Endings and Beginnings at St. Peter’s Church of Coupland

Story & Photos by Stewart Dale Spencer

It was a year ago this past weekend that my family relocated to Coupland from San Marcos and the synchronicity was not lost on me as I attended services at St. Peter’s Church. There was a special retirement service for Pastor John Sumner as well as a dedication service and for the newly-renovated Fellowship Hall.Both the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall will filled to capacity. Below is a montage of pictures and videos to commemorate the event.

During the “God’s Word to the Children,” the Pastor presented a variety of gifts to the children from a box of items he had collected over the years.










There was no shortage of both tears and laughter during the service, where the Pastor was formally released by the congregation.








The Pastor and his wife, Irene, received a special gift that was a twist on a Texas tradition. A boot filled with $3,750 in cash was presented to them . . . the result of contributions from individual members of the congregation. They will soon be leaving Coupland so they can take up their new lives as full-time grandparents to two grandchildren in Florida. Pastor John said they were moving themselves and expressed his gratitude for the gift because it would move than cover the cost of the move.

The choir performed a special medley of old-time tunes and organist Kim Nelson performed a special rendition of “Amazing Grace.”


During the procession after the benediction, Pastor John passed through and arch of Texas flags as he was regaled with “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You” by the congregation.

In the Fellowship Hall, Church Council President Michelle Dupy shared a few memories and then she and Lay Minister Charlotte Albert present the Pastor and his wife with a variety of special mementos, many of which had a Texas theme. The Pastor shared an interesting story. He told about how when they first moved into the parsonage, they were disturbed to find that snakes kept appearing in and around the house. He said that he had told himself, “One more and I’m out of here!” Fortunately for us, and to prove that the Lord does, indeed, have a sense of humor, he encountered a rattlesnake today. He exclaimed, “I killed my first rattlesnake this morning!” It would seem that his work here is done.


Dinner consisted of delicious pork loin with gravy, homemade mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, bread, salad, and more kinds of pies than I have ever seen in one place. Everyone seemed to be pleased with the results of the renovation and there was a joyful spirit surrounding the event. Even the wonky table that collapsed . . . twice . . . could not mar the occasion.

As a friend of St. Peter’s Church, I look forward to seeing what the future will reveal for the church and for the community at large.


Pastor John shows off “Big Tex.” Friends predicted that after ten years, he would look like this. He observed that the white hair was all they had in common.


The new kitchen is very spacious!

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Church Council President Michelle Dupy


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