again. He hadn't held a microphone since 1985 and had always flatly refused. However, he was convinced to start singing with some of his old bandmates - and they started an original rock band called 'Badland'. They enjoyed a little local success - playing a circuit of pubs and clubs. Dave started to feel that he'd found his place again. However it was to be short-lived. It wasn't long before he felt once again bereft...there was no fulfilment, no point...he quit the band and didn't even understand why.

Dave and his wife, Mandy, run a media and design company and, at about the same time Dave started singing, they were retained by a Church about 30 miles from their home. Neither were Christians - but the first 'coincidence' was when they realised that the Church was directly across the road from Mandy's school when she was growing up. The couple started working with the Church - providing design, website and a variety of media.

Going to Church by the Back Door
For 6 years they 'went to Church' - but only in a professional capacity. They grew to love the people, but couldn't get their heads around the idea of God. It just all seemed a bit too distant and not really relevant to their lives. Then, in 2010, Mandy took a photograph that would be the beginning of an incredible transformation in their lives. Taken at one of the Church's historic sites, when she viewed the photograph it showed a white cross, made of light, in the centre of the photo. It unnerved the couple slightly, but they dismissed it as a 'trick of the light'. However, Bishop David Carr, Senior Pastor of the Church, had other ideas. He believed the image to be significant - and asked for a copy.

A Meeting with the Bishop
In January 2011, Bishop David was meeting with Dave and Mandy. He reminded them of the photograph...and went on to ask if they had looked at the stained glass windows also on the site. They replied that they had - and had even taken photographs of them. Bishop David just smiled and said, 'No, you haven't...you need to go and look again.'

The couple went straightaway to look at the windows indicated - and there, in the final pane of the largest window, was a depiction of a novice nun...gazing at the floor...at the image of a white cross.

The site was recorded as a place of visions of crosses - historical indications of where to build the abbey and the cathedral.

Mandy gives her life
Mandy was deeply affected. It took a few weeks more before she drafted a letter to the Church leadership - in which she gave her life.

Dave Challenges God
Dave, however, was a different story. He went completely the other way - flatly refusing to come to services, feeling ill whenever he got near the Church. He told Mandy that he would be 'ready to pull her out when it all went wrong' and stubbornly railed against the concept of faith.

But, over the coming weeks, Dave began to test God. In a series of 'throwaway' challenges, God continually proved His existence, time after time. But still Dave was stubborn. He was angry, without really knowing why. In May of 2011, on a trip to Ireland, Dave was particularly sullen. He had stomped off to a lakeside, hoodie over his head, hands shoved deep in his pockets. While he was out, a text arrived from a Pastor friend of the couple. She suggested that maybe the Lord might have a scripture for Dave.

The Scripture is given
On his return, Mandy told him of the text. Something snapped in Dave and he picked up his bible (a gift from the Bishop) and held it high in the air, shouting angrily to God, 'OK then, give me the scripture!'

He let the bible fall open where it willed...straight to Isaiah 37:28.
“But I know your dwelling place, Your going out and your coming in,
And your rage against Me. Because your rage against Me and your tumult
Have come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose
And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back
By the way which you came.”’
“This shall be a sign to you:

Another life given

It would be another three weeks before Dave gave his life - on Friday 13th.  Sitting in a restaurant with friends, he began to pray.

The Lord's Prayer
Within three more weeks he had written his first song for the Lord - his own music for the Lord's prayer, which he sang to accompany Bishop David's teaching series on the same subject.

The next week, the Lord gave him a second song...for the second sermon. The third week a third song...for the third sermon. This continued each and every week for thirteen weeks until each line of the prayer was complete. Every week he wrote an original song, recorded all the music, with all the instruments - sang every part, even all the choir parts, himself - and then performed each song live every Sunday morning.

By the fifth week, he gained the interest of UCB. He was invited to given an interview at the Studio in Stoke. Then, an invitation to sing for 1000 Church leaders at Wembley Great Hall - at a meeting to discuss the National Day of Prayer.

Dave's experience in writing this album is one that is best described by him personally. It was a rollercoaster ride that he insists could only be have achieved by God.

Keep Going
In September 2011, God told Dave to become teetotal. He has not touched alcohol since.

After the album was launched in October 2011, Dave began accepting invitations to speak. He gave his testimony, interspersed with songs from the album. He began to speak to more people, compelled to offer a world view that was not what people might expect - an outrageous life that was, regardless, wanted by God.

In December 2011, the feeling came back into his forehead - the place where his car crash scar rests. The skin had been numb for 33 years.

In September 2012, Dave commenced his Masters Degree in Theology at Regents College. The same month, he sang The Lord's Prayer at Wembley Stadium, for the National Day of Prayer.

In the meantime, he's written another album of songs, due out before Christmas.

He  doesn't know what's next - ask him what he's going to do with his life and he'll tell you, 'He hasn't told me yet'.

From an outrageous rebel, the highest authority in his own life - to a completely obedient servant of Almighty God.

He's never been happier in his life.