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James Malone Coleman ( Missoula 1953 )

posted: Aug 2, 2020

The Rev. James M. “Jim” Coleman died May 4, 2020, in Baton Rouge, LA. He was born August 26, 1929, in Memphis, TN and was educated at Christian Brothers High School, graduating in 1947.

After serving in the U.S. Army, he continued his education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He later obtained a Master of Divinity at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and a Doctorate of Ministry from the Seminary of the Southwest at Wake Forest University.

After his ordination in 1957, Jim served as priest in the towns of Lebanon, Gallatin, Johnson City, and Memphis, Tennessee as well as Martinsville, Virginia. In 1975 he was called to serve as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he remained until 1989. He served as rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Memphis until 1993 when he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of West Tennessee and served as its Bishop from 1994 until his retirement in 2001.

He held close the memories of daring, work-intensive adventure as a smokejumper during the 1953 season for the U.S. Forestry Service in the Pacific Northwest. Jim hiked the Appalachian Trail with his sons and friends every year for over 40 years. One of his crowning outdoor achievements was a trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on a once-in-a -lifetime trip to Africa in 1989.