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Preaching, Teaching & Community Program Management
COPPIN – Organized March 1919 by Reverend J.D. Coston and named after Bishop Levi Jenkins Coppin, who was elected and consecrated in 1900. First church home at 43rd and Wabash Avenue. Moved to the present location in 1928.
AFRICAN – The word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa or that it was for persons of African descent only.
METHODIST – The church’s roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations, and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel.
EPISCOPAL – Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The chief and administrative officers of the denomination are the Bishops of the church.
Mission Statement – The Mission of Coppin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ’s liberating gospel through word and deed. (Adopted 11.07/2009)
Vision Statement – We are an intentional community of faith and committed as active participants in furthering the Kingdom of God. (Adopted 11/07/2009)
Historical Overview – Coppin Memorial A.M.E. Church was organized March 19, 1919 in the Transfer Hall at 47th & State Street, Chicago. Coppin was named in honor of Bishop Levi J. Coppin, who was elected the 30th Bishop of the AME Church in 1900. Its first church home was purchased in 1922 at 4318 S. Wabash Avenue. Coppin grew from a mission to a membership of over 900. In 1928, Coppin’s current home at 5633 S. Michigan Avenue was purchased. The dream of a youth center began in the 1950s and under the leadership of Rev. S. S. Morris, on May 29, 1966, ground was broken for the new $350,000 Youth Center. The building was dedicated on October 29, 1967. The Youth Center is named in honor of Bishop S.S. Morris and today is called the Morris Center. Rev. Morris was Pastor of Coppin for sixteen years and in June 1972 and was elected as Bishop of the A.M.E. Church. We have been in the Washington Park community for 95 years.
Current Ministry Programs: Coppin Church is a congregation that endeavors to live and share the liberating and reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are intergenerational with an active senior population. We have a strong preaching and teaching ministry for all ages, as we continue to build ministry programming for children, youth and young adults. Leadership training and retreats, family and community events to promote healthy, balanced living are a priority. We offer programming through Coppin Community Center (a federally tax exempt, 501(c) (3) organization, established in 2006) for Coppin Church, Coppin House (Coppin House, a 54 unit affordable living complex, on-site supportive services opened 2009) and the community at large.
Coppin Church is community focused and continues to become a vital stakeholder in the Washington Park Community on the south side of Chicago and beyond. We seek to live out our Christian faith by intentionally and strategically serving to build and sustain community. We utilize a collaborative model, forging partnerships with The Washington Park Consortium, Chicago Public Schools and Carter Elementary School, World Vision Chicago (youth programs), to name a few. Additionally we are active partners with the Chicago Police, as we host Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meetings, and work to serve children and families impacted by violence. We have the 1st Evening Food Pantry (weekly) in Washington Park to serve the working poor. We are a satellite for Adult Education (GED) of Kennedy King College. We are an approved Freedom School (summer program) by the Children’s Defense Fund and house the Boys & Girls Carter Club (after school program).
STUDENT PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
We have added opportunities for students: a separate 501(c) (3) organization through which we operate our community programs/non-profit management; Coppin House, a 54 unit apartment complex with supportive services on-site. Of course, the traditional preaching and teaching, Christian education, community engagement.
STUDENT PLACEMENT EXPECTATIONS:
Honesty, prompt and professional, integrity, readiness to serve/work, teachable, flexible.
PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENT SUPERVISION:
We will strive to be a safe place for students to inquire, to grapple, to question, to engage in dialogue and receive practical and scripture based wisdom for pastoral ministry and leadership development.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS:
Coppin is just south of 55th Street/Garfield Blvd on Michigan Avenue; it is accessible via both the red and green lines and the bus. Parking lot is on the west side of Michigan Avenue, just across the street from the church.