De­cem­ber 24, 1848, Fredericktown, Maryland.

June 25, 1924, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.


Levi was the son of John Coppin and Jane Lily. His mother, a free black, taught him to read and write, which was illegal at the time. After the American civil war, his mother became the first teacher at a school for black children established in Fredericktown. Levi eventually taught there, too.

Coppin’s step-grandfather was a preacher, and in 1877 Levi followed in his footsteps, becoming an African Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal (AME) minister. Until 1900 Coppin served AME churches in Maryland, Delaware, and Penn­syl­van­ia, and for eight years he edited the AME Church Review. In 1900, he was elected an AME bishop, and 1902 he and his wife Fanny went to South Africa on mission work. After returning to America, he served as a bishop in South Carolina and Alabama.

Coppin married three times. His second wife was Fanny Jackson, and his third wife was physician Melissa E. Thompson.

Coppin’s works in­clude:

  1. Onward, Onward, Onward Christian Soldiers
  2. Song I’ll Sing to You, A
  1. Grant
  2. Our Fathers’ Church
  3. Shorter

Coppin’s place of burial