Our dear friend!

Doug Coe, an evangelical leader who gained influence with powerful figures around the world as head of a prominent but secretive faith-based organization that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event in Washington and in many state capitals, died on Tuesday at his home in Annapolis, Md. He was 88.

A family spokesman, A. Larry Ross, confirmed the death, adding that Mr. Coe had been hospitalized briefly after having a heart attack and a stroke.

Under Mr. Coe’s guidance, the National Prayer Breakfast, begun in 1953, grew to become a Washington institution, attended by every sitting president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Trump spoke to religious leaders there on Feb. 2. Guest speakers have been as diverse as Mother Teresa and the Irish rock singer Bono.

Mr. Coe was regarded by many political and business leaders as a spiritual mentor who blurred the line between religion and philosophy. Many in his orbit, including presidents and members of Congress of both major parties, described him as a quiet organizer who used spirituality to build relationships, often with unlikely allies.
In her 2003 memoir, “Living History,” Hillary Clinton recalled Mr. Coe as “a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God and offer the gift of service to others in need.”

As a senator from New York, Mrs. Clinton was also a frequent attendee of a smaller weekly prayer group for members of Congress that Mr. Coe led personally for years.

His proximity to so many high-ranking politicians made him an object of curiosity in Washington, while inviting speculation about his motives and ideology. He rarely spoke in public or to the news media. In private gatherings he was known to use improbable metaphors — likening Maoists and Nazis, for example, to religious zealots and extolling them as effective leaders.

Mr. Coe’s insistence that his personal counseling be done behind closed doors only contributed to his mystique. Time magazine, in listing him among the most influential evangelical leaders in the United States in 2005, referred to him as Washington’s “stealth Billy Graham.”

Much of Mr. Coe’s legacy was built through his work with the Fellowship Foundation, also known simply as the Fellowship or the Family. Those who identified as members or worked with Mr. Coe often adopted his official silence.

“I wish I could say more about it,” President Ronald Reagan said in 1985, “but it’s working precisely because it is private.” Speaking before the prayer breakfast in 1990, President George Bush commended Mr. Coe’s practice of “quiet diplomacy, I wouldn’t say secret diplomacy.”

On several occasions, including during Reagan’s presidency, some perceived a political undercurrent to Mr. Coe’s ostensibly religious work.

In the 1980s and ’90s he funded several trips for members of Congress to meet with African leaders who had been shunned by Western powers, among them President Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

Those who took part in the trips, including Mr. Coe and his associates, maintained that the visits were personal in nature. But many American officials viewed them as an inappropriate form of back-channel diplomacy.

Some of the foreign leaders Mr. Coe met had been linked to atrocities in their countries, but he insisted that spiritual conversations with them could lead to productive cooperation.

In 2001, drawing on his connections in Africa, Mr. Coe invited the warring presidents Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Paul Kagame of Rwanda to his home — then in Arlington, Va. — for a casual meeting in the hope of fostering a peace deal. The two continued talks and eventually signed an accord in 2003.

Mr. Coe conceded that some of the leaders he met were unsavory, but he was unapologetic about associating with them.

“Most of my friends are bad people,” he told The New Yorker in 2010. “They all broke the Ten Commandments, as far as I can tell.” But, he added, “Jesus even met with the Devil.”

Mr. Coe attracted scrutiny over a handful of properties owned by the Fellowship in the Washington area in which a small community of congressmen and business leaders lived and prayed together. In 2003, it was reported that six congressmen were sharing a Fellowship-owned townhouse that was registered as a church and paying below-market rents.

Their relationship with Mr. Coe’s group was explored by the journalist Jeff Sharlet in 2008 in his book “The Family,” a history of the Fellowship in which he called the group a “self-described ‘invisible’ network of followers of Christ in government, business and the military” who see themselves as “a ‘core’ of men responsible for changing the world.”

Mr. Coe and his associates declined to speak about the Fellowship or the use of its properties. He said that the group’s privacy was intrinsic to its purpose as a worldwide “family of friends” that would support its members during difficult times.

“We’re not being secretive,” he told The New Yorker. “It’s just that no one advertises that we’ve got a guy here who’s an atheist and is having a problem with his life, or maybe stole money from his country’s treasury.”

Douglas Evan Coe was born on Oct. 20, 1928, in Medford, Ore., to Milton Evans Coe, the state superintendent of schools, and the former Loda Helene Davis. One of his grandfathers had been a circuit-riding preacher in the Cook Inlet region of southern Alaska, and a grandmother had ministered to indigenous people in the area.

Mr. Coe studied math and physics at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and graduated in 1953, several months after marrying Janice Muyskens of Salem, who survives him, as do their children, Timothy, David, Debbie, Paula and Becky; 21 grandchildren; and 56 great-grandchildren. Another son, Jon, died before him.

After undergoing what he said was a religious awakening in college, Mr. Coe joined a handful of preachers traveling around the Oregon area to spread their evangelical message.

During this time he met Abraham Vereide, a Seattle Methodist preacher with right-wing political sympathies who had founded the Fellowship in Chicago in 1942 and moved his operations to Washington, where he founded the National Prayer Breakfast in 1953. Mr. Vereide took him under his wing. When he died in 1969, Mr. Coe took over running the organization.

Later in life Mr. Coe was said to have passed certain duties within the Fellowship on to his sons, but he never publicly retired, continuing to work behind the scenes. He told The Los Angeles Times in 2002, “If you want to help people, Jesus said you don’t do your alms in public.”





a season to remember


You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.
The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.

Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!





remembering peter







Happy Birthday “MoMo”









the name above all names

I was reminded today of the power of the name of Jesus.

I have been preparing for a meeting this week that involves surrender.  The scriptures below reminded me of the name above all names (Jesus) and how we will all will bow down and kings will surrender their crowns.

In the last 200 years there are three events where “Kings surrendered their Crowns” that changed the course of the world.  I am hoping for the same this week.


Appomattox April 9, 1865

The terms were as generous as Lee could hope for; his men would not be imprisoned or prosecuted for treason. Officers were allowed to keep their sidearms. In addition to his terms, Grant also allowed the defeated men to take home their horses and mules to carry out the spring planting and provided Lee with a supply of food rations for his starving army; Lee said it would have a very happy effect among the men and do much toward reconciling the country. The terms of the surrender were recorded in a document hand written by Grant’s adjutant Ely S. Parker, a Native American of the Seneca tribe, and completed around 4 p.m., April 9. Lee, upon discovering Parker to be a Seneca remarked “It is good to have one real American here.” Parker replied, “Sir, we are all Americans.” As Lee left the house and rode away, Grant’s men began cheering in celebration, but Grant ordered an immediate stop. “I at once sent word, however, to have it stopped,” he said. “The Confederates were now our countrymen, and we did not want to exult over their downfall,” he said.


Nazi Germany May 7, 1945

Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in Berlin on 30 April 1945; having drawn up a Testament in which Admiral Karl Dönitz succeeded him as Head of State, with the title of Reich President. But with the fall of Berlin two days later, and American and Soviet forces having linked up at Torgau on the Elbe, the area of Germany still under German military control had been split in two. Moreover, the rapidity of the final Allied advances of March 1945 – together with Hitler’s insistent orders to stand and fight to the last – had left the bulk of surviving German forces in isolated pockets and occupied territories; mostly outside the boundaries of pre-Nazi Germany. Dönitz attempted to form a government at Flensburg on the Danish border; and was joined there on 2 May 1945 by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht under Wilhem Keitel, which had previously relocated, first to Krampnitz near Potsdam then to Rheinsberg, during the Battle of Berlin.

japan Surrender2

Japan August 15, 1945

The surrender of the Empire of Japan was announced by Imperial Japan on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the United Kingdom and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being “prompt and utter destruction”. While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan’s leaders (the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, also known as the “Big Six”) were privately making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea (in addition to southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands) in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM local time, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Sixteen hours later, American President Harry S. Truman called again for Japan’s surrender, warning them to “expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”


1:18-21 – The birth of Jesus Christ happened like this. When Mary was engaged to Joseph, just before their marriage, she was discovered to be pregnant – by the Holy Spirit. Whereupon Joseph, her future husband, who was a good man and did not want to see her disgraced, planned to break off the engagement quietly. But while he was turning the matter over in his mind an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife! What she has conceived is conceived through the Holy Spirit, and she will give birth to a son, whom you will call Jesus (‘the Savior’) for it is he who will save his people from their sins.”

1:22-23 – All this happened to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet – ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’. (“Immanuel” means “God with us.”)

1:24-25 – When Joseph woke up he did what the angel had told him. He married Mary, but had no intercourse with her until she had given birth to a son. Then he gave him the name Jesus.


1:5-17 – The story begins in the days when Herod was king of Judea with a priest called Zacharias, whose wife Elisabeth was, like him, a descendant of Aaron. They were both truly religious people, blamelessly observing all God’s commandments and requirements. They were childless through Elisabeth’s infertility, and both of them were getting on in years. One day, while Zacharias was performing his priestly functions (it was the turn of his division to be on duty), it fell to him to go into the sanctuary and burn the incense. The crowded congregation outside was praying at the actual time of the incense-burning, when an angel of the Lord appeared on the right side of the incense-altar. When Zacharias saw him, he was terribly agitated and a sense of awe swept over him. But the angel spoke to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias; your prayers have been heard. Elisabeth your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. This will be joy and delight to you and many more will be glad because he is born. He will be one of God’s great men; he will touch neither wine nor strong drink and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. He will turn many of Israel’s children to the Lord their God. He will go out before God in the spirit and power of Elijah – to reconcile fathers and children, and bring back the disobedient to the wisdom of good men – and he will make a people fully ready for their Lord.”

1:18 – But Zacharias replied to the angel, “How can I know that this is true? I am an old man myself and my wife is getting on in years …”

1:19-20 – “I am Gabriel,” the angel answered. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. Because you do not believe what I have said, you shall live in silence, and you shall be unable to speak a word until the day that it happens. But be sure that everything that I have told you will come true at the proper time.”

1:26-28 – Then, six months after Zacharias’ vision, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a Galilean town, Nazareth by name, to a young woman who was engaged to a man called Joseph. The girl’s name was Mary. The angel entered her room and said, “Greetings to you, Mary. O favored one! – the Lord be with you!”

1:29-33 – Mary was deeply perturbed at these words and wondered what such a greeting could possibly mean. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; God loves you dearly. You are going to be the mother of a son, and you will call him Jesus. He will be great and will be known as the Son of the most high. The Lord God will give him the throne of his forefather, David, and he will be king over the people of Jacob forever. His reign shall never end.”

1:34 – Then Mary spoke to the angel, “How can this be,” she said, “I am not married!”

1:35-37 – But the angel made this reply to her – “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the most high will overshadow you. Your child will therefore be called holy – the Son of God. Your cousin Elisabeth has also conceived a son, old as she is. Indeed, this is the sixth month for her, a woman who was called barren. For no promise of God can fail to be fulfilled.”

1:38 – “I belong to the Lord, body and soul;” replied Mary, “let it happen as you say.” And at this the angel left her.

1:39-45 – With little delay Mary got ready and hurried off to the hillside town in Judea where Zacharias and Elisabeth lived. She went into their house and greeted her cousin. When Elisabeth heard her greeting, the unborn child stirred inside her and she herself was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is your child! What an honor it is to have the mother of my Lord come to see me! Why, as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the child within me jumped for joy! Oh, how happy is the woman who believes in God, for he does make his promises to her come true.”

1:46-55 – Then Mary said, “My heart is overflowing with praise of my Lord, my soul is full of joy in God my Savior. For he has deigned to notice me, his humble servant and, after this, all the people who ever shall be will call me the happiest of women! The one who can do all things has done great things for me – oh, holy is his Name! Truly, his mercy rests on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has swept away the high and mighty. He has set kings down from their thrones and lifted up the humble. He has satisfied the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away with empty hands. Yes, he has helped Israel, his child: he has remembered the mercy that he promised to our forefathers, to Abraham and his sons for evermore!”


9:1-2 – But Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest and begged him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way, whether men or women, he could bring them back to Jerusalem as prisoners.

9:3-4 – But on his journey, as he neared Damascus, a light from Heaven suddenly blazed around him, and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice speaking to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

9:5 – “Who are you, Lord?” he asked.

9:6 – “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,” was the reply. “But now stand up and go into the city and there you will be told what you must do.”

9:7-9 – His companions on the journey stood there speechless, for they had heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. There he remained sightless for three days, and during that time he had nothing either to eat or drink.


2:5-11 – Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow”, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, “every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ” is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.