Wingate University professor honored with N.C. Baptist Heritage Award

Jennifer Gaskins (704) 233-8117
Director of Marketing and Communications

Wingate, NC- Wingate University professor G. Byrns Coleman received the N.C. Baptist Heritage Award on April 20 during a special event held at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. Each year Wingate University and other organizations and colleges affiliated with the Baptist State Convention each nominate a candidate for this award. The award recognizes individuals or couples who represent exemplary giving and service to organizations associated with the convention.

Dr. Coleman has taught religion at Wingate University for half of a century. To stay engaged and fresh after fifty years of teaching, Coleman does a lot of reading and attends workshops. “Teaching in itself is a constant learning experience because the teachers always learn more than the students,” he said. To stay on his toes as Chairman of the Religion Department, Coleman schedules himself to teach an 8 a.m. class each day and teaches four classes a semester.

Outside of the classroom, he shares his knowledge of religion during a weekly Bible Study program on Wingate University television which airs throughout Union County. His first pilot show aired 20 years ago. He keeps a letter in his desk from a 78-year old woman who had watched his program and requested his Bible study planner. “She was so inspired by one of the programs we did with Rev. Darrell Smith that she thanked us for helping her realize that her life is not yet over and that she can still be useful.”

The Coleman influence extends far beyond the campus and into local churches. Despite many calls to become a full-time pastor, he has resisted the temptation to serve fulltime, serving as a supply minister instead. Some churches have invited him back in this role as many as four times, as was the case with First Baptist Church of Wadesboro and First Baptist Church of Monroe. He returns to Wadesboro Baptist Church every January to teach a Bible Study class.

Dr. Coleman met his wife, Alice, while he was working at Wingate as a young professor and she was working as the assistant librarian for the Ethel K. Smith Library on campus. They have been married for 47 years and have three grown children (all Wingate graduates) and seven grandchildren.

Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a private four-year co-educational institution of 2,159 students offering active learning opportunities through personalized instruction, world travel, career discovery and community service.

Wingate offers more than 34 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, business, communication, education, fine arts, music and sport sciences. It also offers graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration. In addition, the school awards the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Doctor of Education degrees.

Bulldog student-athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. Wingate University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past three years.