The Reverend Dr. Claudette A. Copeland is a native of Buffalo, New York. She serves as Co-founder and Pastor of New Creation Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, Texas.
She received her undergraduate education at the University of Connecticut, where she concentrated her studies in the field of Psychology. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree, she went on to earn her Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned the Doctorate of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where she also served for several years as a visiting Professor and Mentor for doctoral studies.
Licensed as an evangelist at age 18 (The Church of God in Christ), the ministry is central to her life. Reverend Copeland was ordained in 1979, has served in a variety of ministry settings, including the Hospital Chaplaincy, the Mission Field (in Haiti, South Africa, West Africa and East Africa), and is a former member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.
In 1980, she was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy. She and her husband were the first African-American clergy couple in the history of the U.S. Military Chaplaincy, where they served with distinction before returning to the civilian pastorate.
Dr. Copeland’s work has been published in the African American Devotional Bible (Zondervan); and in the African American Pulpit (Judson Press), where she serves as a board member and contributing writer. She is the author of the book, Coming Through the Darkness: Cancer & One Woman’s Journey To Wholeness (Red Nail Press), along with the companion prayer journal, Coming Through. She released her book entitled, Stories from Inner Space: Confessions of a Preacher Woman and other Tales (Red Nail Press 2003,), and a Musical CD entitled, There’s Never Been a Time featuring an engaging cross section of sacred music styles. Her latest literary contribution is included in This Is My Story: Testimonies and Sermons of Black Women in Ministry, published by John Knox Press, 2005.
Reverend Copeland is the founder of Claudette Copeland Ministries, a national empowerment group for women. She has been featured in many journals and magazines, including Gospel Today, Essence Magazine, and Ebony Magazine as one of the fifteen notable women preachers in the nation. Dr. Copeland was included in the Smithsonian Institute Exhibit: “Speak to My Heart”, Communities of Faith and Contemporary African American Lives. (Anacostia Museum) She made history as the first woman to offer the keynote address to the National MLK Jr. Commemorative March in a major urban venue, addressing over 80,000 persons in San Antonio for this great event (2004).
She continues to be active with women’s groups, cross-denominational churches, and professional ministry groups, both nationally and internationally, seeking justice and joy for women and children.
Reverend Copeland resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, the Bishop David M. Copeland. You will be better because she came your way!