The Power of Prayer

Heather Herschap Coleman, BA ’02, MDiv ’07, has always considered prayer a vital part of her life. Last year, when Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary launched an extension campus in San Antonio, Coleman asked how she could be a part.

February 1, 2023

“I had a deep sense of conviction that there was a need to somehow get folks praying for Truett San Antonio,” acting director of Truett’s San Antonio campus, Keith Bruce, DMin, said. “The very next morning, I received an email from Heather expressing her excitement about Truett SA, my involvement in this effort, and asking how she could help.”

Four years prior, Bruce was walking in his San Antonio neighborhood when he first met Coleman face-to-face. Bruce had come across her name before when he had worked at the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He was a part of raising funds for Coleman to travel to India on a mission trip where her focus was working with a local disabled community.

Coleman was born with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) which came with muscle contractions and loss of hand-eye coordination and fine motor control. In her day-to-day life, she uses her wheelchair and depends upon caregivers to help with everyday tasks.

After Bruce shared his conviction about developing a Truett San Antonio prayer team, Coleman was enlisted to help with leading the group, officially named the Truett SA Prayer Force. As a Truett graduate herself, Coleman knows that prayer is a vital part of any ministry.

“Prayer helps me rise above worldly situations, think outside of myself, and rest in Jesus,” Coleman said. “At Truett, I truly learned how to spread my spiritual wings; I had professors that dealt with cancer, strokes, and cerebral palsy—they were great in reminding me to give myself grace and mercy.”

Currently, Truett San Antonio holds classes in dedicated space at Trinity Baptist Church, just north of downtown San Antonio. The extension campus held its first classes in the fall of 2021 with five students. Since then, their group has tripled—a success that, the group acknowledges, is not only due to staff and faculty efforts, but to prayer as well.

“The prayer group is incredibly meaningful,” Bruce said. “And we’re so thankful for the work that Heather does to lead it—she has such a heart and passion for ministry.”

Throughout the last academic year, Coleman sent out a weekly email to the Truett SA Prayer Force. The emails contained a verse, a small reflection, a professor of the week, a student of the week and an opportunity to pray for local things taking place at Truett San Antonio. Coleman also shared her own testimony and how God was working in her life.

“When praying, God always reminds me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,’ which correlates with the verse I highlighted this week: ‘See what great love the Father has lavished in us,’” Coleman said in one of her weekly emails. “When feeling overwhelmed, I picture myself soaking in His grace and His love.”

Heather Herschap Coleman, BA ’02, MDiv ’07

These regular emails not only encourage the Truett San Antonio faculty and staff, but the students as well. Occasionally, Bruce receives an email from students sharing how meaningful it was to be prayed for or how the devotional ministered to them. Of course, Coleman loves being involved and is thankful to pour back into the community.

"The faculty and staff at Truett knew how to push me to become the best minister and disciple I could possibly be—never treating me like I had a disability. Instead, they gave me confidence that came out in my papers, sermons, and other opportunities."

Heather Herschap Coleman, BA ’02, MDiv ’07

Today, Coleman is a writer, motivational speaker, and an ordained minister. Since graduating from Truett, she has written two books, disciples people, started a Bible study with three other couples (the wives also have CP), and started her podcast, Rolling with Jesus. She lives in San Antonio with her husband, Kevin, and their daughter, Aletheia.

This year, Bruce hopes that Truett San Antonio can continue to grow in faculty and staff, develop more collaborations and partnerships in San Antonio, and continue to understand its community needs and where they can fill in the gaps. 

“I hope that the prayer team continues to exercise the discipline of prayer,” Coleman said. “More importantly, I hope that Truett San Antonio seeks to be an authentic ambassador of Jesus Christ.”