Introducing New Missionaries
to Botswana, Tim and Joy Coppess and Corey and Abby Stocksdale
If there’s one thing we know as Christians, it’s that God works in mysterious ways, often keeping the road ahead of us hidden from our sight. He often calls us to step out in faith, not knowing where that call will lead.
A little more than 54 years ago, Jim and Mary Nipp set sail from New York harbor with a one-way ticket on a freighter ship bound for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A year later, God led them to Maun, Botswana, where they began a ministry as independent Church of God missionaries that has blossomed into a healthy, vibrant church, with five congregations across the country. In 2012, Jim wrote: “Our first service was under a tree in Maun. We cut logs for pews. A broken truck spring and a tire lever made a perfect bell. Twenty-one people attended that service.” Over the years, the Nipps have walked in fellowship with these congregations, nurturing them to spiritual maturity.
In 2011, Global Missions (now Global Strategy) and Church of God Ministries welcomed the Church of God in Botswana into the worldwide fellowship of the Church of God and recognized the service of Jim and Mary Nipp.
Today, Global Strategy is pleased to announce that we are sending a team of two couples to work alongside the Church of God in Botswana: Tim and Joy Coppess and Corey and Abby Stocksdale. In early August, regional coordinators for Africa, Mike and Heather Webb, visited the Church of God in Botswana, along with Jim Nipp, the Coppesses, and Corey Stocksdale. This trip was the culmination of a year of exploration for these two couples and a confirmation of their call to missions. Immediately following this vision trip, Global Strategy received an invitation from the national leadership in Botswana to these two couples.
Tim and Joy Coppess are no strangers to the Church of God, having spent the bulk of their lives in Anderson, Indiana, not to mention that Joy is the daughter of retired Church of God executive Jim Williams. Both are graduates of Anderson College, now University. Both are passionate lifelong educators, Tim with more than 20 years as a high school science teacher and Joy as a preschool teacher. A few years ago, Tim and Joy began to sense a call to ministry, and Tim stepped down in faith from his teaching position to pursue ordination. For the past three years, Tim has served as pastor of University Park Church of God, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Read more…
Meet the DeFranciscos
Alejandro and Carmen are passionate about planting churches and building the kingdom of God. Together with the Three Worlds team, they have a vision to plant a network of healthy, self-sustaining, self-replicating congregations across Spain, beginning with a church plant on the south side of Madrid.