March 11, 1918
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. U.S.
|Died||December 17, 1956
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Cause of death||Bulbar polio|
|Title||Head of Dallas Revival Center|
|Spouse(s)||Juanita Geneva Scott Coe|
Jack Coe (March 11, 1918 – December 17, 1956) was one of the first faith healers in the United States with a touring tent ministry after World War II. Coe was ordained in the Assemblies of God in 1944, and began to preach while still serving in World War II. In the following twelve years, travelled the U.S. organizing tent revivals to spread his message. Coe was hospitalized and died from bulbar polio in December 1956.
Jack Coe was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the seventh child of George Henry and Blanche Zoe (Mays) Coe of Pleasantville, Venango County, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma City. His parents later placed him in an orphanage, where he stayed until about 1935, when at age 17 Jack left the orphanage. A heavy drinker, he joined the Army after World War II began. He later claimed to have experienced a miracle during his time in the military which caused him to become a Christian minister. Coe had close ties with the Assemblies of God, and preached several meetings while he was in the Army. He was ordained in 1944 and then began his career as an itinerant preacher.
Tent evangelist and ministries
Coe was dynamic and enthusiastic in his beliefs. Coe knew Oral Roberts and was taken in by the size of Robert’s revival tent. One day Coe went to a Roberts’s tent meeting and measured his tent. He then ordered a larger one. Coe was not bashful about announcing that his tent was the largest in the world–bigger, he claimed, than the one Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus used.
In 1950, Coe left as co-editor of the Voice of Healing magazine and began his own magazine, which he called the Herald of Healing. Coe had published in fellow evangelist Gordon Lindsay's on The Voice of Healing, but Jack wanted his own magazine. The magazine, by 1956, was circulating at around 250,000 copies. Coe also opened a children's orphanage and built a large church building known as the Dallas Revival Center.
Conflict with denomination and controversy
Coe’s revival messages centered upon healing, and he was most adamant about not taking medicines and visiting doctors. In 1953, the Assemblies of God expelled Coe on the grounds that he was "misleading the public" and "antagonizing Dallas Civil Authorities." Coe was also accused of having an extravagant lifestyle and home. Upon hearing that, Coe printed pictures of four large homes owned by some top officials in the AG and the smaller homes of himself and three other revivalists. Coe also charged that the Assemblies of God were "fighting divine healing." Other revivalists soon came into conflict with Pentecostal denominations, as well.
Coe's arrest and case dismissed
Coe taught and preached fervently on divine healing, claiming to have healed visitors to his revivals. In a 1955 revival service in Miami, Florida, Coe told the parents of a three-year-old boy that he had healed their son of polio. Coe then told the parents to remove the boy's leg braces. However, their son was not cured of polio, and removing the braces left the boy in constant pain. As a result, Coe was arrested and charged on February 6, 1956 with practicing medicine without a license, a felony in the state of Florida. A Florida judge dismissed the case on grounds that Florida exempts divine healing from the law.
In November, just months after the charges were dismissed, Coe became sick while in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He then went back to Texas undergoing a tracheotomy to help his breathing after his muscles became paralyzed. He was diagnosed with bulbar polio, and died a few weeks later at Dallas' Parkland Hospital on December 17, 1956.
Coe's wife, Rev. Juanita Geneva Scott of Lancaster, Texas, died on September 27, 1996 and was buried in Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas. Jack Coe's son, Jack Coe, Jr. is now a preacher with a healing ministry.
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- Harrell 1975, p. 58
- Harrell 1975, p. 59
- Harrell 1975, p. 60
- Harrell 1975, p. 175
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- Harrell 1975, p. 62
- Harrell 1975, p. 111–112
- "Faith healer Dies- Victim of Bulbar Polio". Daily Courier. December 18, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- "The Week In Religion". Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. July 1, 1956.
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- "Jack Coe, Evangelist, Dies of Polio". Washington Post. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- "JACK COE IS DEAD AT 38; Texas Evangelist Succumbs to Bulbar Polio". New York Times. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- Robbins 2010, p.85
- Harrell 1975, p. 172
- "Services held for evangelist Juanita Geneva Scott Coe, 76". Dallas Morning News. October 3, 1996. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- Kennedy, Allison (May 14, 2009). "Jack Coe Jr. to lead area revivals next week". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Harrell, David Edwin (1975), All things are possible: the healing & charismatic revivals in modern America, Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-253-10090-0
- Robins, R. G. (2010), Pentecostalism in America, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-0-313-35294-2