Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Not Your Normal Humdrum Family
(St. Simons Island, GA) You never know who you will run into when you show up to eat at a restaurant. I was in Brunswick GA today and a business associate and I drove over to St Simons tonight to eat dinner. As we were getting settled at the table I looked across the room and noticed a guy who looked very familiar. I told my friend I cannot be sure if it is who I think it is but I will take a chance.
The closer I got to the table the more I knew I had the right folks.
I knew Dr. Al Coppedge before he became a doctor. I have written here about attending Indian Springs Camp Meeting for years when I was growing up. Al and his family were regulars at Indian Springs and became close family friends. Actually Al dated my sister many, many moons ago. He made more than a few trips to Reynolds during those days long gone. He married Beth Kinlaw, who is the daughter of Dr. Dennis Kinlaw. Dr. Kinlaw was the President of Asbury College for years. He was also one of those fire and brimstone evangelists who held a young boy over the flames of hell summer after summer at Indian Springs. I don’t think it would hurt if more young folks got held over those flames every now and then these days.
Dr. Coppedge is Professor of Systematic Theology and Wesley Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore KY. His wife Beth speaks at women’s retreats all over the United States and overseas. One of their children, Katie Beth, was with them tonight. She is a missionary who serves in Budapest Hungary.
This is not your normal humdrum family.
Several weeks ago I was speaking at an event and afterwards a retired Methodist minister and his wife who were regulars at Indian Springs came up to me to talk. The conversation turned to Indian Springs and they asked me if I knew that Al Coppedge was critically ill. I had not heard that but on the way home I called my sister. She knew he had a heart attack but she thought he had recovered and was doing much better.
I can confirm now (and I have a photo here to prove it) that Al is definitely on the mend. He is on sabbatical from teaching at the moment. His wife spoke at a conference here a few weeks ago and they stayed over for awhile to relax and recuperate. Katie Beth joined them here from Budapest.
Tonight their dinner was probably cold when they finally ate it because I walked over to their table just as they were served their food. After a few hugs and exchange of pleasantries, Beth made an interesting comment about my mom that was quite a compliment coming from this outstanding woman.
She said, “Naia was one of my real spiritual heroes in life.”
Me too, Beth. Me too.