Tad & Michelle Cooper
- Our Local
- Our Reach
- Our Self
Tad and Michelle Cooper serve in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, primarily in Richmond and the greater San Jose area. Much of Richmond is a poor urban ghetto. Residents of this community are largely marginalized and oppressed, have little or no education, and work minimum wage or low paying jobs. With large populations of Lao people in this community, many residents are animistic spirit worshippers or Buddhists.
San Jose and the surrounding cities are primarily suburban middle- and upper-class communities. Many residents are high tech Silicon Valley workers. There is a larger representation of evangelical churches in these communities, but many residents still do not attend any kind of religious service. Tad and Michelle desire to impact the lives of recent immigrants in the Silicon Valley with the truth of the gospel.
There are many needs in the poor communities, including tutoring, parenting classes, ESL classes, and hands-on work with at-risk youth. While physical and emotional needs are evident, there is also a real spiritual need among many residents to come to Christ as Savior and grow in a relationship with Him. The Cooper's heart is to reach out in love to poor and marginalized immigrants and refugees and minister to them spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
After seeing the need in their community, the Coopers began ministering to Laotian refugees and other immigrant people groups in the Bay Area. They specifically serve two groups from Laos: the Khmu and the Yiu-Mienh. Both of these groups have monoethnic churches that effectively serve first generation immigrants but struggle to reach and retain the second generation. In addition to these Laotian refugees, Tad and Michelle also minister to other ethnic young families in Richmond through venues such as basketball and camping.
In 2014, Tad and two other pastors (one an Asian-Indian immigrant and the second a Chinese immigrant) planted a new, multiethnic church near San Jose called Spectrum Church. This ministry primarily reaches out to 1.5-generation and second generation immigrants/refugees from the many ethnic people groups who now make the Bay Area their home. With a goal for membership to be as multiethnic as the leadership, Spectrum Church continues to search for new ways to serve the many ethnic groups in the surrounding community.
Tad also serves as a co-chair of iSpectra, an organization which he helped form in 2013 to ignite multicultural discipleship in Bay Area churches. The ministry of iSpectra consists primarily of orchestrating large multiethnic gatherings of pastors and church leaders for the purpose of training, discipleship, and encouragement. In addition to these large conferences, iSpectra hosts monthly Pastor Cohorts where ethnic and majority culture pastors meet together for teaching, encouragement, and prayer.
Tad has the privilege of making periodic mission trips to Thailand and Laos to serve the Khmu and Lao pastors, church leaders, and churches in those countries. He loves to teach God’s Word and mentor the pastors there. He also serves on a team that is seeking new ways to give these pastors and church leaders better training as leaders and shepherds of God’s flock.
"Tad and Michelle are seeking God's will regarding the planting of a multiethnic church in the Richmond community. Their vision is to serve the ethnic millennials and their children in this area. They are currently discipline and training a core team of leaders and attendees who will help plant the church."
The Coopers have served as InFaith field staff since 1991.
Tad has a BS in Animal Biology from the University of Kentucky, and received an M.Div. from Talbot Seminary in 1981.
Tad and Michelle married in 1982, and have four adult daughters, two of whom are serving the Lord as missionaries in Asian countries. They also have six grandchildren.