EDITORIAL -- Cope's "Family Life" Series
On July 9, 10, 11, the Westside church in Marion, Indiana had James R. Cope, President of Florida College, to present his "Family Life" series. Since January 1st, Brother Cope has presented this series eighteen different times. In fact, he has spoken before more than fifty different churches in the last twelve months.
To state that the Westside church, which is only two years old, was pleased with the outcome of the series is an understatement. Attendance at the series exceeded our fondest expectations. The Westside church was started two years ago in March as the result of a peaceable "swarm" from the Southside church where Brother Norman Midgette now preaches. From an initial nucleus of 39 people, the Westside church has grown until it has an attendance often exceeding one hundred. Brother Steve Wolfgang, who recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia, preached for the Westside church during its first two years during which time it experienced spectacular growth.
The largest attendance the Westside church ever had previously for any service was 139, and that was for a special Sunday afternoon song service. We had a record attendance at a regular service of 123. One hundred has heretofore been a good attendance during a gospel meeting. We happen to live in a section of the state where there are very few faithful churches, and not many liberal ones either.
Our series with Brother Cope began on Friday night with an attendance of 150. It has been my experience that anytime a church has as many present during a gospel meeting as its Lord's Day attendance, it is having good attendance. We expected our Saturday afternoon service to be least attended. Never having had such a day-time service, I did not know how many to expect. Pleasingly, we had 104 present for a Saturday afternoon service. And that's pretty good for any day-time service these days!
Our Sunday morning attendance was made up of our own regular attendees. We had a record 124 present. For the Sunday afternoon service, 170 were present. We all thought that represented our new attendance record, but 187 were present for the last service on Sunday night. By having what Brother Cope calls a "Concentrated Series," we were able to get presented seven lessons in just three days. This series makes an excellent special weekend series.
Brother Cope has preached 35 years. About thirty of these years have been spent in educational work. He has taught at all levels, from the fifth grade through Senior College, and has served as Administrator for all educational levels, from the first grade through Senior College. If experience can qualify a man to preach on problems connected with the rearing of our youth, Brother Cope is imminently qualified. Of course, the important information pertinent to a proper training for children must come from the Bible. Brother Cope was taught the scripture from his childhood, and has been a public teacher of God's Word for more than one third of a century.
While this man is in the vigor of mature manhood, his storehouse of knowledge and experience should be put to good use. If you have been searching for some series that will give the congregation a real spiritual lift, let me suggest that you schedule Brother Cope to give his series on the home. He has prepared sufficient material to present a ten day series. But he prefers to present six to eight lessons over a weekend. His time is about all booked up for 1971, but 1972 will soon be upon us. And he just might have time for another series or two in 1971. Use this qualified man.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 40, pp. 3-4