By Donald Jay Howton
Originally from Birmingham, Col. Dwight O. Coleman was elected illustrious potentate of the Malik Temple #270 in December of 2021. His term of office is for two years. A career army man, he has served in the U.S. Army for 34 years. He is currently stationed at Redstone Arsenal. Dwight’s first duty station was at Fort Johnson, formerly Fort Polk in Louisiana. A good, solid decent man with excellent communication skills, he is outgoing, but focused. Dwight is committed to selfless service. One of Malik Temple’s flagship initiatives is the Shriners’ As Mentors (SAM) program where they develop and shape life skills in young men.
What is the Malik Temple #270? Dwight: We are a subordinate temple of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.E.A.O.N.M.S. Inc.) (Prince Hall Shriners). We are an integral part of the supporting philanthropical efforts which include tangible and non-tangible endeavors. Since our inception, we have volunteered over 1,300 hours of community service supporting Bessemer and West Jefferson County.
What are your duties as illustrious potentate? Dwight: Among my duties are providing leadership, vision, collaboration of our values, goals and objectives with our elected Divan who are the core leadership team for the temple.
What makes Malik Temple unique? Dwight: It is the diverse makeup of the temple. It is common knowledge that our membership roster mirrors the United States workforce.
Tell me about your family? Dwight: I was born in 1971 in Fairfield the son of Mamie Coleman and the late Al Coleman. I have been happily married for 25 years to Zonja Leonard Coleman and we have one son Alexander, 17.
What is your educational background? Dwight: I earned my MBA from Touro University in California in 2007.
What has been the highlight of your career? Dwight: The highlight of my military career has been achieving the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army which only 2% of all army officers achieve. As a Worshipful Master, having chartered a Prince Hall Masonic Lodge New Beginning #970 in Fairfield and as Illustrious Potentate having chartered the Prince Hall Shriners Malik Temple in Bessemer.
What is your favorite meal? Dwight: I enjoy a juicy beef roast with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, collard greens, sweet baby corn, cornbread and for dessert sweet potato pie.
What is your favorite Little Debbie treat? Dwight: My favorite is the Donut Sticks. I also love Ginger Snaps.