On November 22, 1980, the Presbytery of Ohio hosted its third annual deacons-elders banquet with fifty-five people in attendance at Calvary OPC, Harrisville, Pennsylvania. After supper, the Reverend Leonard Coppes, pastor of the host church, led an open discussion in which the question was asked, "What should deacons do?" Some emphasized that deacons needed to have the ability to establish personal relationships with the members so that when help is needed the members will call upon them. Others stressed that deacons must be able to give assistance in times of personal, family, or community crisis. Still others said that deacons should help with what takes place at the church building in connection with worship such as preparing the communion elements, taking attendance or even shoveling the snow or mowing the grass. Some thought that deacons should accompany elders on hospital visits while others believed that deacons with good financial sense who were able to give advice were invaluable. All were thankful that deacons did these many things and more in serving the church.
Mr. Coppes, author of the 1977 book, Who Will Lead Us: A Study in the Development of Biblical Offices with Emphasis on the Diaconate, would serve on the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries from 1973 to 2006. The last twenty years of his service on the committee he held the position of secretary-treasurer.
Picture: Leonard Coppes in 1980.
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