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Delmas Copeland named Chief Junaluska Award Recipient


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Lake Junaluska Associates have named the Rev. Delmas Copeland as the 2018 Chief Junaluska Award recipient. Each year, the Chief Junaluska Award is given to a Lake Junaluska Associate based on service, community involvement and financial support. The Associates presented Copeland with the award during Associates Weekend, August 3-5. 

Copeland served as a pastor and district superintendent for the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Friends from church invited Delmas and wife Nancy to visit the lake during the summer of 1978, and the Copelands said they instantly fell in love with the place. In 1998 they retired to Lake Junaluska, where they continued their legacy of service.

At Lake Junaluska, Copeland participates in the annual Christmas decorating, serves as a greeter for large conferences, volunteers at the annual Junaluskan Flea Market, plants, weeds and waters at Inspiration Point on a weekly basis and serves as an usher during the Summer Worship Series in Stuart Auditorium. He also served as chairperson of the Live and Learn organization and as co-chair of the tent committee for two years.

“Delmas has made himself available to friends, neighbors or anyone who needs help,” said Nancy Geyer, a former Chief Junaluska award recipient. “Whether you have a question or need advice, I can personally vouch that things are easier with Delmas around to offer good advice.” 

When they retired to Haywood County, the Copelands became members at Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where Delmas continues to volunteer. He creates the monthly church newsletter and mailings, assists with communion, works at Open Doors to help feed the needy and helps with items taken to Red Bird Mission. 

Copeland said he is honored by the unexpected recognition.

“It’s completely out of the blue for me. We love Lake Junaluska and hope to be of service to Lake Junaluska for years to come,” said Copeland.

The Lake Junaluska Associates are a primary fundraising and advocacy arm of Lake Junaluska. They were established in 1968 with an original goal of assisting Lake Junaluska in meeting its mission and ministry by recruiting 1,000 people to give $100 per year ($100,000 in 1968 would be comparable to around $700,000 today). Today, each Associate contributes $250 or more annually to Lake Junaluska. 

This year marks the 50th birthday of the group. To celebrate the occasion, the Associates gave a “birthday gift” to Lake Junaluska in the form of a large donation, designated for the revitalization of youth ministry at Lake Junaluska. The goal was to raise $6,500 by the end of the weekend to bring the total contribution of the Associates to $4.5 million in total giving in their 50 year history. At the Summer Worship Series service on Sunday, August 5, incoming chairperson Bernie Brown announced that their fundraising goal was not only met, but exceeded. The Associates gave more than $9,500 over the weekend.

“The Associates have been an integral part of moving Lake Junaluska forward — not only in terms of financial contributions, but because of their deep love of this place and their commitment to making it the best it can be,” said Ken Howle, executive director of Lake Junaluska. 

Other weekend activities during Associates Weekend included concerts by the Lake Junaluska Singers and handbell choir The Raleigh Ringers, as well as a brick dedication ceremony, meetings, election of new council members, special meals and more. 

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit


Mary Bates
Lake Junaluska
PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745