Pentecostal healing revivalist. Born in Oklahoma City, Coe was abandoned by his parents and raised in an orphanage. Characterizing his early life as “deep in sin,” Coe received a miraculous healing while serving in the army during World War 2 and felt called to the ministry. Ordained by the Assemblies of God (1944), his dynamic revivalist style led to a tent ministry by 1947, in what was reputed to be the world’s largest “gospel tent.” When the nationwide healing revival of 1947–1952 began, Coe was already a prominent figure. Brash and explosive, Coe attracted large numbers from the lower class, including blacks, and was second only to Oral Roberts in the movement’s leadership.
Expelled from the Assemblies of God in 1953 for reason of his extreme independence and practices, Coe established an independent ministry and in 1954 opened his Dallas Revival Center. He had a limited, short-lived television ministry, but his Herald of Healing reached a circulation of 250,000 in 1956. Two crises curtailed Coe’s ascendancy. In February 1956, while preaching in Miami, Florida, Coe was arrested for practicing medicine without a license and released on $5,000 bond. His two-day trial led to the case being dismissed. But in December of 1956 he was diagnosed as having polio. When Coe died in 1957 his wife, Juanita, continued his ministry, though she gradually shifted her priorities to missions and a children’s home.
Bibliography. D. E. Harrell, All Things Are Possible (1975).
H. D. Hunter
Fuente: Dictionary of Christianity in America