According to his congregation, the Rev. Dr. Delman L. Coates is no ordinary clergyman. Instead, he is anointed by God to be a teacher, preacher, and community advocate. Coates is committed to connecting the ministry and work of the church to social justice and community revitalization. He serves the Lord by giving back to his community and encouraging his parishioners to work on the behalf of the less fortunate.
One example of that commitment is Coates’ recent appeal to his more than 8,500 member congregation to raise money for college scholarships and grants to area public schools leading up to the church’s Easter celebration. Exceeding their goal, members contributed $170,000, which will be divided between college scholarships and public school grants, providing assistance to students and Prince George’s County. Not only has Coates organized opportunities to provide financial contributions to his community, but he also has donated his time and encourages church members to do the same.
Concerned with helping people and the welfare of his constituents, Coates held a Day of Service to celebrate his 11th anniversary. Coates and more than 400 members and staff volunteered to beautify internal and external areas of Surratsville High School, as well as provide groceries and toiletries to nursing homes (Bradford Oaks and Villa Rosa), a rehabilitation center (Larken Chase), senior living homes (Clinton Manor, Branchwood Towers, Trinity Terrace, and Gateway Village), and a veteran home (Charlotte Hall) in Southern Maryland.
Currently, as a convener for the Maryland Coalition for Justice & Equality, Coates is actively fighting to pass legislation to address the state’s foreclosure crisis and community concerns about police accountability.
He said he believes that homeowners should have the right to due process in foreclosure proceedings and thinks that there should be greater protection for citizens in their interactions with police officers.
Coates is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A. in Religion, 1995), Harvard Divinity School (Master of Divinity, 1998), Columbia University (Master of Philosophy in Religion, 2002), and Columbia University (Ph.D. in New Testament & Early Christianity, 2006). He is founder and president of the Black Church Center for Justice & Equality (BCC). Coates is also a board member on the Parents Television Council and the National Action Network. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Morehouse College Board of Preachers, and the NAACP. Coates is married to Yolanda Walsh Coates, a graduate of Spelman College and Northeastern University School of Law, and the father of two sons, Nathaniel and Joshua, and two twin daughters Ava Marie and Leah Blair.