Coffman’s journey brings him back to Newberry College
NEWBERRY – Rev. David Coffman (class of 1997) has returned to his alma mater as new campus pastor at Newberry College.
Coffman is a devoted Lutheran and wishes to create a group to further spread the word of God. He was called to ministry while at Newberry College, and found a peace that he wants to share around Newberry.
“I have never met a microphone I have never liked as I have the gift of gab. I love to listen to stories, and I love to teach the faith in hopes the light bulbs in our heads go off, ”he said. “Whether we talk about scripture or faith or different denominations. I just hope something will click in those who I speak to. The moments where I can see the wheels turning in their heads are the moments that are very special to me. ”
As the campus pastor, Coffman will organize and lead chapel weekly. He will also help organize special occasions like convocations and will help students with their spiritual journey, no matter where they find themselves on that journey.
“I am not just a pastor to the Lutherans. I am a pastor to the Christians on campus. I am the campus pastor to everyone, ”he said.
When Coffman first came to Newberry College as a freshman, he said his nickname was “Preacher Dave.”
“I did not want to be a pastor at that point, it was not until my senior year that the call to ministry happened,” he said. “I wanted to work in politics as I was a political science major. I went to the Republican National Convention, I interned for Strom Thurmond, who is a former Governor of South Carolina. I was chair of the College Republicans. ”
Coffman explained that during his senior year they worked on a number of campaigns. However, he said all of them lost except for Thurmond.
“So I felt like there was something else I was being called to do,” Coffman said. “My call to go to seminary occurred senior year and I became a pastor.”
Coffman was also a part of the Newberry College tennis team during his time in college.
“The coach at the time asked me to be the teams manager. My junior year, we got a new coach and he kicked two or three players off the team and all of a sudden, I was playing the sixth position. ” he said.
Coffman played not only during his junior year, but his senior year as well, along with his Theta Chi fraternity brothers.
As the campus pastor, Coffman said his long-term goals are to grow a core group of students who want to dig deeper into their faith in, and through, campus ministry.
“I want to provide fall and spring break trips that are more service and justice oriented,” he said. “My goal is to look at trips that provide learning opportunities to engage faith and academics. I really want to be able to take a study trip to Israel and Germany. I would love to be able to visit some of our students who come from Australia, New Zealand and further countries like those. ”
Coffman is located in the chapel or the Webber House. He has a passion for seeking out people who wish to grow their faith and grow as one. Coffman does not care what denomination his students are a part of. He said he wants to do his duty as a Christian and spread the gospel.
He said he is excited to see what other aspects he can incorporate during his time here.
Coffman was formally installed as campus pastor on May 4 at 10 am at Wiles Chapel.
Cayman Duvall is a Newberry College student intern working with The Newberry Observer.