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 Madsen.
“I’m a convert to the Church,” Elder Coleman says. “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 says. “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.”