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MINISTER RAYMOND THOMAS COLEMAN
On Wednesday, December 6th the world welcomed the gregarious Raymond Thomas born to Raymond Lawrence and the late Bernadette (Muchison) Coleman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest and only son of two children. After toiling in his body with various illnesses he fixed his eyes toward heaven as he made his triumphant transition to glory on Sunday morning, New Year’s Eve. Assuredly, the angels rejoiced at his arrival as he went from labor to reward.
Raymond was raised in a God-fearing family and from an early age was highly active in the church and youth ministry, demonstrating his acceptance of the Father as his personal Lord and Savior by being baptized in the presence of family and friends. At two years old Raymond could be found with a microphone in his hand while singing along with his dad. This would be the beginning cultivation of his God given gift, singing four-part harmony, and playing the drums – Raymond was an entire choir by himself. Raymond was anointed to minister in song… if you ever encounter him singing during Sunday morning worship - you would feel the Holy Spirit and anything holding you captive would be set free. He was obedient to the Father that he was to use his gift for God’s Glory, even when approached by Philly soul producers Gamble and Huff, he stood on what the Lord said! Raymond was blessed with the opportunity to refine and master his gift while traveling the country singing with award winning gospel choirs - Wilmington Chester Mass Choir and Philadelphia Praise Ministries.
Raymond was educated in the Philadelphia Public school system, graduating from South Philadelphia High School. Desiring to gain more knowledge and wisdom he attended Beulah Baptist Church, New Life Bible Institute Missionary Training School.
Raymond was united in holy matrimony on January 1, 1992, to Christel Smith and they shared in the upbringing of their son, Bruce. Anyone who knew Raymond knew that he was the most loving husband, devoted father, cherished brother, and beloved son any family could ask for. He shared this same love with his community of friends, professionals, and acquaintances spanning across the globe.
Raymond loved God and was selfless, he lived to please God and allowed God to order his steps. In 1996 he felt a tugging at his heart to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with any who were lost. He embarked on a spiritual journey and was licensed to preach on January 12, 1997, at Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church, under the tutelage of Pastor, James A. Lovett, II - where he has served with unwavering dedication for almost three decades. His sermons touched hearts, offering solace and guidance to those in need. Raymond’s favorite scripture, Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Raymond was a practical joker with a generous heart of gold, never hesitating to help people out. Because he was a big kid at heart, his nephews and nieces adored him along with his grandchildren and the children of his close friends. He was known for his friendliness and never hesitated to let people know that he loved them. He was such a people’s person and would find the perfect vocation working with the public to include a Paratransit Operator. He loved assisting the seniors and those with special needs; he would provide encouragement and a hearty laugh while transporting clients to doctor's appointments, dialysis, and work.
Raymond enjoyed all Philadelphia sports teams -- he was an avid 76er’s and Eagle’s fan! In his youth his dad cultivated his aspirations to become a professional basketball player as he would practice every day on the court. He also was so excited for the thought of New Year's Day as he waited in anticipation every year for the Mummer’s to strut on Broad Street!
Raymond LOVED to travel if you mentioned vacation he was already packed in his mind. He loved the beach, amusement parks; especially Walt Disney and his all-time favorite being cruises. He sailed the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, the Eastern and Western Caribbean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sea of Cortez to name a few.
Raymond was preceded in death by his mother, Bernadette Coleman, his father-in-law, Floyd Ray Smith Sr., and his niece Sydaria Lutéce Smith.
He leaves to cherish fond memories; his wife of one day shy of 32 years Christel, his son; Bruce (Christine), six grandchildren; Nicholas, Alicia, Mariah, Kylee, Alanah, and Mia, his father; Raymond Lawrence, his mother-in-law; Patricia (Curt), his only sister; Terea (Brandon), one brother-in-law; Floyd Ray Jr. (Monique), three sisters-in-law; Nature (Omar), Tasha (Jean Eddy), and Kelisha (Garth Lee), eight nephews; Diamen, Sheamar, Nasir, Tyshaun, Floyd III, Zaire, Justin, and Zachariah, four nieces; Daajah, Zysha, Nairrah, and Jackalynn, four uncles; Daniel (Idella), George (Pamela), Robert Lee (Crystal), and Preston (Lisa), seven aunts; Shirley, Jeannette, Margie (Levi), Mildred, Gail, Brenda, and Shirley Ann, one god-brother; Charles, one god-sister; Maria, and a host of cousins and other loving family and friends.
This servant of the Most-High God will be missed.