Coins of the Bible: How God turned one man’s hobby into a ministerial calling

By Allison Redmond

COLUMBIA—What is a cup of coffee or two glasses of Southern-style sweet tea worth?

If you’re Wayne Damron, it’s worth teaching a class on the Bible through centuries-old coins. Damron discovered an interest in collecting coins at the age of nine. By adulthood, his hobby had become a ministry. He found a passion for teaching Bible stories through the lens of the coins mentioned in Scripture. Now retired, he spends his time traveling to churches and groups across South Carolina and beyond, helping people better understand God’s words through these coins. Many of the classes he leads are at United Methodist churches.

“I actually cover a good number of coins in the Bible,” Damron said. “Like the widow’s mite, the shekels, the half shekels (and) the daric, which was mentioned in 1 Chronicles.”

He teaches the classes using the coins he has collected traveling all over the world. The “price” for each class is a cup of coffee or two glasses of tea.

Damron said the classes help people connect stories in a more tangible way.

“All of the sudden they put two and two together,” he said. “They can now see what the widow’s mite really looks … and because of that, it brings the passages a little bit more to life for them.”

He said class content can vary based on the questions asked by those in attendance. Each class has time set aside for the attendees to pass the coins around and ask any questions they might have.

Each coins is original to the time period the stories take place.

“(The class) is not going to be holding onto copies. They’re going to be holding onto something real,” Damron said

Twenty-five years ago, these coins were not available in the United States. Damron would chase down these tokens of biblical history in his travels.

Technology has changed that reality.
“Because of the impact of the Internet, you can be sitting in your living room and bid on an auction in London, England, without ever being there,” he said. “Because of that, it’s now easier to find some of these coins at auction here in this country.

Damron approaches each class with the hope that the average attendee will walk away with a better understanding of what the Bible means when each coin is mentioned. Along with that, he said he hopes there will be a connection in regards to the relationship between the Scripture and the coins.

“I’ve had so many people walk up to me after a class and say, ‘That really brought to life what we’ve been reading about for years,’’ Damron said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do … I feel this is what the Lord wants me to do. He brought me to this point by design.”

For more information, contact Damron at 803-781-8623.

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