Doug Coe, Spiritual Leader of the Fellowship Foundation, Died Today

Late this afternoon, the family of Doug Coe shared with friends and associates that Doug Coe died today at the age of 88.

Dear friends and associates,
Because of how much you mean to our family, we wanted you to be among the first to be informed that Doug Coe, 88, passed today, Feb 21, 2017 at 4:20pm from complications following a heart attack and stroke. Despite our personal sadness, we have joy in knowing that he is now with Jesus and at peace. All for which he gave his life and tirelessly revealed to so many makes complete sense to him now. He is with family and friends who have gone on before, perhaps saying, “See, I told you…”

Coe was for many years the spiritual leader of the Fellowship Foundation, a non-profit organization that is best known for organizing and hosting the National Prayer Breakfast. Every president since Eisenhower has spoken at the event.

According to Coe’s and his family’s wishes, there will be a small memorial service.

Doug begged us not to make his passing about him, but rather continuously showed us how to make it about Jesus. We realize that our grief is more for us than him, so we will do a small memorial service only to say goodbye. He didn’t want a big affair. His wish was that this family of friends around the world would each gather with one or two in their small group in their own location at their next regularly scheduled time, and continue the prayer from Luke 10:2 that was his life focus.

Everywhere the Lord would allow him to go, Doug would pray to the Lord of the harvest “to raise up laborers, for the harvest is ready, but the laborers are few.” Continuing that prayer would be the highest tribute you could give to Doug, and we know you will be together with us in spirit as we bid him farewell in this earthly life until we are reunited with him one day in heaven for eternity.

Instead of flowers, the family suggests gifts “to the Doug Coe Memorial Fund. Checks may be made out to The International Foundation (memo: Account 501-000) and sent to The International Foundation, PO Box 23813, Washington DC, 20026.”

Doug Coe with me in 2010

I met and interviewed Coe at the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast. The interview was later published in Christianity Today as one of only a handful of interviews Coe granted to writers throughout his career. He was a behind the scenes kind of person who cultivated relationships with world leaders and helped spread the prayer breakfast concept around the globe.

My connection to the Prayer Breakfast came as a consequence of my opposition to the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009. Ugandan members of the prayer breakfast movement had offered the bill much to the eventual consternation of the American members. I was allowed to interview Coe in part to record his opposition to the Ugandan bill in person.

Doug wrote to me after my open heart surgery in 2012 to let me know he prayed for me. I will always remember his personal warmth and genuine desire to make his life about following Jesus.

I feel sure that Doug will rest in peace.

Christianity Today has a write up about Doug.

A. Larry Ross has been designated to handle any media questions. See also his detailed bio about Doug.