In 1979, when Gloria Copeland launched her “Healing School,” she didn’t feel completely qualified for the assignment. She was a self-taught Bible student, and was naturally shy. “Speaking in front of a group of people made me uncomfortable. But I was determined to obey God,” she reflects. “I would never have come up with a healing school on my own, and I never imagined that I would enjoy teaching on healing for so long. It has changed my life and personality. I couldn’t have taught one decent message on healing, much less laid hands on someone and seen them healed. But God used me. He changed me. That is what God can do when we walk in faith and say, ‘yes.’”
While speaking with Gloria, I was inspired by the child-like innocence of her faith. It wasn’t complicated: If something was in the Word of God, not only did she believe it, she applied it. If God said it, that was enough. It didn’t matter if her emotions, circumstances, or financial bottom-line disagreed. In fact, she recognized and embraced that, often times, they would not agree! “God will challenge us to step outside of our natural ability,” Gloria says. “He will ask us to carry out assignments that we think we don’t have the talent, money, or time to do. But we must agree with God, rather than question Him. He knows our situation. He knows what we have and don’t have. But God is looking for a willing vessel, not a perfect one,” she continues.
With her husband, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria co-founded Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) on September 7, 1967. Over the years, more than 60 million people have responded to the message of salvation through their efforts. The Copelands’ prison ministry reaches nearly 52,000 prisoners, and provides inmates with 100,000 Bibles, and 400,000 teaching materials each year. In addition, KCM’s Relief Fund offers immediate assistance in times of crisis –– and the military ministry supports thousands of troops with spiritual material, emotional encouragement, toiletries, snacks, and birthday cards.
To date, KCM’s international broadcast (The Believer's Voice of Victory) has a potential audience of 633 million viewers. And, if that’s not enough, Gloria and Kenneth Copeland generously invests resources into more than 100 ministries, in approximately 120 countries.
When God called Gloria, she may have been a shy southern girl. But, today, she is a forceful Bible teacher who aggressively applies the Word of God. With over 70 teaching series covering a wide variety of issues, she has authored several bestselling books (including Hidden Treasures, Hearing from Heaven, Blessed Beyond Measure –– and one of my personal favorites, God’s Master Plan for Your Life).
After their first date, Kenneth Copeland asked Gloria to marry him –– and she said, “Okay.” “We still laugh about it,” Gloria says. “It was our first date. I remember thinking to myself, ‘What have I done? Oh, I’ll get out of it later.’ Well, it’s been 50 years now, and I’m still in it. And I never want to get out of it,” she quips.