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Linda (Schiphorst) McCoy
April 12, 1945 ~ March 20, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Rev. Dr. Linda Schiphorst McCoy of Indianapolis passed away on March 20, 2023, just a year and 10 days after her beloved Mikey.
Linda was born in the small town of Madison, Indiana to Theodore (Shippy) and Myrtle Schiphorst. Linda married her high school sweetheart, Mike McCoy, during her senior year at Indiana University, where she was pursuing a degree in education.
She taught both English and French during her teaching career, starting in Bloomington, and continuing at Northview Middle School in Indianapolis. She was teaching French at Northview, and promptly left that job one day, when Mike called her at work to tell her that their dream of adoption was being realized and that they were to pick up their daughter the next day from Community East Hospital. She never returned to teaching. Her focus became raising their daughter Erin.
Linda grew up in the United Methodist Church in Madison and would often recount memories of going with her grandfather to Trinity United Methodist Church to ring the bell, inviting people to services. Mike and Linda joined St. Luke’s United Methodist Church when they moved to Indianapolis in 1969. She was very involved with St. Luke’s as a volunteer when she decided she had a higher calling and, with Mike’s full support, enrolled in Christian Theological Seminary. Linda was ordained and became an associate pastor at St. Luke’s in 1982, and eventually was awarded a Doctorate in Theology from United Theological Seminary. With few female role models serving as pastors at that time, Linda helped transform what it meant for women to serve in ministry.
Linda was a fierce advocate for women’s rights, racial equality, and LQBTQ+ rights. She loved everyone. In the mid-1990’s, she had a dream while on a flight to Denver. When she woke, she knew she had a calling to start a ministry that would connect with people who were not being served by the traditional church. She worked with so many amazing clergy and lay people to bring this dream to fruition and in 1995 the dream became reality as an offsite ministry known as The Garden, a satellite of St. Lukes UMC which held services at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater, and everyone was welcome. She wanted to blend the sacred and the secular. She knew the love of God through the traditions of the church, but she knew that God’s message could also be shared in a secular way. What she and her team created was nothing less than a miracle. The Garden that Linda created eventually grew to five services in two locations, with hundreds of people in attendance.
Linda and Mike loved food and adventure, and they loved to share it with others, particularly with friends. They often took skiing, sailing, bicycling and road trips. Their first overseas travels were to Europe in the early 70’s, traveling on a military transport when Mike was in the National Guard, and the travel “bug” got them. During Linda’s ministry, she felt the urge to visit the Holy Land. Linda subsequently led multiple trips to Israel and the Middle East, and eventually organized tours to Ireland and Scotland to share her love of Celtic spirituality with fellow travelers.
Linda retired in 2015, having touched so many lives. She preached once or twice a year when asked, but wanted to spend as much time as possible with Mike and Erin and with her granddaughter Maddie. She and Maddie did everything together. They went to the Children's Museum, the Zoo, and to the pool at the Monon Center frequently, and she went to every band concert and softball game Maddie played.
Linda was 77 years old and is survived by her daughter, Erin (Lee) Roling; and granddaughter, Madeline Swike. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Mike; and her sister, Betty.
Traditional memorial services will be held in Indianapolis at 10 AM on Saturday, May 6th at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, followed by a meal and a Garden Service at Beef & Boards Dinner Theater, 9301 Michigan Road.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Fletcher Place Community Center. DonateNow