Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Former Columbia Union President, Wallace Coe, Passes Away

By Shenalyn Page

Wallace O. Coe, former president of the Columbia Union Conference from 1978-85, recently passed away at the age of 85. He served the Seventh-day Adventist Church for 43 years as a pastor and administrator. 

Coe’s career included pastoral and administrative work in the Georgia-Cumberland, Alabama-Mississippi, and Carolina Conferences. He then served as presidents of the Alabama-Mississippi and Florida Conferences; the Northern, Central, and Columbia Unions; and as general vice president of the worldwide Adventist church. After retiring to Florida, Coe served eight years as vice president of Spiritual Ministries for Adventist Health Systems. His administrations in several of these territories were marked by growth in membership and other areas of activity.

His work in the Columbia Union, where he built the union’s current office building, was marked by “significant contributions” noted Dave Weigley, current union president. 

Weigley, along with Neville Harcombe, executive secretary for the union; and Seth Bardu, treasurer for the union visited Coe a few weeks before he passed away. 

“In visiting with him I was reminded again of his passion for soul winning and advancing God’s kingdom. His focus on the mission of the church was still shining through,” Weigley said. 

He is remembered by his coworkers as an encourager and mentor, as an administrator who grew leaders, and as a man of vision, action, and Godly leadership. His family remembers him for his stories and laughter, his love of music and debate, his thoughtful ways, and his early mornings with his Bible. Most of all, he is remembered as a man who loved God with all his heart and served Him with all his might.

Coe is survived by his wife of 63 years, Hazel Warrell Coe; son, Michael Coe, pastor of the Mount (Fla.) Dora church; daughter, Janet Page, Prayer and Women’s Ministries coordinator for the Central California Conference; six grandchildren, four great grandchildren; and sister, Alberta Ciccarelli.

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