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A Tribute to a Cherished Friend and Brother
December 13, 1954 — May 25, 2019
David Coleman is a beloved and cherished friend and brother, in the sweet fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ. I had the privilege of serving our God and Savior with him, as his pastor for thirty-nine years. In all those years, we never had a cross word between us. Occasionally, as his work schedule allowed, David travelled with me to preaching engagements in churches across the country. These gave us blessed times of fellowship. And his musical contributions were always a blessing to GodŐs elect.
The Lord graciously gifted David with exceptional musical talent; and he used it well. He regularly sang for our assembly in our worship services. His songs were always well selected, honoring the Lord God our Savior and his wondrous free and sovereign grace in Christ.
A few years ago, he sang a hymn I had never seen or heard before, as he often did. That particular hymn stands out in my mind because it spoke so magnificently of our GodŐs wise and adorable providence. The hymn was Handfuls of Purpose. It speaks of Boaz ordering his servants to leave Ňhandfuls of purposeÓ (Ruth 2:16) for Ruth and rightly uses the typical story of Boaz and Ruth to portray how the Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, orders all things in providence for the everlasting salvation of his elect.
Bro. Dave was always encouraging to his pastor, especially with regard to the preaching of the gospel. But, in recent years, as his health declined, he spoke most often to me about GodŐs wonderful providence, ChristŐs accomplished redemption, and the amazing grace he experienced by the will, purpose, and power of our sovereign God. As his body weakened more, when he was still able to sing in our worship services, he frequently sang the 121st Psalm. I am certain he was not only singing GodŐs praise, but also expressing his continual desire before the throne of grace.
ŇI will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.Ó
I count it one of the great privileges and joys of my life that our God made Bro. David Coleman such a rich and blessed part of my life. In the thirty-nine years I knew him, he never once spoke in my hearing, or to my knowledge, an evil word about any in his church family. Instead, when someone else suggested something negative, David was always quick to find a way to cover any perceived evil and point to a good statement or deed.
My cherished friend suffered much pain and weakness in recent years. I wept for him much, as I tried to pray for him and his family. — No more! Thank you, my God, for your wonderful grace bestowed on my friend in Christ. And thank you for your rich mercy bestowed on me in giving David Coleman to me.