White County chaplain becomes unsung hero after murder of Higginson police officer

“Everyone wants to be the sun to brighten up someone’s life, but why not be the moon to shine on someone’s darkest hour?” – A quote Chaplain David Copeland lives by.

WHITE COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — The chaplain of White County Sheriff’s Office wears many hats. 

Serving in law enforcement and pastoring for more than three decades, David Copeland would tell you he’s just doing his job.

But people like Danyell Davidyan would say otherwise. 

“To me, he’s my hero. He was there at my darkest moment at my daddy’s funeral. And now as a grown woman, he’s still there,” Danyell explained. 

Danyell’s father was shot to death in his Higginson Police Department patrol car in 1997, forcing her and her sisters to grow up without their father. But it’s Chaplain Copeland who stepped up to the plate to fill that void.  

“He’s even came this year to my daughter’s homecoming game for cheer and that was something my dad was supposed to be there for,” she said. “It was nice to have that person that has watched us grow up and here he is watching my daughter grow up like my dad would.”

Being a chaplain is so much more than just making tough phone calls. They show up and help people navigate some of the worst times in their lives. 

But as you can imagine, the pandemic and COVID restrictions have altered how they do their job. 

“It’s made it a little more difficult to connect with people in some ways. In a way that I’d like to,” Copeland said.

Copeland said it’s his faith and support of friends, family, and coworkers that keep him going. 

“Someone says, ‘I wouldn’t do what you do for a million dollars’ — neither would I,” Copeland laughed. “If it wasn’t for the calling, I wouldn’t do it.”

And at a time like this, the world could use even more people like Copeland. 

During this pandemic, human contact has been limited, but he hasn’t let the virus change his mission.

“I found this quote that says, you know, everyone wants to be the sun to brighten up someone’s life, but why not be the moon to shine on someone’s darkest hour? And the role of a chaplain kind of does that,” Copeland said.

Delivering a personal touch during a time of need is why Chaplain David Copeland is an Unsung Hero.