At first glance, Herbert Cooper has it all. He’s a husband, father, Jesus follower, and mega church pastor. He and his wife, Tiffany, planted People’s Church in Oklahoma City, where he proclaims the Gospel to a thriving body of believers. Pastor Cooper is well-known for his dynamic preaching, joyfulness and love of Christ.
But there’s something most people don’t know about Pastor Cooper.
He’s also a sexual abuse survivor.
When he was only 13-years-old, Pastor Cooper was targeted by an older woman who began abusing him over a period of months, his virginity was stolen from him. In this intimate and inspirational video, Pastor Cooper opens up about the road he traveled from anger to redemption.
For years– both during and after the abuse– Pastor Cooper struggled with feelings of confusion, bitterness, and resentment. He felt isolated, and like there was no one who would understand. He threw himself into football during high school in order to block out the pain. But no matter how hard he trained, he couldn’t escape the torment of his past.
All that began to change when he heard the Gospel message preached by the former kicker for the Oklahoma Sooners, Todd Thomsen. After hearing Thomsen speak, Pastor Cooper gave his life to Christ, and began his journey toward healing.
In a culture where sexual abuse survivors are often silenced by shame, his message is especially timely.
“Don’t let the shame—don’t let the guilt, don’t let the mind games, don’t let the enemy of your soul—play games with you and make you feel like nobody can help,” he says.
Today, Pastor Cooper is sharing his story in the hopes of inspiring other sexual abuse survivors to seek healing in Christ and through community. His story is a reminder that you never know what others are going through—or how God wants to use you to help.