The Rev. Stephen J. Copley is a Church and Community Worker missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as executive director of Interfaith Arkansas, based in Little Rock.
Church and Community Workers respond to God’s call to ministry among the poor and disenfranchised in rural and urban areas throughout the United States. They work to change the social inequities of poverty, racial injustice, and domestic violence.
Interfaith Arkansas engages in two types of ministry: interfaith/ecumenical dialogue and community ministry around the issues of poverty, restorative justice, the environment, immigration, and health.
Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, Stephen attended the University of Central Arkansas and earned a B.A. degree in history. His theological study was completed at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In addition, he earned a law degree at the Little Rock School of Law of the University of Arkansas.
Prior to his work with Interfaith Arkansas, Stephen was director of National Justice for Our Neighbors in Arkansas. NJFON is a network of annual conferences, congregations, and ecumenical partners to address issues arising from the complex immigration regulations in the United States. It emerged from the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Before service with NJFON, Stephen was senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock. Earlier, he pastored congregations in Horatio, Hampton, and Gillett. He also held a pastorate in Great Britain.
His ecumenical and interfaith roots are deep. For five years Stephen was president of the Arkansas Interfaith Conference. He is chair of the Arkansas Annual Conference Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, and was a United Methodist delegate to the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches for the years 2008–2011. He is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Leaders Network.
In addition, Stephen is extremely active in civic life in Little Rock and Arkansas, serving in multiple capacities with organizations devoted to such causes as hunger alleviation, human rights, economic security and a living wage, shelter for the homeless, and social justice. The Jaycees honored him with an Outstanding Young Arkansan award, one of several honors he has received for his social and humanitarian work.
His wife Judi is a public school media specialist.
: Arkansas Annual Conference
, California/Pacific Annual Conference
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