MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Alvin Coleman serves community through his church and his job

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Alvin Coleman’s life is connected by a trilogy.

“I tell people there’s three places I’m always at  — I’m at work, I’m at church or I’m at home.

“And when I’m not working or serving the church, I’m with my wife, Katherine Coleman, and our three children, Donovan, Chandler and Allison.”

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A Vicksburg native, Coleman is a 1999 graduate of Vicksburg High School. He works as an assistant to North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, working with people on problems in the North Ward.

He’s been a member of King Solomon M.B. Church since 2010 and is the church’s multimedia director. He is also involved in the church’s outreach programs. He and his wife have been married for seven years.

And the driving force behind everything he does is a passion to be the best.

“I’ve been working for the city a lot longer than people think,” he said. “I began working for the city as a seasonal employee cutting grass.”

He later worked at Cedar Hill Cemetery for three years before leaving the city to work for private business. He returned to work for the city as a photographer for Vicksburg TV, the city’s access channel.

“Later, I was asked by Mr. Mayfield to help him,” Coleman said. “I just love the city. I think that we have not only the best city in the state of Mississippi, but we also have the best city in the best country there is.”

Coleman first went to King Solomon in 2010.

“Dec. 6, 2009, is when the Lord opened up my eyes, and I was trying to find solutions to having peace in life,” he said. “I went to the church as encouragement for someone; a friend was getting baptized. It was on Super Bowl Sunday in 2010 when I took the first steps into King Solomon and I’ve been going there ever since.”

Besides serving as multimedia director, he is involved in the church’s other outreach ministries.

“Nurseries, outreach in the community, playing a role in the family weekends; whenever we do parades, I’m the one who airbrushed the floats. I help design the church bulletin and do the commercial advertising for the church. We cover all video and audio, because the church has radio and television broadcasting.

“Pretty much anything the church has going on, I play a significant role. When the doors open I’m in there, and I think it all falls back to the passion I have. Whatever I’m doing, even with my dealing with someone, I always want to do better and to serve and to take on more responsibility.”

Learning from church

Coleman said he has learned much since joining King Solomon.

“The church taught me a lot. In their outreach, I learned how to deal with people, how to serve people; even when working in this office. I’m proud Mr. Mayfield would give me the opportunity to serve.

“The church has laid the foundation (for serving). I really do believe in foundations. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of working with a pastor that’s been there for 15 years; he laid a concrete foundation at the church and made it easier to serve,” Coleman added.

“Mr. Mayfield laid a solid foundation in the North Ward, and it gives me the opportunity to go out and just continue what’s going on (there) and do it to the best of my ability. I live in the North Ward and know a lot of the people I serve.”

Coleman said he became involved with King Solomon’s outreach program in 2011.

“We would take the church transportation and people from age 5 to 55; 60, whoever was willing, and we would go to different neighborhoods and go out and evangelize, talking with people and asking them about their relationship with the Lord and invite them to come to church,” Coleman said.

“We saw a need to get out and encourage people and let them know that there is still hope here and go out and find the one who would regularly go to church.”

Helping others

One popular outreach, he said, is the church’s food ministry, where the church serves the community a free meal after its 11 a.m. service. Everyone, he said, took turns assisting with the meal.

“When the church was on Farmer Street, it was real big, because a lot of people would come. After 11 a.m. services would have a free meal for the community we would get to know them; sit and fellowship.”

He said the community meal tradition has continued since the church moved to Oak Ridge Road.

“We believe in being servants; wherever you can serve,” he said.

And he plans to continue serving.

“I think it’s one way. The way I treat you is a reflection of what I think about the Lord. The church taught me this: whether it’s in my job or in my family, it’s all one reflection. I’ve got to treat that concern with reference to the Lord and how can I serve you.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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