Healing and Revival
"God's Healing Power"
Jack G. Coe was born on March 11, 1918 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His father, George, was a gambler and an alcoholic. His parents, although having been Christians, did not attend church. His grandparents, on his father's side were Christians but they were not able to influence their son's behavior. The couple had seven children in all. When Jack was five his father gambled away all their furniture and their house, leaving his mother Blanche destitute with seven children. They were devastated. His mother tried to make a new life by moving to Pennsylvania, but it was too hard. When Coe's father came to her house promising to change she agreed to reunite. The change did not last, however, and George went back to gambling.
Blanche left George for good, but only took her daughter with her this time. The boys were left with their father, which meant they were essentially left on their own. Often they did not have food to eat. Blanche did return to claim them, but could not care for them on her own. When Jack was nine he and his twelve year old brother was turned over to an orphanage. His older brother ran away, but was hit by a car and died. Jack struggled with rejection and abandonment. At seventeen he left the orphanage and began to drink, becoming an alcoholic like his father. He drank so much he had ulcers and his heart became enlarged. The doctor told him that if he didn't quit drinking he was going to die. Not knowing where else to go he moved to California to be near his mother. When he thought he was near death he promised God he would turn his life around and he was healed for a while. The family moved to Texas and he was drinking again. This time he heard God's voice "This is your last chance". The following Sunday he went to a Nazarene church and accepted Christ. He was radically changed. He went to church meetings almost every night, prayed, and read the Word constantly. After a year and a half he went to a Pentecostal meeting and was filled with the Holy Spirit and had a vision of Jesus.
Jack felt called to the ministry and went to and Assembly of God school called Southwestern Bible Institute, led by P.C. Nelson. He left in 1941 to join the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was so committed to God's purposes that he went to church every night. His sergeant sent him for psychiatric evaluation This happened several times while he was in the army. One day he was reading a book by P.C. Nelson on Healing when he fell asleep. He had a dream where he saw his sister close to death in a hospital but he saw a bright light come into her room and she was healed. He left immediately to see her and everything was as he'd seen it in a dream. She was healed and he was changed forever.
In 1944 Coe became ill with malaria. He was sent home because the doctors felt they could not help him. He sought the Lord who told him "preach the gospel". God healed him. He went out to preach and three people were saved. That year he was ordained as an Assembly of God minister. His healing experiences caused him to seek God about the gifts of healing. In 1945 he felt God called him to have a healing meeting. He went to Texas and announced in a church that God was going to heal the sick, cause the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. Those were bold words indeed! A woman received her sight that night. His ministry was launched. He began traveling over the country.
In 1946 God spoke to Coe and his wife Juanita to sell their house and start an itinerant ministry. Coe also became coeditor, with Gordon Lindsay, for the "Voice of Healing" magazine. They purchased a beat up truck and a ministry tent and began to live on the road. In 1948 God spoke to Coe to go to Redding, California. A woman, whose leg was about to be amputated, was healed and the news spread throughout the city. God blessed the couple and for the first time had enough money to be ahead on their finances. Healings and miracles regularly occurred in his meetings.
There were some very controversial things about Jack Coe. He believed that he should have a larger tent than other evangelists and went and measured Oral Roberts tent, then he ordered one larger. His style was dramatic and he often hit, slapped, or jerked people. He also would pull people out of wheelchairs. His speaking style was aggressive as he challenged people to believe God. He suggested that people who stood against him would be "struck dead by God". He was anti-medicine and told people not to go to doctors. He also encouraged interracial meetings.
In 1950 Coe began publishing the Herald of Healing magazine. Within six years it was being sent to over 350,000 people. God began to speak to Coe about opening an orphanage. He collected money for the project at every meeting. He sold his own home and began to build the children's home. His own family moved into the partially finished building so they would have a place to live. Coe eventually bought 200 acres outside of Dallas and built four dormitories and established a home farm. They could support 200 abandoned children.
In 1952 Coe began
a radio ministry, which eventually was carried on over 100 radio stations.
He also began having trouble with the Assembly of God organization. Although
initially responsive to suggestions, he felt their goal was to limit the
ministry. He suggested that the Assembly of God leadership had lost the
belief in the miraculous and felt that they should be replaced. Needless
to say this aggravated the situation. In 1953 Coe was expelled from the
Assembly of God church. They felt that he was independent, extreme, prone
to exaggeration, and they weren't sure about his ministry style. Coe felt
that it was an attack against his success. He told people that "one
of the officials made the remark to me that he would not rest until every
man that was preaching divine healing in a deliverance ministry, separated
from the General Council of the Assembly of God."
In 1953 Coe started his own church in Dallas. It was called the Dallas Revival Center. God spoke to him that it was important for those not getting healed to receive teaching about healing from the Word. In 1954 Coe opened a faith home, where people could stay for extended periods of time to receive prayer for healing. Teaching and prayer were given daily. 1956 was a pivotal year. While Coe was preaching in Miami he was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. This brought national attention to him and the ministry, both positive and negative. He was acquitted of practicing medicine without a license when the trial went to court.
At the end of 1956 Coe became ill. He had pushed himself night and day for years. He had poor eating habits and was overweight. He thought it was exhaustion but it was bulbar polio, a form of polio that affects the nerves. He became paralyzed, developed pneumonia, and died December 16, 1956.
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