Douglas Coe

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Douglas Evans Coe (born October 20, 1928) is associate director of the Christian organization the Fellowship (also known as a family of friends in Christ, the prayer breakfast groups.[1]). He has also been referred to as the "stealth Billy Graham."[2] In 2005, Coe was named one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in the United States by Time magazine.[3] Coe is an ordained Presbyterian elder and serves as a lay minister.[4]

Life[edit]

Coe's ministry in mentoring and discipling is widely known, his enjoyment of athletics and his devoted family life, having raised three boys and three girls. Somewhat diffident about attention and reluctant to do public speaking he routinely denies requests for interviews and speeches to large audiences.[5] He was born and raised in Oregon. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Willamette University.[6] While enrolled as a college student, Coe met Dean of Men and future Fellowship associate and Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Coe became involved with Young Life, a campus youth ministry, in Salem, Oregon, and went on to start a chapter of "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" with Roy Cook while enrolled at Willamette University.[7] Coe and Cook became involved in laymen’s groups of various kinds and helped establish a “navigator house” in Salem.[7] They met Dr. Abraham Vereide when he visited Salem, the capital of Oregon for a Governor's Prayer Breakfast and were fascinated by his visionary communication of a "leadership led by God, empowered by His Spirit."[7]

After working with Young Life and the Navigators, Coe, in 1958, at the age of 30, was employed by Dr. Vereide at the International Christian Leadership on Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. and after initially doing clerical jobs in the office he served as aide de camp to Dr. Vereide and by 1963 had become an assistant director of ICL. He worked alongside of Dr. Vereide, Dr. Wallace Haines, Dr. Clifton Robinson and Dr. Richard C. Halverson, the clergy executives of the global ministry. Coe was trained by Lorne Sanny and Jim Rayburn in the methods of Bible memorization, study and teaching and Vereide also had him mentored by young Billy Graham, an effective youth minister and former president of Northwestern College, a frequent house guest of Dr. Vereide's and a former disciple from ICL's Chicago days.[8][9][10][11][12] As Rev. Christian Halverson put it, in the eighties, Coe "became the godfather . . . but for good, not for bad." [5]

Coe is a member of the Planning Committee for the National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values.[13]

Political influence and private diplomacy[edit]

The extent of Coe's influence in American politics is a subject of debate. Nevertheless important figures have acknowledged his role on the national and international stage. For instance, speaking at the 1990 National Prayer Breakfast, President George H.W. Bush praised Coe for his "quiet diplomacy, I wouldn't say secret diplomacy".[14]

The Fellowship was a behind-the-scenes player at the Camp David Accords in 1978, working with President Jimmy Carter to issue a worldwide call to prayer with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. In 2000, Coe met with top economic officials of Pakistan as a "special envoy" of U. S. Representative Joe Pitts[citation needed]. Coe met with President George H.W. Bush as he hosted a luncheon with Iraq's ambassador to the United States in the mid-1980s[citation needed]. In 2001, The Fellowship helped arrange a private meeting at Cedars between two warring leaders, Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, one of the first of a series of discreet meetings between the two African leaders that eventually led to the signing of a peace accord.[15] Coe was a member of the large United States Congressional and ministerial delegation which accompanied then First Lady Hillary Clinton to the 1997 funeral of the founder of the Sisters of Charity, Mother Teresa.[16] He is mentioned by John Ortberg in his book "If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat" as the pastor of a man, named only as 'Bob', who had great influence on bringing medicine and releasing political prisoners in Kenya.[17] Coe convened a meeting between Bob Mitchell, the President of Young Life, Jay Kesler, the President of Youth for Christ, and Colonel James Meredith United States Army at Dr. Vereide's Fellowship House in Washington, D.C. on July 29, 1980, which led to the formation of Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM), a global program to spiritually and relationally care for military kids on bases around the world in the similitude of Young Life and InterVarsity, organizations which Coe had served with early in his ministry career.[18]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Coe on many occasions as First Lady of the United States. According to NBC News, she participated in a prayer luncheon at The Cedars, the Fellowship Foundation's historic conference house and grounds on the banks of the Potomac River in February 1993 and met privately with Coe in her White House office on December 19, 1997, and a “Meet & Greet with Business Leaders” on Feb. 4, 1998.[19] Clinton has written that Doug Coe is "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."[20] Doug Coe has been referred to as a friend and hero by former Vice President Al Gore.[21][22]

In March 2009, Coe was a featured speaker at the Idaho State Prayer Breakfast.[23][24]

Speakers at the 48th annual Idaho State Prayer Breakfast challenged an audience of more than 600 Saturday to discover Jesus Christ through individual attention, small group fellowships and statewide prayer for leaders.

[Former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus introduced Doug Coe. Andrus said the Camp David accords would not have been accomplished without Coe.]

Doug Coe, told of how people of all cultures and religious backgrounds can be joined by Jesus' teachings. Coe said small group fellowships have taken place all over the world with communists, atheists, Hindus and Muslims agreeing on the teachings of Jesus.

[For example, at one small group fellowship meeting, Cecil Andrus asked Arthur Burns, a Jew, to speak. Burns prayed,] "Dear God, I pray that all the Jewish people in the world will come to know Jesus. Dear God, I pray that all the Muslims in the world will come to know Jesus. Dear God, I pray that all the Christians in the world will come to know Jesus. Dear God, I pray that everyone in the world will come to know Jesus."

Doug Coe, former Young Life and InterVarsity leader told Saturday's audience: "That's the message for our kids, for our country. Jesus is the answer."[25]

The Coe family[edit]

Doug Coe is a descendant of early colonist Robert Coe (1596–1689).[26][27][28] Coe, the son of Milton Evans and Loda Helene (Davis) Coe, was born October 20, 1928, in Medford, Oregon.[27] His father, a public-school teacher, and mother were married December 26, 1923, at Yamhill, Oregon.[27] His paternal grandfather, Rev. Curtis Pearre Coe, was a Baptist minister and missionary.

When he is not traveling, Coe resides in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Janice, in a home located on the grounds of the former Doubleday Mansion, renamed the Cedars. Doug and Janice Coe are the parents of six children,[6] including David Mark Evans Coe of Annapolis, Maryland; Timothy Stewart Coe of Arnold, Maryland; Jonathan Coe of Washington, D.C. (died 1985), and Pamela Kay Corder of Leesburg, Virginia. They have 21 grandchildren.[6] David, Tim, and Paula are all employed by the Fellowship Foundation and/or Wilberforce Foundation, Inc., and have worked alongside of their father since their college graduations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/06/17/imperial-jesus-family-author-jeff-shalet-secret-history-other-christian-right.htm
  2. ^ "25 Most Influential Evangelicals Photo Essay". Time. July 2, 2005. Retrieved May 1, 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Van Biema, David, etc (February 7, 2005) Douglas Coe in "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" Time Retrieved on 2008-June 14
  4. ^ Presbytery of Washington Records of 1970 ordinations
  5. ^ a b http://www.worldmag.com/articles/15778
  6. ^ a b c http://www.newcanaansociety.org/Resources/Speaker-Bios/C/Coe,-Douglas.aspx
  7. ^ a b c http://www.normangrubb.com/PDF/The%20Willowbank%20Story.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/459.htm
  9. ^ http://www.harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525
  10. ^ ICL Archives Dupont Circle office
  11. ^ Grubb, Norman (1961) Modern Viking, page 192
  12. ^ Adair,Marian (2003) Window on Washington, page28
  13. ^ http://www.newcanaansociety.org/29/
  14. ^ Sharlet, Jeff (2008). The Family: Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Harper-Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-055979-3. 
  15. ^ http://www.toobeautiful.org/lat_020927.html
  16. ^ "In Other News". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ John Ortberg, "If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat", Zondervan 2001, pp91-93
  18. ^ http://mcym.org/page.asp?id=110&name=History+of+MCYM+Founding
  19. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080421032959/http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/03/857959.aspx
  20. ^ Ehrenreich, Barbara (March 28, 2008). "Hillary's Nasty Pastorate". Huffington Post. 
  21. ^ http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3847
  22. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a46.asp
  23. ^ http://www.idahostateprayerbreakfast.org/
  24. ^ http://www.idahostateprayerbreakfast.org/documents/2009Invitation.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.idahostatesman.com/localnews/story/691096.html
  26. ^ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=362140&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=2214285914&aid=-1&oid=2214285914&id=562709570
  27. ^ a b c https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10792074570&oid=2214285914
  28. ^ http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.coe/1062.3.1.1/mb.ashx

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