Delmas Copeland named Chief Junaluska Award Recipient

August 6, 2018

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Lake Junaluska Associates have named the Rev. Delmas Copeland as the 2018 Chief Junaluska Award recipient. The Chief Junaluska Award is given each year to one outstanding member of the Associates 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 group of people who love Lake Junaluska and serve in partnership with Lake Junaluska. The 2018 Associates Weekend marked 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. 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 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

Photo Captions:

Brick Dedication: A brick dedication ceremony took place on Saturday, August 4 at 9:30 a.m. at the Lake Junaluska colonnade.
Chief Junaluska Award Recipients: Former recipients of the Chief Junaluska Award sat at the front of the auditorium alongside the 2018 honoree Delmas Copeland.
Copeland Family: Copeland’s family surprised him at the ceremony after his name was announced as the 2018 Chief Junaluska Award winner. 
Delmas Copeland & Jimmy Pennell: 2016 Chief Junaluska Award winner Jimmy Pennell accompanied Delmas to the front of the auditorium after his name was called.
Delmas Copeland Alone: The Lake Junaluska Associates named Delmas Copeland as the 2018 Chief Junaluska Award winner during Associates Weekend at Lake Junaluska.
Lake Junaluska Singers Concert: Concerts have become a tradition during the Lake Junaluska Associates Weekend. The Lake Junaluska Singers gave their final performance of the summer season on Friday, August 3 in Stuart Auditorium.