Jack Coe

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Jack Coe
BornJack Coe
(1918-03-11)March 11, 1918
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1956(1956-12-17) (aged 38)
Dallas. Texas, U.S.
Cause of deathBulbar polio
OccupationEvangelist/faith healer
TitleHead of Dallas Revival Center
Spouse(s)Juanita Geneva Scott Coe
ChildrenSix
 
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Jack Coe
BornJack Coe
(1918-03-11)March 11, 1918
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1956(1956-12-17) (aged 38)
Dallas. Texas, U.S.
Cause of deathBulbar polio
OccupationEvangelist/faith healer
TitleHead of Dallas Revival Center
Spouse(s)Juanita Geneva Scott Coe
ChildrenSix

Jack Coe (March 11, 1918 – December 17, 1956) was one of the first faith healers with a touring tent ministry after the Second World War in the United States. 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.[1]

According his obituary in the Charleston Gazette, "Coe was frequently the center of controversy," and "preached extensively through the South and employed some 80 persons."[2]

Early life[edit]

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, after World War Two began he joined the Army. 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.[3]

Tent Evangelist and Ministries[edit]

Coe was dynamic and enthusiastic in his beliefs.[3] 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 one bigger.[4] 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.[5]

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.[5] Coe also opened a children's orphanage[6] and built a large church building known as the Dallas Revival Center.[7]

Conflict with denomination and controversy[edit]

Coe’s revival messages centered upon healing, and he was most adamant about not taking medicines and visiting doctors.[8] 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.[9]

Coe's arrest and case dismissed[edit]

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 healed their son who had polio.[10] Coe then told the parents to remove the boy's leg braces.[10] However, their son was not cured of polio and removing the braces left the boy in constant pain.[10] 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.[11][12][13]

Death[edit]

In November, just months after the charges were dismissed, Coe became sick while in Hot Springs, Arkansas.[14] He then went back to Texas undergoing a tracheotomy to help his breathing since his muscles were paralyzed.[14] He was diagnosed with bulbar polio, and died a few weeks later at Dallas Parkland Hospital on December 17, 1956.[15][16][17]

After his death, A. A. Allen bought his tent and continued on with large tent meetings.[18] Dallas Revival Center was later led by W. V. Grant.[19]

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.[20] Jack Coe's son, Jack Coe, Jr. is now a preacher with a healing ministry.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Faith healer Dies- Victim of Bulbar Polio". Oakland Tribune. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Faith Healer Dies of Polio". Charleston Gazette. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  3. ^ a b Harrell 1975, p. 58
  4. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 59
  5. ^ a b Harrell 1975, p. 60
  6. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 175
  7. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 61
  8. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 62
  9. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 111–112
  10. ^ a b c "Faith healer Dies- Victim of Bulbar Polio". Daily Courier. December 18, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  11. ^ "The Week In Religion". Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. July 1, 1956. 
  12. ^ "Charges Against Texas Faith Healer Dismissed". St. Petersburg Times. February 21, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  13. ^ "'Faith Healer' Cleared Of Illegal Practice". Washington Post. February 21, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  14. ^ a b "Faith Healer Ill". Reno Evening Gazette. November 27, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  15. ^ "Faith Healer Jack Coe Dies". Corpus Christi Times. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  16. ^ "Jack Coe, Evangelist, Dies of Polio". Washington Post. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  17. ^ "JACK COE IS DEAD AT 38; Texas Evangelist Succumbs to Bulbar Polio". New York Times. December 17, 1956. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  18. ^ Robbins 2010, p.85
  19. ^ Harrell 1975, p. 172
  20. ^ "Services held for evangelist Juanita Geneva Scott Coe, 76". Dallas Morning News. October 3, 1996. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  21. ^ Kennedy, Allison (May 14, 2009). "Jack Coe Jr. to lead area revivals next week". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]