By Victor Ochieng
The time has finally come for Dr. Claudette Copeland, pastor of New Creation Fellowship, to retire from active pastoring of the church, a role she’s been doing alongside her husband Bishop David Copeland. She made the announcement through her Twitter account.
Dr. Copeland has served in several different ministries over a span of more than 40 years. She founded Claudette Copeland Ministries, a national group focused on women empowerment. She invites people to the “healing, delivering, and transforming” space of God, which has worked to change the lives of many for the better.
But there comes a time when one has to take the backseat and let new leaders take up the mantle. Taking to Twitter, she said, “This AM will mark my last Sunday as active duty Pastor of the New Creation Christian Fellowship after 33 years. I have no words. I did my best. I gave it my all. ‘Let the church roll on’ A GREAT PEOPLE. A MIGHTY GREAT GOD. #Emerita.”
After she made her announcement, many people responded, with a good number praising her as a true servant of God.
“Now this here is sad. This is truly a godly person, a beautiful, nice human and humble woman. I remember when she recovered from cancer I read her book (testimony). Such a truly, truly lovely person AND can throw down a preach. I had the pleasure of hearing her preach several times. Just awesome,” said one user on The Old Black Church blog. “God bless her in her retirement.”
“My first exposure to Dr. Claudette Copeland was through Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright,” said Johnny Hopkins on the same blog. “When Streaming Faith was an active site, I watched the Trinity UCC stream at 12 noon and caught many of their special services on that platform. Every time she spoke there (and other places), I felt challenged in my walk with the Lord. She truly deserves a rest from pastoring. Maybe she will still do an occasional conference, but she is a truly classy woman.”
Dr. Copeland became a licensed evangelist at the age of 18, while serving at The Church of God in Christ and the service of the LORD has been her central driving point. She was ordained in 1979 and has since served in several different ministry settings, including Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Hospital Chaplaincy, the Mission Field (Haiti, West Africa, East Africa and South Africa), among several other places.