Alfred Cooper: Celebrating a Milestone in Pentecostal Theology

Here at OCMS we always take delight in the accomplishments of our alumni. Here is the story of one of them, Alfred Cooper, who has recently completed his doctorate, contributing significantly to the field of Pentecostal theology. Alfred’s journey, marked by dedication and scholarly rigor, has culminated in the successful defense of his thesis titled ‘A Gem in the Water’: A Contribution to Contemporary Pentecostal Theology on Baptism of the Holy Spirit from a study of Willis Hoover’s Chilean Methodist Pentecostalism.

Back in October, Alfred’s years of hard work and meticulous research were recognised by a distinguished panel, including Dr. Juan Sepúlveda and Dr. Allan Anderson, who praised his work, requiring only very minor corrections.

Alfred’s thesis delves into the theology of Willis Hoover, a pivotal figure in the development of Chilean Pentecostalism, exploring the nuances of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit—a topic not thoroughly examined before. His research navigates Hoover’s theological journey, offering insights and solutions to the challenges associated with Hoover’s sub-sequentialist Pentecostal teaching, and introducing the innovative concept of ‘Pneuma plasticity’.

Beyond his academic pursuits, Alfred, alongside his wife Hilary, has been a vibrant force in spreading the gospel. Alfred was ordained to the Anglican evangelical priesthood in Chile in 1978. Then in 1983, with his wife, he planted the Church of the Trinity (Iglesia de la Trinidad) in Las Condes, Santiago, where he continues to serve as head pastor. In 2000 he was named a Canon and in 2015, he was consecrated an auxiliary bishop. Alfred was born to British expats in Chile, and it is where he still lives and is passionate about.

From Alf’s influential role as chaplain to President Piñera to their innovative TV programme addressing contemporary issues through biblical teachings, Alfred and Hilary’s collective efforts have significantly shaped the spiritual landscape. Their dedication to church planting and community building is exemplified in their 30-year commitment to nurturing La Trinidad de Las Condes.

Alfred’s transition from an inquisitive seeker at Bristol University to a respected theologian and community leader reflects a life dedicated to faith, learning, and service. His journey, marked by diverse spiritual explorations and a steadfast commitment to his calling, stands as a testament to the power of faith and intellect combined.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Alfred on his PhD, and wish him well in his future endeavours and contributions to a missional and ecumenical conversation around the Pentecostal phenomenon in Chile and beyond. For more information about Alfred and Hilary’s journey or to get access to Alfred’s scholarly work, please visit their dedicated page on the Church Mission Society (CMS) website.


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