Mission and History

Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE) is a 501(c)3 faith-based organization, established in 2000 by a core group of pastors.

Our mission is to “train and develop the capacity of religious and lay leaders in congregations and across the Inland Empire to protect and revitalize the communities in which they live, work, and worship.

The formation of the organization was an outgrowth of a listening campaign with African American clergy, lay, and community outreach ministries in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties who wanted to see meaningful change in their communities.

COPE was founded as an affiliate of Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organizations (RCNO) training center, a national intermediary organization, founded by the late Rev. Eugene Williams III who specifically focused on building the capacity of clergy, laity and community leaders in small- to mid-sized African American congregations and community organizations to engage in public policy initiatives that lead to program innovations and stronger communities. Leadership training, community organizing, empowerment, innovative programs and faith are at the core of the RCNO approach to community building and uplift and are the core values that guide COPE’s organizing work.

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