September 19, 2007
Dr. Clarence A. Kopp Jr., who served as a United Brethren bishop 1981-1993, passed away on Monday evening, September 17. He was 80 years old.
Bishop Kopp began his ministry as the first associate pastor at King Street Church in Chambersburg, Pa., working under Dr. Clyde Meadows. He went on to serve several UB churches in Ohio, including Prescott Avenue (now Lighthouse Community) in Dayton and Redeemer (now Living Word) in Columbus. He was pastoring Redeemer when the General Conference elected him bishop in 1981.
Bishop Kopp graduated from Huntington University and its seminary, and earned a Doctorate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
During his first eight years as bishop, Bishop Kopp provided oversight of Central, Sandusky, and Southeast conferences. From 1989-1993, he oversaw Central and Southeast conferences, plus all of the western conferences (Rock River, Midwest, Northwest, California, and Arizona). Throughout his tenure as bishop, and afterwards, he remained a strong advocate for church planting. Upon retiring from the bishopric in 1993, he was granted the title “bishop emeritus.”
Bishop Kopp is also past president of the World Society of Christian Endeavor.
Bishop Kopp is survived by his wife Virginia, daughters Debra and Denise, and sons Dan and Dale. There are also 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. One grandchild describes “Popp Kopp” as “a devoted husband, loving father, kind friend to anyone in need, a minister to so many devout worshipers, a respected mentor to innumerable people, and a caring grandfather to me, my siblings, and many cousins.” Also known as the Eager Eagle, Clarence inspired folks almost everywhere he went with his contagious smile and outgoing, authentic presence. If you asked him how he was doing, he would invariably reply, “Better than I deserve!”