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Meet Our Senior Pastors

Together our Pastors David and Denise, have invested heavily into the vision of Empower Church.  
Having served under our founding Pastors Dennis and Barbara Barton, since 1982,
Pastors David and Denise, very much live and breathe the DNA of Empower Church.
In 2010 they were ordained as the Senior Pastors and they have since adopted the mission to do
themselves out of a job.  They are committed to raising, empowering and releasing others into
the call of God.

Pastor David Cooper

Pastor Denise Cooper

Pastor-David-Cooper---Empower-Church Pastor-Denise-Cooper---Empower-Church

Known for his attempts to hide his love of peanut slabs from his lovely wife for many years, and for his quick sense of humour.

Known for her love of great music, her infectious laugh and great conversations over dinner.

Pastor David is a powerful and dynamic minister, who has travelled throughout Australia, Fiji and parts of Asia.  He is known for is ability to unpack biblical truths and make them plain and simple for people to apply in their own lives.  He’s also known for activating and releasing others into their destiny and equipping them for success.

David was born in Adelaide, South Australia but moved to Auckland with his family at age 17, when his father, the late Pastor Dudley Cooper, was called to take leadership of a church in Devonport. David knew from age 15 that his destiny was to preach and communicate the truths of Jesus Christ. He has been on staff at Empower Church since 1982, initially as Assistant Pastor for founding pastors Dennis & Barbara Barton. In April 2010, he assumed the role of Senior Pastor.


Outside church life...

David is an entertaining and engaging speaker at his local Toastmasters group. His topics are interesting and innovative as he incorporates humour and Holy Spirit inspiration to bring a shift in the message he has to communicate. You’ll also be likely to find him with his nose in a book or article on subjects such as leadership principles, NASA Space Missions, Social Justice and Missions work - just a few of the topics he enjoys researching. He is the proud father of three sons, Daniel, Caleb and Jason, and the even prouder Grandpa to six grandchildren, who are his pride and joy and take all of his attention whenever they are in the room.

When asked what excites him about leading Empower Church, David is quick to share his passion to see people reach their potential in the call that God has for each and every person. His vision is to empower and lead a team of game changers that will make a difference in this world. David believes that as we communicate and demonstrate the love that God has for everyone, both through local community activities and international initiatives, we will see a shift that will have a significant impact in this nation and beyond.

Denise’s passion for seeing people reach their potential in the things of God is what drives her. She leads from the front through engaging stories, humour and experiences from her life as a wife, a mother and a Pastor. She knows how to work with the Holy Spirit to lead people into an encounter with Jesus and she loves nothing more than seeing people achieve their God-given purpose in life.

Denise has been involved in Empower Church since it was founded (as Family Centre) in 1973 by her parents, Pastors Dennis and Barbara Barton. In that time Denise has worked in every area of church life and ministry. After graduating from secretarial school and working for a while, Denise went to Bible College. Upon her return to Christchurch she met and fell in love with David.

They began their ministry life together when David took on the role of Assistant Pastor at Empower Church, and after David became Senior Pastor in 2010, Denise was ordained to minister alongside him.  
Mother to three sons, Daniel, Caleb and Jason, Denise now also has five delightful grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters. Beyond the commitments of church life, one of her greatest joys is spending time with her grandchildren. She also keeps healthy by going to the gym - with David in tow to ensure that he stays healthy too!

When asked what excites her the most about her role…

Firstly, Denise will tell you that she doesn’t have a job; she has a passion. She loves having the privilege of being there for people, supporting them through all the different stages of life. To be able to walk alongside others and journey with them through both the joys and the challenges of life, and seeing the love and victory of Jesus through it all, is why she loves what she does.

Denise has taken on the mission, along with David, of raising up a multi-generational team, equipped for ministry both within the life of the local church and beyond. Her aim is to do herself out of a job, by training a generation of leaders who are empowered to lead and to do greater things for the Kingdom of God. This ‘big picture’ approach continues to grow and evolve, ensuring that the church remains relevant to the ever-changing culture of our time.







EMAIL      office@empowerchurch.co.nz


Sundays 10:30am and on Zoom


140 - 146 Springfield Road
St Albans