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Barrington Coleman to step down as Director of Choral Music on June 23

Dr. Barrington Coleman, long-time Director of Choral Music here at Wesley UMC has decided to step down from his role effective Sunday, June 23.  With a planned sabbatical from the University of Illinois in 2025 and retirement on the horizon, Dr. Coleman wanted the timing of his departure to best serve the interests of our congregation. With the summer months before us, he felt we would have the time to move forward with new leadership prior to the 2024-2025 academic year.

We will celebrate Dr. Coleman’s long tenure with us on Sunday, June 23. More information on how you can participate in that celebration will be shared in the Wesley Weekly and Sunday bulletins. He will offer special music during worship on that day.


On behalf of his wife of 36 years, Cynthia, and his two young adult sons, Crofton and Camden, Dr. Coleman has expressed his deep love and appreciation for our congregation.


He writes, “We were blessed to raise our family around a loving circle of support and exemplary examples of kindness, constant support, and prayers around our challenges and triumphs, with inspired leadership among clergy and members which continues to hold us up! This expression of my spiritual joy and love has been the mission, purpose, and inspiration for my music-making and sharing over my years of Wesley affiliation since approx. 2008.


“Although my affiliation would indeed be associated with our musical profile, our family soon discovered that the core of our connection to Wesley was soul-based. The numerous opportunities for us to grow as a family with the intervention, introspection, and direct involvement from countless Wesley brothers and sisters, provided a Christian home for our family to thrive outside of our professions, and offer our authentic selves to an environment of true kindness, acceptance, inclusion, and unselfish love.


“Over the years of personal and societal challenges, the models of friendship, prayer, sacrifice, and scriptural truth have been effectively shared from our ministerial team – currently led by Pastor David Fuquay, formerly under the leadership of Pastor Daniel King Crede, associate ministers and past clergy, coordinators of Wesley’s many missions and outreach programs, volunteers, student community, and our beloved music ministry contributors.


“Your ministry with God at the center literally held us up and gave us hope in all circumstances. Through our celebrations, sorrows, and many transitions, our Wesley family embraced our nuclear family, whether recognizing worship service reunions with my mother, our occasional out-of-town family visitors, to sharing the impact of countless special moments for our household. It always made an incredible difference and lasting impression on us as parents, to know that kind, giving, voices of wisdom throughout Wesley would take time when my wife and I were unaware, to encourage, witness, and hold our sons to a high standard of expectation in their development as maturing young men in Christ.”

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