Do you want to hear a story of hope? Rashawn Copeland has been through it all. He was shot and left for dead as a teen, then faced suicide later in life. Both of those experiences led him on the path to pursue a relationship with Christ. Now using social media, Rashawn uses this platform to share his story and reach the lost. His newest book, Start Where You Are encourages readers and shows us that God can use any story for good. No person is too far gone.
Rashawn is the founder of I'm So Blessed Daily and Without Walls Ministries. A writer for Church Leaders, God TV, and the God's Not Dead blog. he is also the host of the Scripture and Stories podcast on the Converge Podcast Network. He also serves on the Life Church (YouVersion) Bible app team with Pastor Craig Groeschel, assisting with global digital outreach. He lives with his wife and three children in Oklahoma.
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[00:00:00] Alexis Newlin: [00:00:00] Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the brave podcast. And happy April. How has it already April it's blown my mind that this year is flying by so fast. . So I don't have a brave bites for you guys this week. Instead I have the awesome Rashaan Copeland. Rashaun is an encourager. He is a social media phenomenon and he uses that platform to minister to others. I absolutely loved talking to him and was so encouraged after talking to him. And I have to say,
Once the mic was off, we kind of talked a little bit about like our perspective platform is what we've been doing. And he encouraged me so much with the podcast. I love doing it, but there are times where even good things make you weary. And he gave me this wonderful encouraging burst to not grow weary in doing the good things.
And so I want to give you guys that reminder too. If you're doing something that God has called you and you're tired. And you feel like is this making a difference is what I'm doing, making an [00:01:00] impact. Remember that it is, even if you don't see the seeds of it right now. There are people out there that you were helping and that. Need your story. Your story is always important. So without further ado, I'm going to get into my interview with Rashaan Copeland.
. This is the brave podcast. And I'm your host Alexis Newlin and my guest today is Rashaun Copeland. So Rashaan I'll have you introduce yourself and tell people why you're awesome.
Rashawn: [00:01:27] Alexis. So I'm pumped to be on your show first and foremost. Before I do anything before I'm a writer, our minister, I'm a dad and a husband, and I enjoy all of that.
I know it gets crazy at times, but I absolutely love, , leading my family and as I'm led by a good heavenly father. So that's where I am as far as. where I call, sort of my position in life right now. But I'm a minister who writes and a writer who preaches. I spend a lot of time out in the streets, , people [00:02:00] across the hall and across the street, wherever, the Lord takes me just loving all people and trying to do it better.
Not near perfect, but trying to do that well.
Alexis Newlin: [00:02:10] Okay, cool. All right. So Rashaan how long have you been in ministry? What got you started?
Rashawn: [00:02:17] So ministry, that's a great question. It feels like the moment I was sort of born again and I gave my life to Christ, I sort of was launched into ministry. I felt like because it happened out in LA, I was at my lowest moment and God met me there.
And literally from the time I left that house where I felt, weighed down and things. I ended up going to this bus station. I started sharing Jesus 15 minutes after I gave my life to Christ and it had over, yeah, it was crazy. It was like only God could have did that because Lord knows I'm the last person who should, who should be a Christian right now.
Yeah. But I'm thankful by God's grace. He calls us, when [00:03:00] we're weak, when we're lowly. And he brings us home and I ended up traveling back home and I got planted in the church in Oklahoma here. And I just start ministering as I was ministered to, to others. And my ministry began to just, , get some traction when it comes to just meet people where they are.
And here we go today.
Alexis Newlin: [00:03:22] . Awesome. So you said that you're the least likely person to become a Christian. Can you tell us how you got to know Christ?
Rashawn: [00:03:29] Yeah, for sure. So , he was knocking on the door to my heart back in high school, and what's wild about that. I was so deeply involved in all the wrong stuff. I use to numb my pain with alcohol with women with marijuana, we drugs, whatever I could get to. And then, on the side of that, I spent a lot of time listening, like get rich or die trying by 50 cents big Sean. I had all these crazy influences [00:04:00] and I found myself one night just questioning everything. I was in a parking lot with a young lady and we're sitting in this parking lot.
I had a lot of big things coming my way, like a scholarship to a major university. I had dreams of being in the NFL. I mean, life looked good as I was moving forward. But here's, what's wild, you know? And that night, as I'm talking to this young lady, her phone rings out of nowhere. And then me being that prideful egotistical of high school football player, future college football star in my head puffed up, I was like, I'm going to take this girl's phone.
So I reached over and took her phone. I knew it was a guy calling. And I click hello. And all of a sudden this guy was like, why are you with my girl? Why are you with my girls? So this guy ends up , provoking me to tell him where I was. And that was totally an unwise thing to do. I let them know where we were that night [00:05:00] in a park after dark. Needless to say 10 minutes later, as I'm, you know, getting back to what high school kids do in a car after dark , just flirting and talking.
Listen to music, all of a sudden, a van pills in 10 minutes later, five guys jumped out of the van. I ain't talking about burgers. Yeah, it's crazy. And they start walking towards us and I fully get out of the car. And I tell her just to chill, chill. I was prideful getting out, but I'm fearful as well. Yeah. I was very fearful.
I was afraid I was scared. I didn't know what was going to happen. It was fun dudes. And you know, of course I was that high school kid. So I had a little bit of muscle and stuff, but I mean, five guys come on now. So I'm walking towards them. They're walking towards me. I get about four or five feet away.
And then all of a sudden this guy reaches for his waistband [00:06:00] and he pulls out a pistol. . Oh no, like I see this stuff in the movies. I didn't know I was going to be, you know, a victim of anything crazy. I couldn't foresee. Yeah. So I turned it on run and I slipped and I fall, he stands over me. Two gunshots, rain gal.
I began to scream out. They run a jump off in the van. He they they're, they're getting ready to pull out. I jump up and I'm scared. They're going to finish me off, you know, and do duty. I'm just, I'm scared. This is going to happen. So I dive at the passenger side of the car where the young lady was. I look up in the door's open and she's gone all of a sudden.
She's not in the car anymore. Right. Crazy. Right. I looked back over it and I see the headlights belt, a pill out. And I heard like, it sounded to me like the car had, the van has stopped it. They were in, I thought they were just, I'm gonna come over and, you know, finish me off, you know, leave no witnesses [00:07:00] or ain't no way.
By the grace of God. They have left, I'm hearing the pitch dark, and as I'm in this pitch, dark, I'm looking over, where's the girl, I'm screaming out her name, I'm sweating, I'm weaving in and out consciousness. My heart's racing and my palms are sweaty. Everything is going crazy right at this moment.
And I just remember on this cold cement , man, I felt this warm blood going up my back. And from that moment I knew I was shot.. I was losing blood fast. And I remember thinking there was , several things that went through my mind in this dark moment of pain in that Valley. The main things that came to mind was one: The girl's not around anymore.
My coaches aren't around anymore. My friends aren't here, my family members, my mama, my daddy. No one's here right now. So I had no hope but to look away from all the resources and turn to the source himself. I have to call out to the [00:08:00] Lord that night. And thankfully like David in the book of Psalm chapter 40 while I love David so much.
Yes, he is phenomenal. But he said this, he said I cried out to the Lord and he heard my cry. He heard my cry and he, , picked me up out of the mud and mire out of the slimy pit. He gave me a firm place to stand and that's what God did for me that night. I cried out and he heard my cry. He did something unforgettable. It was a miracle. He sends a guy who I'll call my angel today, my guardian angel or something, but he comes in in a truck. He picks me up. He throws me in and he races running red lights and everything to get me to the ER. And when I get into ER, I've lost so much blood, it was 20 minutes that ride, it felt like an eternity.
And he gets me in that eR, the nurses were running up there saying we got to get them in the gurney. , get me back there to the back to start working on me. And [00:09:00] I just remember that guy had a white shirt full of blood. And I never seen him that night. Again, it was like a mystery to me, like who was that man?
And to this day, I don't know where he is, but I'm so grateful. God had used him as an instrument to really save me. Yeah. So that was the defining moment that's the taste buds of my heart back on the one that gives so I can taste and see who's good. , God, he lifted in my perspective, back to the person of Jesus that night.
But again, I drifted off. He didn't really, really. Like, duh, I went off to LA, but I'm sure we'll talk about that here soon in a bit, but that was that first defining moment though.
Alexis Newlin: [00:09:46] Oh my gosh. That is quite a story. You almost lost your life.
Rashawn: [00:09:51] Yes, man. But God.
Alexis Newlin: [00:09:55] Wow. And so then you start following him. You said you drifted [00:10:00] off a bit. So what was that like?
Rashawn: [00:10:01] Oh, when I drifted off a bit. So after that, you know, what's crazy? when we don't have someone discipling us, it's easy to drift away. I remember, after that moment of coming to my senses, like I need God, I remember going home. After being in the ER the hospital for about a week and some change, it was only like a week and a half by the grace of God , thankfully.
And I got home and I remember opening up that Bible. It was a Christian hospital. So a lot of the nurses had , gifted me, with journals and Bibles and things like that and words of encouragement. But when I got into that Bible, I read something that I'll never forget. During this season of my life, it was Proverbs 19:21 and it said many are the plans of a man's heart, but it's the Lord's purpose that prevails.
And it startled me because I remember having many, many plans. I had so many things that I had lined out [00:11:00] for my life. Being a college football player, going to the NFL. And when it all was stripped from me, I didn't know what to do when my resources died. I died with them , but God revived my hope.
Whenever I realize that God has a greater purpose for me. And that was big for me, but here's the thing. Without discipleship again, as dangerous and where we drift away. I didn't have anybody in my circle at that point, who was a follower of Christ. Who was someone devoted to the Lord, worshiping him, praying and walking out the life that we are called to do live a life that's worthy of the gospel.
Nobody was doing that in my circles. So I ended up going back to the group that Psalms one tells us not to go back to. Psalms 1 said. Bless it as he, who does not walk in step with the wicked nor take the way that sinners take nor sit in the company of mockers, but bless them. He who delights in the law of the Lord, he will be prosperous, [00:12:00] successful in all.
He does. I went to total office at way in. Again, I began to get around the, the girls again, and I would try to seek my validation by a woman are, you know and even football. Again, I got an opportunity to play sports again. I went to junior college, so I invested all my time in that to get my worth and identity.
And then I found myself again, being around guys because I wanted money. , in college. All we had was that Pell grant and everything else we had to hustle in and do whatever we needed to do to get that the money. And I began to get around guys who were selling drugs like marijuana specifically, and I ran that life.
But one day again, what was amazing I ended up signing to university of Kansas to play football. Okay. After junior college. And I remember what was just amazing. It was a game changer for me. And I'm so [00:13:00] blessed now that God, I look in retrospect thinking how much of a blessing it was to have my son, even at a wetlock.
I had a kid out of wedlock, which probably saved me because I was, I was dating a young lady and after going to the university of Kansas, I went to a division two school. I made a decision just to go to a smaller school, to take care of my kid. And I just remember, I was like, I'm done with the NFL dream.
I'm done with all the stuff that I'm doing. I'm going to try to morally be correct. And I began to try to clean myself up from the outside, , really fixed my self from the outside. You know, the way I live, , where people can like see me and I'll be doing well, I'm honorable type guy. I wanted people's approval from the outside.
And I. Began to say I'm approval point to my dad and everyone else that are male figures in my wife. And I'm going to commission into the army as an army officer. I'm going to devote myself because my dad was a military [00:14:00] guy and he was an enlisted. And I said, if I can outdo my dad the enlisted ranks is lower than the officer ranks in the military.
For those that are less. But I ended up wanting to say I'm a pursue being an officer so I can get my dad's approval. And I actually did really well. I commissioned into the army once army medical school and from there I was like after achieved that and I'm taking care of my son and I'm not with his mom anymore.
I'm like, okay, what's next? Because , out here in San Antonio, Texas, I'm going after it, but here's the thing. This can't be it. This contentment really began to come in my heart and comparison because of social media. I began to look at my cousin who was out in LA, come on. Aren't you out in LA right now,
Alexis Newlin: [00:14:52] No, I'm in Fresno.
Rashawn: [00:14:55] Oh, nice. I went up to Yosemite national park. A [00:15:00] little bit during my time out there to working with Nokia doing some photo shoot stuff back in the day, which is crazy.
Yeah. Ooh, it's beautiful
. It is.
It's beautiful. But yeah, when I was at army medical school and I was getting towards the end, I found myself. I was acting before I was going out with other military guys and, , we have money for the first time making them more than we ever made. We will go out to strip clubs and bars.
We would just try to live that life. And I just remember you looking on social media. I had a cousin who was in LA and he was doing really well for himself. His cousin played for the Dodgers and he was in movies like American pie. And I was like, wow. Look at the life of my cousin living. He was the only black guy, American pie.
I saw that movie.
Yeah. His name is Robert Hayes. He was the only chocolate brother in that movie. [00:16:00] So, and then. He was also in a movie called the lucky one was Zach Efron. He was Zach Ephron's best friend in a movie called the lucky one, which was a Marine movie, which I really loved. But when I was seeing him on social media doing this thing, I was like, you know what?
I'm discontent waking up at five in the morning, everyday with the military. I want to get out of here. I'm trying to be done with this. So I'll tell him my commander after army medical school, give me out of this. I want to just sign out and do part time. So I want to be a reservist. And he was like, okay, we can work something out.
If that's what you want to do, you can. We can make it happen. And I ended up, you know, going out to LA and unbeknownst to me as I head out to the land of broken dreams, Hollywood, the land of broken dreams. I go out there. Blindly just trying to find my way in earn acceptance in those circles.
My cousin was in achieving well, so I began to , become a Viner. I was [00:17:00] hanging out with YouTube as my social media platforms begin to explode, you know, and as I'm on this rocket ship of social media fame and the more success came, the more miserable I started getting on the inside. And here's where I'm taking you sister and everyone listening.
Whenever I got to this point where I thought I was, just riding this rocket ship of social media fame. It actually revealed to me how empty and sufficient I truly was because, and everyone around me, everyone. , we would have people coming off the plane in the private jet. In their PJ's, but yet they would talk about all the issues, all the stuff they had going on, even suicidal at some point, some of the most people in LA.
And I just remember wrestling with those demons out there, the stuff that people didn't talk about. , and as I'm sitting in my house one night I mean, I had been hype manifests soldier, boy. I had a home in the Valley, [00:18:00] had a G wagon. Life was, it was good. Quote unquote, on the outside, but as I'm sitting here one night, I get a phone call from the young lady I'm dating and this is where it went downhill.
And I was like, it's over. She tells me she found out that I was communicating with another young lady. I was basically emotionally, , cheating on her and it went all bad from there. And when she was out. I was out as well, because she was the only one that... I thought I was going to marry.
The girl was in deeply in love with her. And I just remembered that was so painful, that separation from her. And I was like, I'm just going to take my life. Isn't that crazy? Yeah, it was even, it was way deeper than a sense of rejection. It was something like I couldn't live without her breathing.
Idolized the girl. Yeah. Yeah. It was [00:19:00] suffocating me. But here's the thing, , days later, my boys who were envious of me who were supposed to be all boys. I found out they were the one that told on me about that, which I should have been told on. I'm so glad all of it happened. But here's, what's cool.
Whenever that night came to where I was going to take my life, I went over to the room and I went into the lock box. I grabbed the pistol. I went down the hall and I'm walking down this hall. I felt like an eternity again. But as I got on my knees and I put the pistol in my mouth and I'm shaking. And I'm sweating and I put the pistol down, I pick it back up, I'm shaking and I'm sweating.
I put the pistol down, pick it back up, I'm shaking and I'm sweating. And I'm just scared out of , my mind, my heartbeat out of my chest. Again, it took me back to that moment where I was shot down, left for dead. But these two things came through my mind in that moment. Number one, if I were to shoot myself and if I were to die, I'm going to have the step [00:20:00] before the omnipotent, omnipresent , all knowing all, seeing God whose infinite and wisdom and knowledge and understanding, and he's loving, but he's also adjust and he's Holy, am I ready to meet my maker?
Am I ready to stand before him living the life that I've lived? No, in my mind. But number two, here was the other thing I thought about. If I were to shoot myself. And I worked to live. I would have to go through that same pain. I went through as a young 17 year old boy left out on that cement to die that night.
Am I ready to go through that pain again? And I was like, either way, no way, Jose. I don't want to go through either one of them. So what I did, all deal with only I could do. I cried out to the Lord. Again,
he met you
this time. Comeon sister you right there, but here's how he met me there. And this is why I'm so thankful for you , Alexis, and what you [00:21:00] do.
I'm so thankful that you spend time engaging folks online, digitally through podcasts, through your social media platforms. I'm so thankful that you lay your life down to encourage equip other and help them grow in their journey in Christ. Because if it wasn't for people like you, if it wasn't for the young lady named Genesis, who was off at Baylor university, who posted something at my darkest hour, this is what happened.
The phone lit up. On my bed, my phone lit up on my bed. I took the pistol, I set it down. This was after crying out to the Lord. And I pick up my phone and God was phoning home. Come on. He was phoning me home, but this is what happened. The post said this that I read, Oh, how wide, how deep, how vast the love of God is. And nothing in all creation can separate us from this love that's found in Christ. And as I [00:22:00] was reading and reading, I began weeping and weeping. Unloaded my heavy soul that night to a God who cares, who knows me, who sees me. Wow. And he met me there and I can't help, but to open up my mouth, , whether it's on social media and share this love that's given so freely.
Even when we then feel like we needed his love. He demonstrated it all while we were sinners, Christ died for us. And he's always pouring out his love for you out there listening today, guys, and for Alexis and he's here for us, all that always and always,
Alexis Newlin: [00:22:41] yeah. It's just amazing. And just how he'll use people and use things to speak to us.
It's not always an audible voice. He can use something as simple as a social media post to Speak to your heart. You needed that, right? Exactly what you needed.
Rashawn: [00:22:54] Amen!. Right? Cause I didn't know what I needed. , I just knew if I caught off the God, [00:23:00] he may answer if he's there. I mean, but I just didn't know.
He knew. Yeah. So that was where it sorta like begun, but it even goes into a little bit more and I'll give you this really quick because I think it's vital when I went to sleep that night. I went to sleep, cried myself to sleep. Of course you don't go from suicidal thoughts about to commit suicide to rainbows roses and puppies in a moment.
Right? Exactly. Exactly. So I wrestled with God like Jacob that night. But here's the thing he did give me a peace and immense peace as I went to sleep. And I remember when I woke up about four in the morning, I had an utterance to look underneath the bed. I was like, it was so weird. Like I just felt.
Compelled, spurred on to look underneath the bed. And I remember running over turn on the light, running back to my bed, throwing the covers over my head and [00:24:00] like, God, okay. I get it. You want me to look underneath the bed? And I'm questioning because I knew this home, my agent sent me, to the specific home and actresses and actors and rapper, like you name it.
People on tours that would be in this house sometime that's under our agency. So, it wasn't it wasn't strange our uncommon for someone to leave stuff there. So look underneath the bed and there's a suitcase. I'll pull out this suitcase, never seen it before I crack it open. And then I look in there whole bunch and it was, stinky clothes and it was a lot of trash.
It felt like. But on top of it, it was a treasure. It was a book. Guess what book? It was a Bible. The B, B L E. Yes. That's the book for me. I stand upon the word of God, it's the BIBLE. Crazy, [00:25:00] but check this out. When I crack it open, I crack it open. I go to the red letters. Jesus there we're the only ones standing out at that moment.
And it says this, whoever wants to be my disciple, they must deny themselves pick up their cross and follow me. But here's what hit me head on like a semi-truck.
Oh, what does it profit? A man to gain the whole world, but then lose his soul. When I read that I was done, it's like, I give up, I threw myself at the foot of the cross. And I said, God, I surrender. I give it all to you. I'm done running from you. God, I'm done running free from you. Change me, give me a new heart.
And from that moment, literally he gave me new eyes to see. I didn't have that type of type of language, but that's what I was trying to say to God. Like, please whatever's next type [00:26:00] idea, but literally from that moment. It was like, I was born again. I seen everything different. I walk differently.
It felt like , there was new desires in me and I pack up in. Yes, I know. So, and this is what's crazy. I left that same day. Right. I leave everything. I mean, Besides my book bag and the Bible that Bible, matter of fact, the Bible is the number one stolen book in the world. I stole it that night.
I stole it that night. Whoever's it was I get on the city bus, left, everything there. Get on the city bus and I'm reading the word of God, like nonstop for like four hours on the city bus until it takes me downtown to the Greyhound station. And by this time it's almost well by the time I actually get to the Greyhound station, it was like nighttime and I'm just reading it, reading it.
And then I started ministering to the homeless men.
[00:27:00] Alexis Newlin: [00:26:59] Right after you had this night of like complete despair and brokenness, you find God and you start ministering to other people that fast?
Rashawn: [00:27:06] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So the frame of, you know, getting off the bus to get an a on that Greyhound was several hours, but I ministered to my first person on that bus and it was like 15 minutes later.
I was ministering to someone off the bus somewhere and it was just nonstop. So I just wanted to let you know, it was literally when I started reading about like sharing, , it's our God's will for us to be ministers of the gospel. , preach the word to all creature.
And I was reading all that stuff and I was like, how can I preach your word, or share your word. And I've just started with my story, just in asking questions to people and like, Hey, have you heard of Jesus and things like that. . And here we go, I got on that Greyhound bus and well, it took me 20 something hours back to Oklahoma city where I slept on my brother's floor [00:28:00] in his dorm room or something for like three weeks as I got planted in the church and, began to get discipled and I never looked back, never looked back from there.
Alexis Newlin: [00:28:10] Your story is so beautiful and there's so much hope in that. I love the fact that you, even after you, haven't your dark night of the soul you're able to minister to people right after that. I think some people kind of shy away. I know this for myself too. You think I don't have enough experience or I'm too broken?
How can I minister to another person? And you just totally blew that myth out of the water, that it doesn't matter. Jesus will equip you to be able to do it.
Rashawn: [00:28:33] Oh, we just got to open up our mouth. Matter of fact, he uses us more when we understand that we're unqualified, we totally can't do it in and of ourselves.
He uses us, he displays his power. He demonstrates his love through us. It's by the power of God, not human eloquence, not what we can say or, , sort of conjure up. Paul said literally , he works through our weaknesses. I mean, what did Paul say is by the [00:29:00] grace of God that I am? Who I am. Yeah.
Alexis Newlin: [00:29:02] Yeah. That's my favorite verse. It's some, is it first or is it second Corinthians? I think it's like 12, nine, but I can't remember if it's this first or second one. I think it's the second one.
Rashawn: [00:29:15] Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I've got to get those numbers together, but yeah, I think that's it. So that's exciting. I look forward to hearing more about your story. I'm gonna need to bring you on my show.
Alexis Newlin: [00:29:29] Cause you're a podcaster too. . So when did you start podcasting? You're also on social media. So those are the other questions I had about you. One , how can you be a light on social media, especially now when you get on some of these pages and it's just darkness, division hatred.
That's my first question. And second, what got you to starting your podcast?
Rashawn: [00:29:47] Okay, love it. , I didn't necessarily have a plan to do all the podcasting and , all this cool stuff on ministry, our own online ministry. But here's one thing [00:30:00] I really did have this conviction that just start sharing, , my story vulnerably. If you go to like my Twitter or any of my social media platforms, I go into detail, like little soundbites of my story.
And from there when it got a response, people need to hear this. People need to know that my life was messy and it is still can be messy. And there's messy areas, always in my life somewhere that God is still growing me and maturing me. But whenever I seen the response, , I'm like, wow, I needed that today.
Or I was about to take my life. And I read this that you went through that, like, whenever I started seeing the impact like that and how we truly influence people either for, for God or for the enemy. I mean, there's no, it's either it's black and white either you're for me or against me, you know what I'm saying?
So I was like, well, it would be my great privilege to [00:31:00] allow God to use me to bring people into his kingdom. And when this world is, , utterly shaken, be something where people , can refuge and run to. To point them to the savior. And I was like this is what I live for it.
I want to bring people home. This is a dark world, this chaotic Yeah, messy that we need to show them the Messiah in a way. So, and not just by, through our declaration, but by demonstration, by getting out and in walking out, living out what we preach, even online, like there's no sense of using the social media megaphone and really just posting stuff.
If we're not going to live it , and that's why I'm accounted for. I got men of God here that. I invite him to do life with me to make sure that I'm walking, what I'm preaching and talking, , and more importantly, the Holy spirit, my helper. cause that's the most important accountability availability too.
Yeah. [00:32:00] Yeah. So th that's what spurs me on do go works in the name of the Lord online because he met me when I was in my darkest moment online and I want to go meet others there.
Alexis Newlin: [00:32:14] Wow. So how long have you been doing your ministry from the time you get back to Oklahoma city.
When did you start launching all of this ? ,
Rashawn: [00:32:22] I actually started a ministry let me see, we started a young adult ministry, right when I came to Christ, which was crazy. I was at a large church and I had a buddy who was discipling me, who will starting the ministry.
But I came in. And served with him, but outside, I'm an evangelist at heart. So I didn't even consider that. The type of ministry where I felt like I thrive in, I thrive around people who are, the prostitutes, the homeless, the people who are in jail people are in the hospital, sick beds because I know people like that will have an ear to hear [00:33:00] a good news or the gospel message.
And even if they don't feel like hearing it or , I don't feel like preaching it. I still got to do it because I'm called to do it. Amen. Yeah. So here's what blew my mind. This is almost what helped inspire the book start where you are whenever I was working in the County jail, that was the first job I had when I came back from LA, , and I was saved.
That was the first job I had. So I ended up going to Oklahoma County jail and I was a detention officer, but they assigned me to the holding tank down in the intake and I would have everyone. And I think this is so important. I would have everyone from the thunder cheerleader, NBA cheerleader who just got a DUI.
In her life, she feels is ruined. I remember like it was yesterday, but then the same night I would cross the man who just committed a homicide, a [00:34:00] murder. And I would ask them to two different, well, the same question I would get the same response. And here's what something I would say, I would say, Hey.
I want to share with you about Christ tonight. I want to share with you about God and how much , he loves you. Have you ever even considered knowing him getting to know the one who created you? I would ask something around those lines, but both of them will say the same thing. Do you see where I am right now?
God wouldn't want anything to do with me. Are you serious? What are you talking about? And I was telling them in my heart is to tell them that, listen, God had come for the perfect, those who have it all together. He came for those who are sick and needed a doctor. And I would explain to them that they're not too far to be reached.
They're not too broken to be fixed. They're not one worthy to be loved. And at that point, I will get into the gospel what Jesus did on [00:35:00] the cross for them and how he's our perfection. he, that knew no sin became sin, that we may become the righteousness of God. And what we need to do is repent and we need to turn from our sins, place, our faith in Jesus and there then from there we can , live that life that we never deserved to live because he died the death we deserve to die. , it would open up some amazing conversations.
Alexis Newlin: [00:35:26] Yeah. What happened with those two ? Do you know, if they became Christians? Were you able to kind of follow their stories after?
Rashawn: [00:35:32] Well, not the cheerleader. I I think she lost her job because I've never seen her because I was actually looking for, after that. , on the website even at a games, I never seen her again at all , in the thunder uniform.
However, the murder, the guy who was in there for murder. Cool story really quick. I'll share it quick as I can. , I was on the 12th floor. It's called disciplinary segregation. It's the jail within the jail. He ended up [00:36:00] going to the eighth floor. He got in some trouble and they assigned him to the 12th floor, the jail within the jail.
And I remember working up there one day and we kept an ongoing relationship because he was looking at life, of course, for murder. But this specific day, as I'm walking into the pod, I go over to where he is in. At this point, I was already writing little notes and putting them on underneath people, doors, words of encouragement, just things that I felt God would give me or scriptures.
And I finally get to his, and he was like "Hey Cope, hey Cope! Hey, go to the middle of the pod and give me that book on the middle of the pod. And I remember walking over to the middle of the pod and I pick up this book and it's not the Bible, it's the Koran. And I couldn't help, but to think like this guy he's playing around, he's joking.
Cause I know he's not a religious man. , so I'm walking back towards, I'm like, okay, what's about to happen and here's what he told me to do. He says, hand me the book and I [00:37:00] go and I get the food cubby deal. And I opened it up with my key opened, open it up here, goes to this hot pee.
He throws on me. He threw crazy, crazy. I could've spoken a tongue that needed no interpretation. No. I mean, I was so upset, but check this out. After that had happened I was like literally trying to be calm. Cause everyone knew I was that follower of Christ that believer somehow God gave me the strength to not go Cray crane.
But when I did, I was like, I'm going to get out of here as soon as possible. I was like, whatever, in my head. And I was walking towards the door, they're laughing. You know, it's about a hundred inmates in there. They were calling me like piss pot and they were calling me all these funky names .
He got you and things like that. And as I'm getting towards the door they [00:38:00] had already opened up the door and the pod officer has seen what happened. He opened up the door and I'm walking out and I'm upset with God at this point. I'm like, God, why would you allow this to happen? I'm over here I'm not supposed to suffer for Christ.
You know what I'm saying? I was acting like that. Yeah, exactly. But as I'm getting towards the elevator, I'm going down, I'm like, okay, I'm about to quit. I'm about to quit this job. Like I'm done. And as I'm getting down at the first floor, I go down and I take the P clothes off. Of course I wasn't gonna keep those on. Cleaned up a little bit.
And my supervisor's like, yo Rashaun, we gotta file a report. And I was like, at this point, now I'm done I'm out. And I was literally walking out the door to leave. And as I'm going out there my , supervisor was following me. He said, no, come back. Russia will take care of this. Don't worry.
And I get in the car and I drove it.
Here's the thing to the red light down the street from the jail. And I'm sitting there [00:39:00] and literally I couldn't help. But to hear from the Lord telling me to go back. So in blind obedience , I'm like, okay, seriously, God, but I'm going to do this. I'm going to go back. So I went back drove back to the parking lot, got out the car, went back in talked to my supervisors, fill out some paperwork.
And then I was like, God told me, rip it up. don't report this guy. , I , basically ripped it up, throw it away. And then I went upstairs. He told me to go back upstairs and I'm like, okay, God, what do you need me to do? And we get back up to the 12th floor. I go back in the pot yelling and like, he's back, he's back where you want you don't piss pot at this time.
Then I'm walking towards the sale. And as I get to the cell, he's looking at me and he's like, Yo you want some more? Why you back while you back, you want some more. And then all of a sudden I look him in his eyes and I said, dude, I love you, in God Christ loves you so [00:40:00] much. God sent his one and only son that I tried to share the gospel with him.
And then I also said, I don't know what happened to you in your life, but I just want you to know that God's never failed you, man. No matter what happened in your life. And I was trying to minister to him for a second, and then I had walked away and as I'm walking away, I'm trying to hurry up and get out of there.
And I did what I could Lord, you use my little mouth and then I'm pressing the button and I hear this, a Cope, a Cope, come back, come back. And I turned back around. I walked back over there and I look into the window. And tears are flooding down this man's face. Tears are flooded down, this man's face. And I knew it had to be the power of God, because what he said, he was like, first of all, foremost, ain't nobody told me they love me in a long time.
Like I lost my mom as a young boy because my dad's in prison. I had to go into foster care, which I went through abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, all this stuff. And he began to say, but you telling me, you love [00:41:00] me after doing that. That did something with my heart. Tell me about this guy you serve.
And then we just started going through, we did a Bible study for like six hours that night in that pod while I was in the window. And I was talking to the crack of the door , for hours. And one thing, one scripture I took them to is What's the sacrifice that the Lord loves. And the Bible says a broken in a contract heart, and I told him, God loves her heart right now, man.
, he loves the brokenness that you're that you're your brokenness in your openness right now that you freely showing before him in before me. And he he'll bless you for that man. That's that's where that's, who Christ came for. The broken people, the sinful people who know they need a savior and told them it was in the gov place.
So, and then from there, and this is what happened, ends up being in his case by the grace of God. [00:42:00] And now he's a preacher on the South side of Oklahoma city. So he's preaching the gospel.
Only God. The ministry is called, which is really cool, but it's called banging for Christ. I can look that up. Yeah. Yeah. Banging for Christ in Oklahoma city. They're doing it. Wow. Events, but that's just a quick story on, huh?
Oh yeah. Wow. Oh,
Alexis Newlin: [00:42:34] Holy God. So you mentioned that you have a book that start where you are. Yeah. So what led you to write this book and what is your overall message with it?
Rashawn: [00:42:44] Beautiful. So, one thing that I'm always challenged with is , God didn't die for the perfect version of us.
Like I always thought that I didn't have what it takes. For God, from the standpoint, I [00:43:00] thought I needed to be perfect, but the thing is I truly don't have what it takes for God. That's why he sent Jesus for me. The moment I realized that there is no darkness that the life of Christ. Can't overcome and there's no sort of pain that God can't use for his purpose, for my good and his glory, like that changed everything.
And I think what I want someone to know out there today, like, and I share this all throughout my book, what great vulnerability like with sometime it's brokenness, brokenness is the place where God, he. He stops us. He halts us, he kills our progress. He makes us hit that dead end. So we can then see that in and of ourselves were utterly insufficient apart from him.
So where, if you're in a broken place today, that's exactly where God will meet you. Not to [00:44:00] keep you there, but to love you through it and help lead you. Out of it. And I think David was a great example. Like we're talking about David after he had committed that, you know, heinous act with bud and killed
What blew my mind is just phenomenal words that he has said . He said, let these bones, you have crushed rejoice in what it reminds me of is how, even God sometimes breaks us to save us. And I needed him throughout my life too. I needed him to break me in order to see. My need to be say saved.
And, and that's what he does sometime, but he always breaks us to men that brokenness. And I never thought like, God would actually, you know, be the one breaking someone. I would think the enemy, but some God allows the enemy to do things because of his sovereign hand is orchestrating something that is far.
[00:45:00] Greater than what anything the enemy could do on his own, , on his own. So he's on the leash basically for our good and for God's glory. So.
Alexis Newlin: [00:45:10] Yeah. Wow. Rashaan. This has been awesome interview. I'm so excited. We got to chat today and it gets to hear your story. And I just got to walk away from this feeling so encouraged that it doesn't matter.
My lack or my like, feeling unqualified. God can do pretty much anything through me. So thank you. You heard me a lot today.
Rashawn: [00:45:28] Well, thank you. So Alexis, Hey,
Alexis Newlin: [00:45:30] I'm Britney on
Rashawn: [00:45:31] my show. You gotta get it, figure it out story and everything on there.
Alexis Newlin: [00:45:37] Definitely. I would love to, I'm still getting used to interview people.
It's kind of weird to be on the other side, but it's fine.
Rashawn: [00:45:45] Yeah. Yeah.
Alexis Newlin: [00:45:47] My final question for you is when did you decide that you were brave?
Rashawn: [00:45:51] When did I decide that I was brave? I love that so much. When I got around other men of God who [00:46:00] actually were following Christ in doing it in a way where they were courageous, I was able to follow them as they were following Christ.
I became brave when I, it was modeled to me by true men of God who lived their life courageous for gospel the gospel for God. That's what I became brave when I got to see it in the brother. CNN my brothers. And then I, I fall off the way timidity, you know, at times, you know, God drew me out to be, become brave.
Cause , we're saved to be brave.
Alexis Newlin: [00:46:34] We're saved to be brave. I love that. That's going on a shirt. I love that. Okay. Where can people find you all the things that you do, all the awesome things you do.
Rashawn: [00:46:46] So you, anyone can go to Rashaan Copeland on any platform. Social media are a start , where you are booked.com or Amazon start where you are a buck.
And that's pretty much where I Meg in [00:47:00] sort of hard in life as an import out into that book to occur to someone. But I would say above anything else, get that Bible, get it to the word of God, gets it down and growing him, discover your purpose and make a difference.
Alexis Newlin: [00:47:13] I love it. And this is another question, , if you could pick there's so many good ones, what's your favorite bursts that kind of you stand on.
Rashawn: [00:47:20] Love it. So a verse that I stand on, I would have to say I love, I love how man I got several in mind, but the one that I have to say is Isaiah. I want to say it's 26, four it's somewhere in there, but it says this, it says he will keep. Well, like he, that keeps his mindset on the are on the Lord will be at perfect peace.
I love this. What comes next? Because he trusts in him, give you that keeps this mind on the Lord will be at perfect peace [00:48:00] because he trusts in him. See for me, and for a lot of guys who were in quote-unquote seminary, Well tell you quickly that tra that peace doesn't come and knowing God and that alone, because we can look in the scripture.
It doesn't just come out of reading the Bible period, but it comes in trusting what the Bible says. That's when perfect peace comes, not just knowing, but trusting which you know, and that's important. And we gotta remember that if one perfect piece we got to trust in him. Thank you for that Rashaan man.
Alexis Newlin: [00:48:38] All right. Thank you so much for being on this show.
Rashawn: [00:48:41] It was awesome. Can wait to bring it on all my social media platforms.
Alexis Newlin: [00:48:47] Guys, wasn't that an amazing interview? I loved being able to sit down and talk to her as Shawn so much. I'm going to do something special for this one. I've heard some feedback from some of my friends and listeners saying [00:49:00] that they like to see video. So I'm actually going to post the full.
Interview video of this on. My YouTube page to look for Alexis Newlin. The brave podcast and the whole. Interview will be on my YouTube page. So you'll be able to actually see it there and listen. , I will put all that in the show notes for you to actually pick this up. Thank you so much for listening every week. I appreciate it. And I love so much.
From Rachana interview, we are saved to be brave. I want to put them in a shirt that is absolutely amazing. Next week, we have another great guest for you. Her name is Janet, and she shares the story of finding out after her husband passed away that he was in the mafia. It was amazing story to sitting down with her. And despite these really hard things, she went through .
She shows us how much God was still in those details and how God kind of brought her through this tar trial. So that'll be the interview next week.
. So I have been starting a new project it's called the creative collective. So if you're creative and [00:50:00] you are finding yourself, wanting to dabble in business and you don't know a lot about it. We've started a new little mastermind group. , you can follow us on Facebook and you can also find us on Instagram. Just look for creative collective Clovis on Instagram. Just bring me there. I'll add you. And then we promote any creative things that you're doing.
It's just a way to kind of give back to all of us creatives out there, whether you're a podcast or an author, an artist. Dancer musician. I just want to be able to share your talent and it is brave to be creative and to put yourself out there. So I want to honor you. So look for the creative collective Clovis on Instagram.
Find me there and I will to promote your stuff.
Thank you guys so much for tuning in here are my three ask, ask. Number one is share the episode. If you find something that you're loving. From the episode and you think you'd have benefited from an another person to hear it. Share it with a friend.
Secondly ratings ratings are so important for people to find the show. And they also give me feedback of what [00:51:00] you guys are loving and wanting to work on. And then finally you can subscribe. If you go to www.braveoneministries.com. Go to contact us, put your email in the page. Where you would contact us page and you'll get on the email list and then you'll get an episode the day early and then find out other cool things that we're doing. Thank you guys so much for tuning in and we will see you next week Bye.