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The Rev. Dr. Bill Coates, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Gainesville on Green Street, was awarded the Louie D. Newton Award for Service on Aug. 18 by Mercer University.
The award was given at the Founders Day convocation for the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology on the university’s Atlanta campus.
Coates, a native of South Carolina, is a current member of the university’s Board of Trustees and a life member of the Mercer President’s Club.
“Dr. Bill Coates is a gifted preacher and pastor whose life and ministry has impacted an entire city,” said Dr. Robert N. Nash Jr., interim dean of McAfee. “He is exactly the sort of model for ministry that we want to hold up to our students. His support for Mercer University and the McAfee School of Theology has been unwavering over the course of his ministry at First Baptist Church of Gainesville.”