Tony Copple, MA, - Christian Bio
Anglican Network in canada (ANiC), Lay leader
Hooggelegen 48, Worcester, Western Cape 6850, South Africa
web.ncf.ca/aj624 and coppleswesterncape.ca
Tony was an atheist for from age 25 - 40, although he had been baptized and confirmed in the Church of England. After being prodded by God for many years, the breakthrough came on 19 June 1984 at Luis Palauís Mission to London, when Tony was strongly convicted by the Holy Spirit, and became proactive in his faith journey.
He emmigrated from England to Canada in 1987, settling in Kanata, Near Ottawa, and joined Glen Cairn United Church after a church shopping project in Kanata. He had several opportunities to preach at Glen Cairn, and believes these were major stepping stones in ministry. He chaired several committees including stewardship and worship. In 1997 Tony was invited to join an Alpha course, and almost immediately Moderator Bill Phipps gave his famous interview to the Ottawa Citizen proclaiming Jesus was not God. Tony was incensed and amazed, having never before been exposed to liberal theology, and started the Moderator website to battle this evil. It was through this site and correspondence on these matters that he met and married Laurie-Ann Zachar, MDiv, who is his spiritual director and with whom he has shared almost all Christian leadership activities since. Laurie-Annís passion is short term missions abroad.
In 2001, after having taken on leadership roles in Alpha, Tony was asked to be an Alpha advisor for Ottawa, a position he has held ever since. He was a prime mover behind the 2001 Ottawa Alpha Conference, and has become known in some Christian circles in Ottawa primarily as a result of his Alpha leadership.
In 2002 he left Glen Cairn United Church after a freemasonry episode and (re)joined the Anglican Church, where Laurie-Ann had been worshipping for a year. He was introduced to the Elmhurst Committee on Human Sexuality, and then joined the executive committee of the Anglican Gathering of Ottawa, a group positioned to oppose the current liberal direction of the Anglican Church of Canada. On May 19 2004 he launched the Same-Sex Blessings site, later expanding it to include Same-sex Marriage. The fight continues against liberal trends in all major denominations, which Tony is extremely concerned about. In July 2005, Tony joined Laurie-Ann for the first time on a mission to Migori, Kenya, bringing the Alpha course to a local mission centre, and showing the leaders how to run it. In 2010 he led a Global Alpha Training mission to Freetown, Sierra Leone, with Laurie-Ann, Dwight McDougall and Richard Gilman.
In 2008 Tony and another lay leader founded the first ANiC church in Ottawa: Kanata Lakes Fellowship. Two years later it disbanded but had served a purpose perhaps encouraging several other Ottawa congregations to join ANiC. Since Tony had provided music leadership, he was invited to
join one of those to replace their musician who had moved west: Blackburn Hamlet Community Church, which is still his church home in Ottawa. He had been on the board of Good News Christian Ministries since 2004, as webmaster. GNCM produces a weekly radio program Good News in the Morning. In 2014 he became chair. In June 2016, with his wife Laurie-Ann he
joined Harvest School 24 in Mozambique, the headquarters of IRIS Global, where he learned what was required of would-be missionaries. After the school they followed up with several weeks outreach in Robertson, South Africa, the HQ of IRIS Western Cape. This and the Holy Spirit convinced both of them that they needed to become long-term missionaries with IRIS to the disadvantaged folk in the townships. IRIS suggested they be based in Worcester and build a mini
IRIS presence there. In November 2017, after all the permissions, police clearances, visas and medical insurance they were finally ready to leave Canada for three years for South Africa. At the time of writing they have been here nearly three months.
OTHER CAREERS: Tony joined the Royal Navy in 1958. He was educated at Cambridge University 1959-1962 where he obtained an honours degree in Engineering. After serving as a Weapons and Electronics officer, he retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 1971. He studied economics at London University. He worked in the computer industry - mainly Data General - in training and selling. In 1985 he became a life insurance agent with Allied Dunbar. In 1987 he emmigrated to Canada and rejoined Data General in sales in Ottawa. In 1993 he left the computer industry, and returned to financial services with Investors Group, becoming a Cerified Financial Planner and working 22 years there till retirement. As a consultant with Investors Group he provided financial planning advice for individuals and small companies, specializing in the Christian market, hi-tech/software industries, and the small business and entrepreneurial sectors.
He has experience as the proprietor of several small businesses, including a Nu Skin distributorship still in operation.
Tony says: God created, and visited Earth in the person of Jesus. You may not believe it yet, but it's true, nevertheless. He chooses who will be shown the truth, and the devil works against him. Not to bring up our children with a love of Jesus is the most serious crime we could inflict on future generations. Atheists are fast becoming the new fundamentalists in their eagerness to deny Christianity, and they will be made to account for it. Read Jeremiah. Nothing an atheist could say could deflect me from Christ. The ignorance of our faith by the population at large is a scandal. I learned mine in the equivalent of daycare at age 5 and I am so grateful. I love everyone, particularly atheists and Muslims.
Listen to how Tony spends a typical day. This was recorded for a piece of homework for Laurie-Ann in her studies at the Algonquin school of radio broadcasting in November 2010.