The Grammy winner will visit the popular church, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary
Who starts a new church on Mother’s Day?
Reverend Herbert Cooper laughed as he asked this question because he knows the answer.
He and his wife Tiffany founded the People’s Church 20 years ago on Mother’s Day.
This Mother’s Day will come full circle for the couple as they look forward to hosting the church’s 20th anniversary worship service. The anniversary service is set for May 8 at the main church location at 800 E Britton Road.
Cooper said Chandler Moore, an artist and singer-songwriter with Maverick City Music, will be a special guest. The minister said he and church members were especially excited about Moore’s visit, as Maverick City recently won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Worship Album for “Old Church Basement.” In all, the group has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.
Cooper, a Wewoka native, said he knows many people in the metro area likely know the popular church as the church that began by holding worship services at the AMC Quail Springs Theater, 2501 W Memorial Road. . Sixty-five people attended this first service in the theater of the Quail Springs Mall.
“It’s kind of funny looking back,” he said.
“That first service, I had a jacket that was two big. It smelled like popcorn and we had parks in the theater for the children’s church. I remember having to go in and clean up the popcorn because not everything was cleaned.”
Cooper said he helped set everything up in that first location.
“I was on the set-up crew, the clean-up crew, and I was in the parking lot because there were just a handful of us to start the church,” he said. “I was there waving at people in the parking lot and then people were shocked – they were like ‘that’s the preacher who was in the parking lot'”.
Things have changed over the past two decades.
Cooper said People’s Church now draws about 6,000 people for weekly in-person weekend services, along with thousands more online. He said he knew some people had not returned to in-person worship service and activities, but more and more people were joining in-person gatherings.
“We’re not quite back to our pre-COVID numbers but we had over 12,000 by Easter so we’re back,” he said.
The popular church has grown so much that the ministry has felt compelled over the years to open several satellite churches, including one at 8512 Northwest Expressway, one in Midwest City at 351 N Depot, and one in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cooper said he and his congregation were especially proud of the Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility satellite in McLoud. The church also has an online component called Church Online.
People’s Church’s newest satellite is on the horizon, with the purchase earlier this year of property at 525 NW 164. Cooper said the standalone satellite will be known as the Edmond Campus. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2023.
Cooper said among the changes over 20 years were the welcome additions of his four children. He said he and his wife had no children when they started the church and now have a quartet of teenagers, with the oldest due to graduate in a few days.
“My kids beat me and Tiffany in church on Sunday,” he said with a laugh. “It truly blesses my heart to see our children love Christ.”
The minister said he was grateful for the other blessings the Lord has also bestowed on his family and his ministry, especially the growth of the church.
“I have a church bigger than the town I grew up in – look at God,” he said.
He said he thinks the popular church continues to attract individuals and families for several reasons.
The preacher said he and his church members try to put people at ease, no matter what stage of life they are at.
“We work really hard to create an environment where it’s okay to be wrong,” he said.
Cooper said the diversity of the church also attracts many people.
“Twenty years later, we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”
20th anniversary of the People’s Church
When: May 8.
Or: Live at People’s Church, 800 E Britton Road; streamed live at all Oklahoma locations and People’s Church Online at https://peoples.church/YouTube.