Up until now, Mark Wilkins' life has been pretty much what one would expect from a middle-aged pastor.
The 49-year-old man of the cloth has spent most of his life in northwest Indiana. He is wholly devoted to the Crown Point Methodist Church and its worshippers. Oh yeah -- and he loves to blast a little metal.
"If I'm having a stressful day or a really good day, you're going to hear Alice Cooper," Wilkins said. "And you're going to hear it pretty loud."
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That's right. The self-described "pudgy" Methodist pastor has had a thing for the iconic rock legend since he was 13 years old. He has every Alice Cooper album and song ever released on his iPod.
So it was the dream of a lifetime when Cooper invited Wilkins onstage to be a part of his horror-infused extravaganza at Live Nation's Uptown Amphitheater in Charlotte, N.C., as one of four winners of "Good Morning America's" Living the Dream contest.
The experience "far exceeded" Wilkins' expectations, he said today on "GMA." "This went so far beyond anything that I could have imagined … it was amazing."
Click HERE to read more about Wilkins and the other three Living the Dream winners.
"There is almost a visceral reaction to Alice Cooper, who is Christian, who's been married for 35 years, who's all about his family," Wilkins said. "What folks have to understand is it's a stage act."
Bassist Chuck Garric played guide for Wilkins.
"Chuck was nice enough to actually let me play his bass a little bit. And he jacked it up to earth-moving volumes," Wilkins said. "To be able to make a noise that loud, oh my inner 13-year-old went into a coma!"
After a rehearsal for his once-in-a-lifetime performance Cooper created just for him, Wilkins was ready for his stage debut. When Cooper's tour bus pulled in, Wilkins was waiting.
"Walking down that sidewalk to the tour bus to meet him, that sidewalk was at least three miles long." Wilkins said. "And absolutely, my heart is pounding."
And then the door opened.
"I took a step inside and I just stopped cold because it was like, that's Alice Cooper!" Wilkins said. "I'm three feet from Alice Cooper! "
"And all of those dreams just kind of came together in that moment of, 'Oh my gosh, this is really happening,'" he said.
Together, Wilkins and his boyhood idol went into the dressing rooms to prep for their big show -- costumes, make-up and all.
Once he was ghoulish and gruesome, Wilkins was ready to go, even growling at the camera to get in character. As rehearsed, he was pulled onstage by performers.
"I had only one thought going through my head again and again -- don't screw this up," Wilkins said.
As Wilkins positioned himself on stage by Alice Cooper, snug in his Iron Maiden garb, Cooper was gored in one of his famous stage tricks, spraying the Indiana pastor with fake blood.
"You have no idea how good this feels!" Wilkins said.
It's the type of memory that's so good, it lasts forever.
"This is for all those middle-aged guys who want to pretend to be 13-year-olds and never get the chance," he said. "There's going to be a lot of cold afternoons in my future when I'm just going to stop and smile all of a sudden, remembering this moment."
Wilkins said today that his "incredibly cool" congregation saw the humor in his performance, and that he plans to take his wife and daughter to see Alice Cooper perform this July.