· Scouting, Strength for Service

Reflections on 21 years with the commission


By Larry Coppock


                  For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you

                 and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

––Jeremiah 29:11 


As I reflect on 21 years as director of scouting ministry many thoughts come to mind. Foremost was the excellent direction and leadership under Dr. Joseph Harris, first general secretary. Those formative years were marked by organizational upheaval. Thank goodness those days were replaced by more spirit-filled, God-led ministry moments that propelled us to be productive disciples for Christ.


We started many new initiatives. One of the most important was the creation of the Scouting Ministry Committee (SMC). The SMC has been led by some very capable leaders including Bishop Joe Pennel, Phil Howard, Judge Carl Stewart, Dr. Sam Bala, Dr. John Bright Cage, and the Rev. Greg Godwin.


SMC crafted and updated strategic plans that guided the creation of new awards, groundbreaking training models, membership and youth programs, and several publications. Some of the most notable scouting ministry initiatives that have affected the denomination are:


  • Implementation of the two-deep (rotating) leadership, Philmont, 1998
  • Good Samaritan Award, 2000
  • Republication of Strength for Service to God and Country, 2002
  • Strength for Service to God and Country, Scout edition, 2005
  • Scouting introduced to Cameroon, 2005
  • Addition of Big Brothers Big Sisters, 2006
  • Shepherd Church Charter Recognition, 2008
  • Silver Torch Award, 2008
  • Scouting Ministry Specialist (SMS) program, 2009.
  • Addition of Florida Sea Base as a scouting ministry training site, 2010
  • Facilitated BSA’S adoption of Nothing but Nets as first international Good Turn, 2010.
  • Strength for Service to God and Community, Scout edition, 2013.
  • Strength for Service, Inc. chartered in 2012; incorporated, 2014.
  • Addition of The Summit as a scouting ministry training site, 2016.

It is primordial to be moving forward in ministry: be creative, be innovative and honor God’s guidance.

It is with great enthusiasm that I pass the scouting ministry baton to Steven Scheid on June 1. It is my fervent prayer that, with your help, Steven will brave new heights and blaze new trails for scouting ministry.


Thank you for allowing me to be your servant for these past 21 years.


God’s blessings,


Larry W. Coppock, director of scouting ministry and top staff executive of SFS Inc.

General Commission on UM Men



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