Earlier this week Pastor Matthew Coleman took time to answer a few of our questions:
How does it feel to be back in Michigan?
It is a great blessing for us to return to Michigan. As we sought the Lord’s will, we did not know where He would lead. The fact that He has led us back to Michigan is wonderful. There is so much to do, to see, and to enjoy in this state. In years past, there was an advertising campaign that proclaimed, ‘Yes Michigan, the feeling’s forever.’ As we settle back into a life in Michigan – we are understanding how true those words are.
How would you describe yourself for those who are meeting you for the first time?
Like all people – our family is a unique mix. While we love to interact and fellowship, we are also very happy enjoying quiet times alone. We enjoy playing board games, taking walks, visiting with friends and family.
oWhat do you see as the top priorities for your ministry?
Truly, apart from preaching and teaching the Word of God – visitation (in its many forms) is the ministry. It is not possible to effectively become familiar with the congregation and its needs without visitation. Another priority for ministry at this stage is to encourage us all to shift gears from the interim stage. Uniting us as we seek to serve the Lord together is important. This happens as we work together, reach out together, demonstrate our faith together in this congregation and in this community. It is important that HCC realizes that God can use us in mighty ways – if we let Him!
How would you describe your leadership style?
My leadership style truly is one of servant leadership. Jesus’ ministry demonstrated this quality over and over. While He spoke with authority and stepped on the toes of the Pharisees, He also approached people with gentleness. While difficult decisions are sometimes necessary, seeking God’s direction and a congregation consensus is so important. This can sometimes take time and effort. But in the long run, it encourages unity and demonstrates our desire to be led by Christ.
What is the best way for someone to contact you?
The best way to contact me is by phone. My cell phone number (which is in the bulletin) is 785-226-3679. While I cannot promise that I will be able to answer the phone immediately, I do strive to be available and responsive. We have set my office hours as Monday through Thursday from 9AM to Noon. However as a pastor, I consider myself on call 24 hours. So if there is a need, I would hope people would be comfortable to reach out (even if it is not during office hours)!
In your 20+ years of pastoring, what is one significant example where you saw God’s hand directing your ministry?
The fact that we are in Hadley is a clear example of God’s direction. For some people, it is difficult to understand the process of being called to leave one ministry and to enter into a new one. Our experience in Kansas was truly a blessed time. And in some regards, it was an ideal situation that we could have enjoyed for many more years to come. But God placed on our hearts a call. And so we humbly approached Him and sought His direction. And He clearly demonstrated His will in our lives. And here we are. But, during our time in ministry, God has also allowed us to see Him working in the lives of other people. We were blessed to know a man that had been addicted to meth. Through faith in Christ, He was delivered from that bondage. We have seen God work in the lives of overlooked people. We have seen God work time and time again. And we are excited to see Him work at HCC.
How did you and Danielle meet?
Danielle and I met at Mervyn’s Department Store in Westland, MI. We started as co-workers. We became friends. And then, we dated and ultimately married. Danielle is as diligent as she is beautiful. She gives her all and sets high expectations for herself. She is a wonderful wife and mother.
What will Danielle’s role be in your ministry?
Danielle’s role at HCC will look very much like everyone else’s. During our years in ministry, she has served in many capacities. Some of these have been official positions and others have been in less official roles. She is continuing to work (virtually), but it is her desire to be involved as much as she is able. She has been so blessed by the outpouring of support she has received so far!
You have three daughters and one son, will they all be staying with you in Hadley?
Our eldest daughter, Katherine, has remained in Kansas. She worked with a counseling service that offers assistance to those with many concerns. We are pleased to have Madeleine (Maddie), our second daughter with us in Michigan. She and her husband live in Colorado Springs. Dominic is currently deployed overseas. Elizabeth (Libby) will graduate officially from high school on May 20. She was able to graduate a year early and has been dually enrolled in a community college during this past year. She is prayerfully considering the next steps for her life. Our son, Lucas, is 11. We are considering our options for his education in the fall.
What’s something we should know about the Colemans that may not already be widely known?
Many people do not know that I am a triplet. While my fraternal sister, Melanie, passed away about nine years ago, my brother Mark works for Delta Airlines providing maintenance for some of their airplanes. I have an older sister, Michelle, who teaches college courses at several colleges in Southeast Michigan. I enjoy Diet Pepsi (too much). My favorite television program is Murder, She Wrote (even though it has been off the air for decades). Danielle is an only child. She enjoys the theater, music, and spending time with family. Maddie has two dogs – Bunny and Rocko. Libby was a CNA in Kansas for a year. Lucas has a guinea pig – Potato.