Alumnus serves as youth pastor for over 40 years
May 08, 2009 by DJ Turner | 0 Comments
The following article was written by a woman who grew up in the youth ministry of alumnus, Tom Coffan (MA, '85). Coffan has served as youth director of East Boulder Baptist Church for 40 years. While Coffan is not retiring (he plans to continue serving youth), the church recently honored him to celebrate his many years of faithful ministry.
Thank you, Tom, for your many years of dedicated service. Your story is an inspiration!
On Friday, March 6, 2009, Applewood Baptist Church opened its doors and its heart to a long-time friend and faithful servant of the Lord. In honor of a remarkable 40 years in youth ministry, Tom Coffan, the current Youth Director at East Boulder Baptist Church, was stunned by a sanctuary filled with hundreds of current and former students, parents and youth workers, many of whom traveled from the country round to show their gratitude.
Gathering in one room to honor Tom was an experience so many of us shall not soon forget. It was difficult not to be humbled by the visual spectacle of Tom's impact on so many lives. For four decades Tom has devoted his whole self to impacting the lives of young people. He seemed innately gifted with an appreciation for the importance of sincerity and consistency, when it came to leading youth. He knew of that ever watchful teenage eye and he endeavored daily to practice in his own life the words he preached in the church, around the campfire, and while spelunking through the dark crevices of a mountain cave.
Too often, we speak of what we could do, what we might do and what we plan to do. Tom always just did. Countless youth have trudged through their formidable years under Tom's inspiring guidance. Many of them now grown and many others still on their way, it will never be within our capabilities to gage the full impact of Tom's service. To be sure, the devil must have been livid the day Tom (middle name) Coffan accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, as I am sure no one knew better than he, the potential breadth of Tom's ministerial impact on the next generation.
So Tom, as I draft this message, I am certain I speak for all those who have been privileged to know you. Your impact has always been and will always be far broader than the reaches of the youth room. Each year that we age, we grow deeper in our appreciation for your unwavering dedication to the Lord, for such an allegiance is a rare thing to witness. Your surrender to the Lord's calling will long outlast your years on here on Earth. Without a doubt, the day you call your time in Ministry to a close will prove a heartbreaking day for the teenager in us all.