Simple question inspires local woman’s mission

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

By Nyla Smith

Contributing Writer

LAPLACE – Playing dress-up in costumes as a child was the beginning of a journey that grew into a life-long passion for Dionne Coleman of LaPlace.

Coleman, the founder and director of the organization Christ In Demand, uses her talents and vision to educate the youth in the area about Jesus through entertainment and educational resources.

She said she has always enjoyed wearing costumes, and as a teenager she would perform as a clown or some other character and entertain at children’s parties. It was also during these years she discovered the divine purpose for her interest.

“I was sitting in church one Sunday as a teen, and the Holy Spirit gave me a vision of a Christian mascot named ‘Christ Bear,’” said Coleman.

In January Coleman witnessed her dream become reality when she and her husband, Gary, finally purchased the mascot after years of planning and financial ordeal.

Since then the couple have been traveling to local churches encouraging children of all ages and enhancing Christian education.

In 2010, the couple also began praying about starting an organization centered around the mascot to expand their services to include teaching life skills, such as dealing with peer pressure, through biblical teachings, a mentorship program for the youth and marriage counseling for families.

Coleman said once she started making preparations for the organization, she sought God about a name for the outreach.

“The Holy Spirit came upon me as I pondered the question, ‘Is Christ in demand of my life?’,” said Coleman. “I answered back to myself, ‘Yes, He is.’ From that moment I knew that Christ In Demand was going to be the non-profit’s name because Christ is in demand.”

Currently, the organization is a non-profit, and the owners are in the process of sponsoring fundraisers to pay for their 501c status and to purchase Bibles to distribute to children who are in need of one.

The 501c status would allow anyone who makes a donation to the organization to receive a tax exemption.

Coleman said her husband now performs as Christ Bear, and he serves as assistant director of the company.

“In the future he will oversee the teenage division of Christ In Demand,” said Coleman.

“A ministry that would focus on serving the many aspects that surround teenagers transcending into adulthood,” she said.

Coleman also hopes to establish a scholarship fund for teens who volunteer with the organization during their high school years.

“We want to go into the schools, daycares and churches to educate children about Jesus, and someday we will take the message to television,” said Coleman.

In the meantime, she and her husband will continue spreading “Christian love, unity and education” through the community with the help of their furry friend, Christ Bear.

Coleman said all services are free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

For more information or to book Christ Bear, call 504-274-7860 or 504-269-7694 or email