Central Florida’s Sager Brown Mission Team recently dedicated a newly constructed gazebo to the memory of Ed Cepull, founder of the Central Florida team and longtime volunteer to the UMCOR facility located in Baldwin, Louisiana. About 50 volunteers and staff members were present for the service of worship and dedication.
Mrs. Sue Cepull, widow of Ed Cepull and also a longtime Sager Brown volunteer, attached the dedication plaque to the gazebo. The Cepulls became members of First United Methodist Church of Orlando in 1972, and over the next 40-plus years served on numerous committees and ministries ranging from Sager Brown to mission work in foreign countries. Ed lost a battle with cancer in March 2016.
In her comments to the crowd gathered at the gazebo Monday, Oct. 30, Mrs. Cepull recalled that coming to Sager Brown and doing projects in the Baldwin community was one of Ed’s favorite things. Together, they made 18 trips from Orlando to Baldwin. He also loved working at his church and in the communities around Orlando.
“Coming to Sager Brown was highly anticipated for us,” she said, “because it was another opportunity where we could use our God-given talents and skills to benefit others.” She then shared some fond anecdotes about their years of marriage and events that occurred while at Sager Brown.
Amy Fuselier, director of relief supplies for UMCOR Sager Brown, expressed the vital role that volunteers like Ed and Sue have had in the success of UMCOR in distributing supplies to some 82 countries around the world, as well as to most regions of the United States. Most recently, supplies have been sent to Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico. She said the gazebo will function as a relaxing place for volunteers and as a gathering place for special events on the 14-acre campus.
The gazebo was designed and mostly constructed by the Central Florida team under the direction of Ed and Gloria Lobnitz. Mr. and Mrs. Lobnitz, also members of First Church Orlando, became team leaders when the logistics for planning the trips to Baldwin became burdensome for Ed and Sue.
Also during October, Sager Brown celebrated 150 years of service to communities worldwide.
--Phil Keyes is a freelance writer based in LaBelle.
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