Travis Coleman said when he gets in his car it always goes in the direction of First Baptist Church, Prattville.
It’s not hard to understand why — he’s been going there almost every day for 30 years.
Coleman has led the church since he and his wife, Arlinda, answered the call to serve there in 1989. He had gotten his first job in ministry 15 years before that — Sept. 1 will make 45 years of full-time Christian work.
And the years have passed far faster than Coleman ever would have imagined they could, he said.
“I thank the Lord for my wife and children and grandchildren — they’ve been so supportive of my calling and commitment to ministry,” Coleman said. “During this time I’ve also been blessed to serve alongside some wonderful church leaders and staff members. That’s a tremendous blessing.”
And Coleman said he’s thankful for a church that is committed to missions and always growing in its passion to make disciples. He said it’s been “humbling” to see God’s grace and blessing there over the past three decades and in various other roles around the state, such as serving as president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention in 2014–2016.
Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, called Coleman a “consummate Christian statesman.”
He “has served the Lord in an exemplary way as pastor, associational and state convention leader,” Lance said. “He has influenced so many people through his ministry of preaching and as a pastoral leader. I count him as a close friend and confidant. He is a blessing to my life and many others as well.”
Coleman will be honored with a retirement banquet Aug. 4, then his last day at First, Prattville, will be Aug. 11. He plans to continue to serve churches in transitional pastor roles. To contact him email TravisArlinda@knology.net. (Grace Thornton)