Memoir - The Lord Will Provide: The Life & Times of Rev. William H. Copeland Jr.

November 2019

The Lord Will Provide
The Life & Times of Rev. William H. Copeland
By William H. Copeland with Monica Fountain

ISBN: 978-0-9814858-7-4
WestSide Press Chicago

Rev. William H. Copelamd Jr.
REVEREND WILLIAM H. COPELAND is a fighter. Not in the brutish or violent sense. He is a not a pugilist in the ring. Not a street brawler. But he is a warrior. God’s warrior. A fighter for the Kingdom and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A fighter for Civil Rights. A defender of the powerless, the poor, the hopeless and disenfranchised. He has been a fighter all his life.
As the youngest of 14 children born in Dodson, Louisiana, he had to fight with unrelenting and purposeful intent for his life, even from a very early age. He was a sickly child. An answer to his mother’s prayers for a son, he teetered between life and death, cradled by the winds of hope and prayers of ancestors who endured the Middle Passage and tortuous American slave plantations with a fervent faith in God and their eyes set on the prize.
Born and raised in the segregated South, a black boy, he had to fight to survive. Through segregation, Jim Crow, the Civil rights movement, he fought. With every fiber of his being, he fought. Unto death, he intends to fight.
Like his father before him, he heard the call to ministry at a young age, and later the call to pastor. As a young pastor, he fought for the underdog. He fought to build. He fought for justice and for freedom, standing sometimes in the face of bigotry and racial hate, even in Kankakee, Illinois, where he migrated from Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and two children on the fringe of the turbulent 1960s to become the new pastor of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. 
A pastor with a true shepherd’s heart, too often broken or betrayed even by those closest to him, he fought on, his faith and footing in Christ.
“If you’re in a fight,” he often said, “make sure it’s a good one.”
Monica Fountain, daughter of Rev. Copeland writes
"The Lord Will Provide" with her father.
This book is the story of his American life. A memoir on the Life & Times of Reverend William H. Copeland, as told to his daughter. A pastor’s story bathed in the context of the American nightmare known as slavery and also the hope embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, and African Americans’ continue stride toward freedom.
This is not a book of spiritual hyperbole but a personal human journey of the sacrifices, struggles, triumphs and even the failings of a good man with a heart for God. It is the story of what it truly means to be a pastor, to love the people of God.
It is one man’s story. But it is reflective of the journeys of a generation of pastors and other clergy who preceded a new and current dispensation of prosperity doctrine, mega-churches and preacher as celebrity. It is a personal story that, at its heart, calls the church to repentance and to return to its roots of steadfast faith, uncompromising truth, deep spirituality, and social justice. To stand on four words that for William H. Copeland have shone like diamonds, even in the darkest hours, all of his life:  “The Lord Will Provide”
Written by Rev. William H. Copeland with his daughter Monica Fountain, it is a story we can all share.  

Racism and the Oppressor

Why We Need African-American History from a Biblical Perspective
The following is a course written and taught by Rev. Dr. William H. Copeland Jr. for many years at the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Kankakee, Illinois and across the country. The full title of the course is "Why We Need African-American History from a Black Biblical Perspective: A Socio-political, theological and economic review of the record of African-American history."
Probably the greatest legacy of slavery in America is racism. Racism is alive and well in America. It is more than prejudice. For we all are prejudiced. That is to say we make discriminatory choices in life. I have a right not to want to live next door to the person who dumps his garbage in the street. But if this choice is based on ethnicity rather than public health, then I am a racist. However, for the sake of clarification, racism needs to be defined as prejudice plus power. It is that socio-psychological ideology that shapes the behavior of the oppressor and the oppressed.

Racism gives the oppressor a false sense of superiority. Because of their parental training, and their participation in racist structures, whites in general have a superior disposition towards African Americans and other oppressed groups. Nobody is born a racist, yet millions are the inheritors of this evil ideology.

But again racism makes a liar out of the oppressor. We think of the Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, who penned profound words that had no meaning for the oppressed. When they wrote, "All men are created equal" they did not have African Americans in mind because we were not considered to be human beings.

As a rule black people need to develop a thirst for history. Each achievement today is made possible because of past experiences. A people shamed of its past is confused about its present and afraid of its future. The further we reach back into our past, the clearer the future comes into focus. You cannot leap into tomorrow without standing upon yesterday. Correct information about our past accomplishments produces inspiration and motivation which leads to greater self identity, self-esteem and even higher and nobler ideas and accomplishments.

The history of black Americans has been grossly neglected in American history books. Until recent years, it was not easy to get a clear picture of black life and history. There had been a tendency to treat the black man as if he didn't count or his history didn't merit mention. He was usually portrayed as a barbaric African, a happy slave, or the irresponsible carefree song and dance man. Amos and Andy are examples of this stereotype.

If one assumes that a man has no history worth mentioning, it is easy to assume he has no humanity worth defending. Black Americans were told that since our accomplishments did not appear in history books, we did not have any. This neglect was to the point that you could earn a bachelor's degree in American history and yet not be qualified to teach Black History.

Every race or ethnic group in the world has its own history and culture written or orally transmitted by their own race.

To keep this universal rule, black people should be no exception, especially because true information produces true aspiration which leads to true inspiration and motivation which will move our people to self identity, self-esteem and to higher and nobler ideas and achievements.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32 KJV.

Over 373 years have passed since black people lost control of their divine right to distinguish for themselves the Biblical truth; consequently, the truth about black people has been buried under the non-Negroid perspectives of histories both secular and religious, by historians and theologians whose people reaped social, economic, political, ethnic and religious advantages from the mis-education of people throughout the world, especially black people.

Today, the true answers are buried in historical and Biblical graves. The truth may be buried in the deepest grave; however, the truth cannot be killed. In 1611, King James, as he prepared to introduce the black slave labor on American soil for this country's economic gain, engaged his scholars, who in translating the Bible into the English language, buried most of the references to blacks in the Bible. For 381 years, the western world threw shovels of dirty prejudice on the graves of Biblical truths about blacks in the Bible; however, the truth about blacks in the Bible could not die.

A Word of Wisdom for Today

April 15, 2013

The last seven words of a dying church are, "We never did it that way before."

But change is like potent medicine. Too much, too soon and the patient will die. Too little, too late and he will die. That's why doctors give medicine in doses.

The only legitimate reason for change is to make something better in the present and future than it was in the past.

Why We Need African-American History from a Biblical Perspective

The following is a course written and taught by Rev. Dr. William H. Copeland Jr. for many years at the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Kankakee, Illinois and across the country. The full title of the course is "Why We Need African-American History from a Black Biblical Perspective: A Socio-political, theological and economic review of the record of African-American history."

"A people will never look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."--Edmund Burke

By Rev. Dr. William H. Copeland Jr.

The question has been asked, "Why do Black people need to know their history?" A companion
question could be asked, "Why do Jews need to know their history?" The Old Testament is a compilation of Hebrew history. Why do white Americans need to know their history? The law demands we know American history before we graduate from high school or college. Why do Chinese, Japanese or any other ethnic group need to know their history?

History is the memory of human group experiences. If it is forgotten or ignored, we lose a part of our humanity. Without history, we have no knowledge of our past and no understanding of our present. We could become victims of collective amnesia, groping though a long, dark night of superstition and ignorance in search of our identity.

The mind-altering experience of slavery haunts us like the ghost of Banquo in Shakespeare's Macbeth. My present has been shaped by my vicious past. Both African Americans and Caucasians recoil at the suggestion that slavery still informs and influences the social situation of African Americans. The Caucasian gets upset because he doesn't want to be reminded of hi sin against humanity, and the African American finds it too painful to remember. But remember we must. One of the most magnetic sites in Israel is the Yad Vashem, which is a museum or memorial built in honor of the six million Jews who died in German concentration camps.

A Word of Wisdom for Today

April 8, 2013

Sometimes there are no perfect words, only thoughtful silences that whisper softly of a caring, cherished friendship. (source unknown)

A Word of Wisdom for Today

April 1, 2013

Wisdom: the art of living skillfully, exacting the most out of life in whatever condition one finds himself.

Wisdom does not necessarily come with years. The calendar does not guarantee wisdom. It ought to but it doesn't. We ought to learn by living.--Rev. William H. Copeland Jr.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Proverbs 9:10

A Word of Wisdom for Today

Preach a Middy
In the early 60s French designers came out with a little bobtail dress they called the mini. The mini went into early retirement because of the weather. The mini was short enough to get attention but not long enough to cover the subject.

They went back to the drawing board and came back with a maxi. The maxi was long enough to cover the subject but not short enough to get attention. So they went to the middy. The middy was short enough to get attention and yet long enough to cover the subject.

My advice to preachers (or any speaker): Preach a middy message. Short enough to get attention but long enough to cover the subject.--Rev. William H. Copeland Jr.

Continuing A Life of Service