Hadley Community Church welcomes new pastor
HADLEY – Matthew Coleman grew up in Michigan, but the closest he ever came to Hadley, he said, was probably through the Flint area on the way to Frankenmuth. That changed in early May when he found himself living and working in Hadley as the new pastor of Hadley Community Church.
Coleman, 48, has been a pastor for 23 years, although he never really thought that was where his life would go. God, however, had a different plan for him, he said. He grew up going to church with his grandmother and parents, and he always enjoyed it, but he never thought he would lead services.
“I’m generally a more reserved person,” he said. “I was never going to be in the spotlight, and I never wanted to be in the spotlight.”
Even when he went to Bible college, he said, he decided to make music, but again his plans were changed. His experience includes serving as Associate Pastor at Community Baptist Church in Garden City, Michigan, Pastor of Rollin Baptist Church in Hudson, Michigan, and Pastor of First Baptist Church in Clay Center, Kan. He came to Hadley feeling it was time for a change.
“As a pastor, you try to be sensitive to what God would call you to do,” he said.
He served his last duty in Kansas on May 1 and began the two-day trip to Michigan with his 27-year-old wife, Danielle. They arrived on May 3 and found a group from the church ready to help them unload. He attended Bible study the next day, visited church members throughout the week, and held his first service that Sunday. The reception from the church community has been wonderful, he said.
“I was delighted that so many of the congregation opened their homes and allowed me to visit them,” he said. “You just get into a routine because there’s no way to serve effectively without knowing people.”
So far, he said, Hadley seems like a pretty good place.
“It’s just a small community and I’m still learning how to navigate it, but they have a real heart for the community and real pride in it,” he said. “They appreciate what they have and who they are because they have value. It’s just that genuine sharing and caring. It’s not forced. It’s very organic, and they see that building not only as a place to go once or twice a week, but there are people here every day of the week. It’s just a part of their life. To see people living their faith day by day. day, every moment, whether they think someone is watching them or not.
The church, Coleman said, is like a dining table. You have grandma, the grandkids, that quirky uncle, all coming together and grateful that they all bring their own thing to the family unit as a whole. He felt that right away from the folks at Hadley Community Church.
“It’s a welcoming environment and I think they really strive for that. They want people to feel welcome,” he said. “It’s really a nice place and nice people.”