History was made at First Baptist Church of Chapel Hill last August when the Rev. Rodney Lavon Coleman succeeded J.R. Manley, the church's pastor for 65 years.
Coleman preached his first sermon as the new pastor Oct. 27.
He is a 1999 graduate of Winston-Salem State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education. For more than 20 years, he worked as a third-grade teacher, sixth-grade language arts teacher and a primary reading teacher. He also served as literacy coordinator at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh.
His initial sermon “How Long is Too Long” came in 2000 at St. James Baptist Church of Leasburg, and he was ordained to the ministry in 2002 by the High Point Educational and Missionary Baptist Association.
He received his theological education at Wake Forest University where he earned his master of divinity in 2008 and at Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned his doctorate in ministry.
Coleman’s thought-provoking sermons and ability to captivate listeners has earned him the nickname “The Pit-Bull of the Pulpit.”
In addition to having served as a pastor, he has had more than 20 years experience as a minister of music. He plays five instruments and is also a singer, songwriter, producer, composer and a certified recording engineer.
The church is pleased with its new pastor because of his passion for youth and college ministry. He believes that if a healthy church is to be sustained, an effective inter-generational ministry must be established and maintained.
The new pastor was born in Roxboro and was reared in nearby Leasburg. He is currently adjunct professor at Apex School of Theology. When not involved in ministry, he likes to spend down time with family and friends and playing golf.
Marlene Zweig will lead a Sensory Awareness Workshop on Friday and Saturday at Chapel Hill Zen Center, 5322 NC Hwy. 86, north of Chapel Hill.
The workshop will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and continue from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch. All are welcome to enjoy the wooded grounds and meditation path at the center during breaks.
Zweig lives in Denver and is a long-time meditator and student of Charlotte Selver, who introduced Sensory Awareness to the United States. The fee is $75 and partial scholarships are available.
The dying Christian
An inter-denominational conference for Christians who wish to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus so they may die well and faithfully will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 940 Carmichael St. in Chapel Hill.
The conference is sponsored by Duke Chapel, Newman Catholic Student Center Parish and St. Thomas More Parish.
Also invited are caregivers, pastors, medical professionals and all members of faith communities who are committed to supporting the dying Christian.
The conference is based on the premise that all are dying and preparation for death should be practiced throughout life so that death does not have the last word.
The conference is an outgrowth of a conference that was presented by Duke Divinity School in August titled “Dying Well and Caring Well for the Dying.”
That conference drew upon the work of Allen Verhey, professor of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School. Verhey is the author of “The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus.” He will present the keynote address at the upcoming conference.
Six breakout sessions will address how the spiritual needs of the dying Christian may be met by the faith community, resources for end-of-life planning and other topics. Breakout session speakers include pastoral representatives from area churches, UNC Hospice, bereavement coordinators and medical professionals.
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