Elder Gary Jerome Coleman has the distinction of
having been baptized by another called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy
at the same time—Elder John [M.] Madsen.
“I’m a convert to the Church,” Elder Coleman said.
“My parents named me after Jerome, the Catholic saint who translated the
Bible, and as a child I wanted to be a priest. From the time I was nine
years old, I served mass almost every Sunday.” That changed in 1962 when
John Madsen, a fellow student at Washington State University, invited Gary
to attend an early-morning seminary class he was teaching.
A few months later, in November 1962, Gary joined
the Church. “I applied Moroni’s promise,” Elder Coleman said. “I received
a witness, and it has been building ever since.”
Nearly eight months after his baptism, Gary married
another Latter-day Saint he had met at school—Judith Renee England. Today
they are the parents of six children and live in Pleasant View, Utah, near
Weber State University, where Brother Coleman has been the associate director
of the institute of religion.
Born on 18 September 1941 at Wenatchee, Washington,
Gary grew up on a farm in Bridgeport, Washington. He graduated from Washington
State University with a bachelor’s degree, and later from Brigham Young
University with master’s and doctorate degrees. For twenty-eight years,
he has taught in the Church Educational System.
Elder Coleman comes to the Seventy with long experience
in missionary work. He has been in five full-time mission presidencies
and has served as president of the California Arcadia Mission.
“I have been fortunate to have been taught by good
men and women,” Elder Coleman says. “Through study, undeniable revelation,
and personal experience, I know the Church is true. It’s a wonderful blessing
to be a member of the Lord’s church.”
Elder Coleman served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy
until April 5, 1997 at which time he was sustained to the First Quorum
of the Seventy where he served with distinction until he was released and granted
Emeritus Status by a grateful Church in General Conference assembled October 2011.