|Reverend Louis Coppage was born on September 6, 1932, in El Dorado, Arkansas, the son of Louis, Sr. and Evelyn Thompson Coppage. He was a graduate of Centenary College and Perkins School of Theology. In 1962 he met his lovely wife, Mattie Rae, and they were married in Alexandria on July 27th, 1963. Louis and Mattie Rae shared many wonderful years and memories with their two children, Martha and Michael. Louis was ordained Elder in Full Connection in the Louisiana Conference in 1956 and served a number of different appointments in his 40 years of active service. In 1994, Louis retired, but only from the effective relationship with the Louisiana Conference. He did not retire from ministry. During his four short years of retirement, Louis served the Tangipahoa-Pine Ridge charge as pastor. He always felt that God saved his best appointment for last. He revived this charge, and this charge helped to revive him. On January 25, 1999, Louis was in attendance with all of his fellow ministers at a spiritual renewal retreat at the Conference Center in Alexandria. He had just finished worshipping and praying with all of his fellow ministers when the agenda called for everyone to go peacefully into the night. This is just what Louis did. He went peacefully into God’s eternal night at the age of sixty-six.
Louis Coppage will be remembered in a number of different ways. Some will remember him as a gentle spirit who always included the Word of God with his words of encouragement. Many will jokingly remember Louis as the slowest minister in the Conference. Most will remember Louis as being very thorough and deliberate in the way he cared for people. All will remember him as a minister who embodied faith in God and served as a living witness of this faith to others. I will remember him as my mentor; the man who found as much happiness in my entering the ministry as I have found; the man who taught me that being a gentle, loving, and caring presence for people is more important than being a recognized, self-fulfilled presence in the pulpit or an Administrative Board Meeting.
A week before I was ordained Elder in the Louisiana Conference, Louis sent me a letter to congratulate me and confirm that he would be there at the Service of Ordination to lay hands on me. At the bottom of that letter he scribbled, “Romans 12:2.” This passage reads, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Louis Coppage helped many discern the will of God for their lives. Because of this, he was good. Because of this, he was acceptable. Because of this, he is now perfect in God’s eternal kingdom. To God be the glory for this and to God be the glory for the life and the ministry of Louis Coppage.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1999; p. 255 By Rev. Michi Head|