Carlton L. Coon Sr.
Carlton L. Coon Sr. is an accomplished author. He has written over 25 books. The books fit in several categories:
- Preacher, Pastor and Ministerial Development – “If we can grow a pastor, the pastor will grow the church. There is no need to talk about church growth unless we address preacher growth.”
- Christian Living – “Christian life has no secrets and cannot be compartmentalized. It must be daily. Each person’s behavior must demonstrate the characteristics that make for a healthy church.”
- Disciple-making – “The church is not successful if it makes converts but does not make disciples.”
- Teaching and Preaching Resources – “No minister is any better than his resources.” These materials cover an expanse from communion to lessons on the book of Ephesians.
- God’s Men – This is a new area. Each year a new book will focus on issues Christian men must overcome.
He is an occasional blogger and consistent thinker.
He and Norma pastor Calvary – a United Pentecostal Church in Springfield, Missouri. The church is growing. Space is needed! His resume includes having previously grown two churches:
Vidalia Revival Center – Vidalia, Louisiana
Truth Tabernacle (2848 North Broadway; Springfield, Missouri) now rebranded and re-doctrined as “Courageous.”
For twelve years, Carlton was General Director of North American Missions for his church organization. During those years the organization had unprecedented growth in churches planted and contributions to assist in planting churches. That growth trend continues under current leadership.
Currently, the Coons are bi-vocational pastors. The secular employment includes an online book-selling operation and writing for other entities. This is not their first season of being bi-vocational. While in Vidalia, he was regional manager for a vocational training corporation. This afforded the opportunity to serve on advisory boards of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools and be part of the process of evaluating similar colleges.
For some of this time, Carlton served as President of the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce and sat on the City Board of Adjustments.
Other organizational involvement includes: launching and leading a Men’s Ministry effort in the state of Missouri; serving on Gateway College of Evangelism’s (now Urshan College) Board of Directors, and as a member of the Missouri District Board.
Carlton and Norma have been married over 40 years. Norma will likely be awarded some double portion of reward for having lived with a “Type A,” driven, workaholic husband. Their sons and daughter-in-law are Chris, Lane and Shelley. They have three “holy children” – a great term for grandkids who call him “Big Daddee.”
When he wants to chill a bit he may read a murder mystery, do some planting in the garden, golf (poorly) or pursue time with the couple’s “laughing friends.”
Pastor, what do you envision and hope to accomplish going forward?
That is easier asked than answered.
I’m thankful for the opportunity technology has given us. I often wonder how the Apostle Paul and Luke would be using the internet to spread the gospel. With that resource available, Lane and I are working on a online course that is part of what I call the Apostolic Continuum. The first component of this is on Disciple-making. The Disciple-making course will have over 20 hours of practical “how to” instruction, numerous handouts and provide two of my books. The intent is to put tools in people’s hands. The Disciple-making course will be followed by online courses in a number of other areas.
As usual, I have several books in the works.
1. Where is God in My Dark Place? is my working title for a book on surviving depression. This is an area of life where my own personal history helps communicate about the issue. There will be a suite of accompanying materials.
2. The Bible as More Than Literature is apologetic lessons I’ve taught the church. In my years of pastoral teaching, no series has drawn the amount of interest this did. The material will be published as a series of teachable lessons. Students and adults alike are being challenged to validate the Bible as being God’s Word. This book will give information to help accomplish this.
3. Remember Lot!, is about decisions men make and how to make better decisions.
4. Life of Christ – Year One – 26 lessons about Jesus’ first year of public ministry.
5. Sermon on the Mount – Over 40 lessons dealing with what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
6. But Jehosheba – a second book of funeral sermons.
The premise of “Future Church” is never far from my mind. What adjustments must we make to embrace the future?
· Our local church must relocate to larger property to be effective. In a similar way, the body of Christ has to enlarge her boundaries. We cannot grow beyond our structure. How do we enlarge without loss of identity?
· How do better equip pastors to match this moment? The effectiveness of the local church depends on the spiritual and pragmatic leadership of a local pastor. A man can be superb in the spirit realm and impractical in structure and processes and not get a lot done. The exact opposite is true as well – some are effective from a practical perspective but as “spiritual as a doorknob.” Neither extreme will work.
· From an entrepreneurial perspective I envision an Apostolic Publishers Clearinghouse that crosses organizational boundaries and acquaints people in one group with resources developed by a person in another.