By Pamela Brownstein
A dedicated employee, family man and spiritual leader, Michael Coxwell is the definition of an upstanding member of the community.
Michael, 43, has lived in Beaufort all his life, although technically, he was born in Georgia. “When I was born, we lived here in Beaufort. However, if you were a Caesarean birth, you had to go to Savannah to be delivered,” he clarified. “And so I did.”
His wife, Donna, is a special education assistant at Mossy Oaks Elementary School. Together they have three daughters: Courtney, a sophomore at Beaufort High; Caroline, an eighth grader at Beaufort Middle; and Catherine, a sixth grader at Beaufort Middle.
The majority of his family lives in Beaufort or within an hour radius. “My daughters have two great-grandmoms living here, so it is neat to see four generations in one spot.”
He said he loves Beaufort because even though it is a growing city, it still has that friendly, small town feel. “I’ve lived in Beaufort all my life, I love this place. You couldn’t chase me off with a stick.”
Michael started in sales with the Stokes organization when he was only 19, He worked his way up to finance manager, sales manager and then general manager at Honda in 1992. “The Stokes are great to work for and I thank the Lord for leading me there and blessing me over these last 23 years,” Michael said.
He said he is excited to see the new dealership on Robert Smalls Parkway completed because it will allow them to better serve their customers and the building will be for employees. “It is going to be a place that Beaufort can be proud of,” Michael said. In the meantime, it is still business as usual out of the Used Car Center building, right next to the construction site.
Michael said someone once told him: “Sin would keep me away from the Bible, or the Bible would keep me away from sin.” It was the best advice he ever received.
His first experience in the pulpit and in ministry was serving as the chaplain for the local chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association. From there he was ordained a deacon and served as a lay pastor for about 10 years, filling various pulpits when their pastor was away. He said last January, God called him and his family to Meadowbrook Baptist Church on Lady’s Island. Then in October he was ordained as a reverend. “I love my church family, and Meadowbrook would not be the great church that it is without the hard work of many church members,” Michael said.
His whole family is involved with the church. “My wife and daughters are my hands and feet as they minister beside me,” he said.
At Meadowbrook, located off Lupo Drive on Lady’s Island, Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. and worship is at 11 a.m. Even though it’s a Baptist church, Michael wants everyone to know they are welcome to come and worship.
“God is really working at our church and it is growing in numbers and in faith,” he said.
Faith plays a big role in his life. “I thank God for his free gift of salvation everyday.”
Michael said he feels humble and through his life he has learned “that I love this place called Beaufort. That I love my job, that I love my church, that I love my family, that I love my children, that I love my wife and that I love my Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Important lessons, indeed.