Coppin, Levi J(enkins) 1848-1924

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COPPIN, Levi J(enkins) 1848-1924


Born December 24, 1848, in Frederick, Cecil County, MD; died June 25, 1924, in Philadelphia, PA; son of John and Jane (Lilly) Coppin; married Martha Grinnage (a schoolteacher), September, 1875 (died, c. 1877); married Fanny Muriel Jackson (an educator and administrator), December 21, 1881 (died January 21, 1913); married M. Evelyn Thompson (a physician), August 14, 1914; children: (first marriage) Octavius Valentine; (third marriage) Theodosia. Education: Protestant Episcopal Divinity School, graduated, 1887; also attended Wilberforce University.


African Methodist Episcopal Church, licensed preacher, 1876, ordained minister, 1880, board member (some sources say president) of Sunday School Union, 1884-88, bishop for South Africa, 1900-04, leader of district of South Carolina and Alabama, 1904-08, and district of Baltimore, Virginia, and North Carolina, based in Washington, DC, beginning 1908, president of educational board, 1908-12, president of church extension board, 1912-20, assigned to district for the Midwestern United States and parts of Canada, 1916. Teacher at church school in Maryland, c. 1865; schoolteacher in Smyrna, DE, 1870s; City Mission, Philadelphia, PA, preacher, c. 1877; Bethel Church, Philadelphia, PA, pastor, c. 1880-81; Bethel Church, Baltimore, MD, pastor, 1881-84; Allan Chapel, Philadelphia, pastor, 1884-88; A.M.E. Review, editor, c. 1888-96; Bethel Church (also known as Mother Bethel Church), Philadelphia, pastor, 1896-1900; Bethel Institute, Cape Town, South Africa, founder, 1901. Also worked as a brick-maker and operated a flour store in Wilmington, DE.


The Relation of Baptized Children to the Church, A.M.E. Publication Department (Philadelphia, PA), 1890.

The Key to Scriptural Interpretation, Publishing House of the A.M.E. Church (Philadelphia, PA), 1895.

Fifty-two Suggestive Sermon Syllabi, A.M.E. Book Concern (Philadelphia, PA), 1910.

Unwritten History (autobiography), A.M.E. Book Concern (Philadelphia, PA), 1919.

Author of Observation of Persons and Things in South Africa, 1900-1904, A.M.E. Book Concern (Philadelphia, PA); and The Sunday School: Its Work and How to Do It. Also author of hymns and gospel songs.



Coppin, Levi J., Unwritten History, A.M.E. Book Concern (Philadelphia, PA), 1919.

Notable Black American Men, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.

Religious Leaders of America, 2nd edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.



New York Age, July 5, 1924.*