A civil rights leader and retired Jeffersontown pastor died Sept. 8, Rodgers-Awkard & Lyons Funeral Home said Sunday.
The Rev. Thurmond Coleman Sr., 92, was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Jefferstontown for 45 years before his 2000 retirement, during which time he oversaw construction of a new edifice, educational building, family life center and church expansion, according to the funeral home.
A Courier Journal article from his last service said Coleman oversaw the church’s growth from a few hundred members to the first large African American church in eastern Jefferson County.
He was more than a pastor. He was an activist and deeply involved in his community.
He marched for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s and served on a county commission that implemented welfare reform in the late 1990s, according to The Courier Journal archives.
Coleman was a Kentucky Colonel, receiving an honorary doctorate degree of divinity from Simmons Bible College, according to the funeral home.