from 1916-1917 directory

Rev. Gordon Corolenus Coleman, D.D. (August 18, 1871 – August 10, 1942) was the pastor of the North Oakland Baptist Church from 1913 until his death in 1942 and editor and manager of the Oakland Sunshine newspaper c.1919.

"I found that The Rev. Coleman had done more for his race in Oakland than all of the Negro preachers put together had ever done. Should one ever come to Oakland, look around a little and you will soon learn the Dr. Coleman is in the middle of everything. He was the cause of the city of Oakland having Colored Firemen, and all of the Colored men that hold political jobs are there by the request of this great preacher. And whenever a great trouble arises among the people, they look up Dr. Coleman."
- Walter F. Watkins, 1925 1

Coleman was married to Ruth (Coleman), and had at least 6 children: Gordon C. Coleman, Jr., Dr. John C. Coleman, Samuel B. ColemanKyster Barksdale ColemanJulia Coleman (Jones), and Marion Coleman (Johnson). 5 They also adopted Charles S. Coleman III, G.C.'s nephew whose parents had died. In 1915, the family lived at 859 - 34th St; in 1922, the family lived at 867 - 37th St.

Coleman was part of the early efforts to get a Black YMCA, eventually leading to the Market Street YMCA which opened in 1926. 2 In 1940, he (along with C.L. Dellums and E.A. Daly) was elected a VP of the Alameda (county) NAACP. 4

Rev. Coleman's name appeared frequently in Delilah Beasley's Activities Among Negroes column in the Oakland Tribune. One column said "Rev. G.C. Coleman is such a public spirited citizen, readily cooperating in any movement for the betterment of either the city of Oakland or his race". 3

Death and Burial

Rev. Coleman died August 10, 1942, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

funeral motorcade by E.F. Joseph 6funeral by E.F. Joseph 7

Links and References

  1. Cry of the West Walter F. Watkins, 1925
  2. Activities Among Negroes by Delilah Beasley Oakland Tribune June 13, 1926
  3. Activities Among Negroes by Delilah Beasley Oakland Tribune October 26, 1930
  4. Negro Affairs by Lena Wysinger Oakland Tribune December 15, 1940
  5. Activities of Negroes - Last Rites for Baptist Pastor to Be Observed by Lena Wysinger Oakland Tribune August 16, 1942
  6. MS126_B4_592 African American Museum and Library at Oakland
  7. MS126_B4_599 African American Museum and Library at Oakland