Imagine being born in the year of 1915. A time when the slaves were emancipated for 50 years, the United States is in World War I, Woodrow Wilson is president, women did not have the right to vote and The Boston Red Sox won the World Series. The country is in the cusp of a new century (20th), and she was born in rural southern Troup County as a negro girl.
Although she was born into a loving, Christian home, her future, at the time, was uncertain at best. Her parents instilled values of family, Christianity and love that sustained her throughout the years. During this upbringing, she experienced the ugliness of America because of her race — limited education, employment opportunities and the ugliness of Jim Crow. Yet this did not deter her from becoming the person she is today.
This young girl, Mrs. Annie T. Copeland, is now listed in the books of centenarians. She turned 100 years old on Sept. 28, 2015. She is vibrant, alert and still active in her church.
Mrs. Copeland’s family has a deep and rich history in The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Her father acquired the property that is now Saint Paul C.M.E Church, Gabbettville, Georgia. Mrs. Copeland joined Saint James C.M.E. Church at the age of 10 and became active with the stewardess, missionary and usher boards.
Mrs. Copeland married the late Kelcy Copeland in 1936 and unto this union six children were born: Marilyn, Robert, Betty, Mary Ann, Bobby and Jane. She has eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Mrs. Copeland was employed with Callaway Mills and City County Hospital (West Georgia Health System) as a nurse’s aide. She was a member of the Rosebud Civic club and other community organizations.
On Sept. 27, 2015, Rev. Lovett Thornton and the Saint James C.M.E. family honored Mrs. Copeland and her family with a glorious birthday celebration with proclamations from the church and the City of LaGrange. Attending with Mrs. Copeland were her children, grandchildren, other relatives and longtime neighbors. A reception followed church services.
Saint James C.M.E. is honored and privileged to have Mrs. Annie Copeland as a member of our congregation. The church celebrates and salutes Mrs. Copeland for reaching a milestone, 100 years old, permissible from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Flora M. Lindsey