Elders for the Fairview Park Congregation
(from left) Carey Fortenberry, Johnny Pierce, Basil Copeland, Sr., Don Crisler, Richard Barnes
I grew up on a farm in Cash, Arkansas, the youngest of eight children. Through the influence of my mother and sisters, I became a Christian in 1968.
After college I moved to Jonesboro where I met my lovely wife, Wanda. We married in 1982 and have two children, Adam and Jill. They are both faithful Christians. While in Jonesboro I served as a deacon, teacher, and song leader for many years.
In 2007 Wanda and I moved to the Little Rock area and began worshipping with the brethren at Fairview Park. I became an elder in 2009. It is a privilege to serve as elder for saints that have a strong work ethic for the Lord. My prayer is for this congregation to retain its energy, continue to show love and support to each other, and remain committed to the word of God. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
I was not raised in the church, but was introduced to it by my wife Donna. After years of procrastination I became a Christian in 1988 and found out what joy I was missing in a life with Christ as my Lord.I was living in Greenville, MS. at the time, then moved to Stuttgart, AR., where we attended a very small congregation in Humphrey, Ar. It was here that I began to grow stronger in the Lord. I spent a few years working in the middle east, then moved to Little Rock and began attending Fairview Park church. This was a great blessing, and the first time I had attended a church under an eldership. I had never experienced such dedication to God's word. Soon I became a deacon here, and after a few years I was asked to become an elder. I am humbled and joyful to have this opportunity, and am excited with all the work that is before us here. The best spiritual advice I ever received was from a man named Jesus, and I commend this advice to all. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thess. 5:21-22
I have been married to my wife, Donna, for 41 years.We have 2 children: Kellie and her husband Stephen, and their children Emily, Spencer, and Macy (they attend Fairview Park) and Layne and his wife Crissy, and their children Lilly and Gabbriella.
Basil Copeland Sr.
My mother, Sallie Copeland, was widowed at 31 years old with six children. The oldest was 11 years old and the youngest was 6 months.She was a godly woman and the one person who has had more spiritual influence on me than any other. To her I owe my lifelong interest in serving God, including about 33 years as an elder.After serving for about 6 years in Beaverton, OR , we moved back to the Little Rock Area in 1974. I was appointed to serve in this congregation in 1976 and served until 2002 when my dear wife Thelma passed away after 57 wonderful years together. While I was widowed I did not serve,but after Betty and I married in 2005 I was asked to serve again. The love and support for me and the other elders from this congregation has made a heavy burden light and joyful.
I have four sons, three of whom are preachers: Skip, in Austin, AR; Mark, in Kissimmee, FL; Tim, in Martinville, AR. Scott lives in Sherwood OR, and is a faithful Christian. May we all put our trust in Jesus Christ, as the apostle Paul said in Phil 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I have been married to my wonderful wife Nancy for over 50 years. It is her family who greatly influenced my life spiritually. We also have four married children and twelve grandchildren. We have no greater joy than to know our children serve the Lord. I love the Lord and have been a Christian since 1960. I served as a deacon for several years before becoming an elder. It was my desire to serve as an elder because of my love for the Lord and love for the good people that are a part of this congregation. It is my heart's desire for this congregation to grow in spirit and number, and to instill in our young people a desire to serve God, so His church will remain true to His word and others will be brought to Him. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. I pray that you will always put God first in your lives, and know that I am here to serve you as best I can.
Having been raised by Godly parents in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, I obeyed the gospel at the age of 14 at the Union Heights church of Christ in El Dorado, Arkansas. After serving the Fairview Park congregation as a deacon for 10 years, I desired to further help the cause of Christ in central Arkansas and to serve as an elder beginning in January 2015. My faithful, Godly wife and obedient children have been a tremendous blessing to me for which I give thanks to God for on a regular basis. While many trials have come my way through the years, I have learned "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." I have been blessed with a congregation and many Christian friends who have influenced me and my fellow elders and deacons have been a great source of encouragement to me. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel."