Pastor Kenneth Coleman has been battling with his daughter Taylor Coleman in front of viewers on "Preachers' Daughters" each week, but now Lifetime network viewers are learning that the preacher is fighting for his life.
Pastor Coleman of City of Refuge Pentecostal Church in Joliet, Ill, has had to deal with raising an 18-year-old daughter who is trying to find herself in front of television cameras. However, Pastor Coleman is dealing with deeper issues off screen where he is awaiting a kidney transplant and currently on dialysis up to five times a week.
Coleman's kidney issues stem from a rare genetic kidney disorder called Nephrotic Syndrome. While viewers of Lifetime's "Preachers' Daughters" witnessed doctors telling Pastor Coleman that his life was in danger because of his kidney disorder, his condition has worsened now that cameras have stopped filming his life.
Pastor Coleman has no kidney function, while his condition leaves him tired and in pain. The pastor does not receive a salary from his small church and his condition has forced him to stop working which his wife Marie Coleman admits has changed the family's dynamic.
"We went from a two income household to one..most men are used to being a provider, it is definitely hard on my husband not being able to do it physically but wanting to do it," Mrs. Coleman admitted to The Christian Post. "But he has helped a lot around the house when he has good days. But sometimes there is bad days where he doesn't have enough energy."
The pastor had a kidney scare as a teenage wrestler, but prayer from his pastor seemed to fix the problem. Years later, the condition came back with a vengeance.
After speaking to his grandmother, Pastor Coleman found out that his great uncles had the genetic disorder that skipped his grandfather. Now, the pastor and his eldest daughter are dealing with kidney issues.
Despite the fact that Pastor Coleman's condition and dialysis therapy leaves him unable to do little more than sleep at times, he continues to preach from the pulpit in his church each week.
"I will never step away from what God has called me to be because that's who I am. I love the calling of ministry," he told CP. "I try to make sure before we go to bible class on Tuesdays that I get my rest..For Sundays, I make sure Saturday that I get a lot of rest. If I don't I won't be able to minister."
While the pastor does get help from his wife who is also a preacher, he is not even considering stepping down from preaching.
"We can't step away from the ministry until God calls us home," Pastor Coleman told CP. "There is no stepping away."
Still, the pastor cannot ignore the fact that he needs a kidney transplant. In the most recent episode of "Preachers' Daughters," a doctor told Pastor Coleman that an average 96,000 people are waiting for a kidney, while many wait four to six years.
However, the pastor admits there is a sense of urgency in his case.
"There is a sense of urgency because the longer that I don't have it, the worst the condition gets," he told CP. "The condition that I have does not just go away because of dialysis. It continues to work on my body."
Although Pastor Coleman is trusting God for a new kidney, there is a chance his body might reject and attack the new organ which happens with people that have his disorder. While the preacher may have to take over 20 pills daily after getting a transplant, he is leaning on his faith while preparing for the ordeal.
"I'll have to take more pills and they'll keep me in the hospital extra days just to make sure that it doesn't reject right away. There's a high rejection factor involved with this disorder so it's kind of rough," Pastor Coleman told CP. "But I've got faith, I've got confidence in God. I got confidence that He is going to bless me with a good healthy kidney and we're going to make it work for about 20 to 30 years."
While Pastor Coleman encourages people to check their family's medical history to avoid being surprised with an unfortunate kidney condition like he was, the pastor also recognizes the importance of supporting other people with kidney disorders.
"Literally people said they have been praying for me and they wish they could come and donate a kidney," he said. "But I'm not the only person who needs a kidney. Somebody else needs one and they can help and donate to them also."
Even if the pastor finds a kidney donor that is a match, the Coleman's insurance does not pay for all of the medication required for the pastor's condition. Pastor Coleman and his family created a fund to not only help with that cost, but also to help pay the medical bills of those who are testing to find out if they will be a kidney match for him.
Despite his medical issues that may depress and scare some, the pastor is holding on to his faith.
"We know God is a healer, through all this we know He is a provider. He will take care of everything that is going on in our lives," Pastor Coleman told CP. "He's still with us and I'm thanking Him and I thank the people of God for their support. In rough times, Christian folks know how to support. I thank God for them."
Mrs. Coleman is calling for people to continue to pray for her family.
"We truly thank people for their prayers and we feel their prayers," she told CP. "Don't stop praying because prayer does work."
To find out more about Pastor Coleman's condition or to donate to his kidney fund, please visit www.kencolemankidneyfund.com. "Preachers' Daughters" comes on Lifetime networks on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET.