District Elder James E. Coats was born on February 29, 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri, one of four children born to Mr. George and Mrs. Pearl Coats. He was educated in the St. Louis Public School System and he graduated from Soldan High School in June 1971. He was later inspired to enlist in the United States Army on September 11, 1972. District Elder Coats was stationed in Western Germany and he served as a Military Policeman. He served his country honorably and was discharged from the United States Army in August 1974.
After his discharge from the U.S. Army, he returned to St. Louis and was employed at several area businesses: John Cochran Veteran Administration Hospital, the U.S. Postal Service and the Kiel Auditorium. He was later hired at Spud Packers, Inc., where he was employed for over 27 years. He is currently employed with the St. Louis Parking Company. It was during his employment at the Kiel Auditorium that he was introduced to the plan of salvation through Mr. James Whittier, Jr. The Whittier family was members of the New Christ Temple Church where Elder Alexander Whittier, Jr. pastored. Under the leadership of Pastor Whittier, District Elder Coats began his spiritual walk with the Lord. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost at the home of Elder and Sister James Whittier, Sr., the brother of Pastor Alexander Whittier on July 17, 1978.
At the New Christ Temple Church, District Elder Coats served as Sunday school teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, choir member, and remained active with the Young People’s Department of the Midwestern District Council Bible Bowl competition, serving as a captain. He was called to the ministry and preached his first message, “Come Out of Your Bag” II Corinthians 6:17-18 on August 7, 1985.
As he served the Lord and Pastor Whittier faithfully, he was elevated to the position of assistant pastor in 1985. After the homegoing of Pastor Alexander Whittier, Jr., in August 2000, District Elder Coats was officially installed as pastor of the New Christ Temple Church in November 2000 and ordained at the M.D. C. July Council in 2004. He has served as the director of the Single’s Ministry for the Midwestern District Council.
District Elder Coats received his Associate Degree in Biblical Studies from Saints Academy Bible College in St. Louis on in May 2012. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor Degree in Biblical Studies from the same institution. His educational goal is to receive his Masters and Doctorate in Biblical Theology. He founded the New Christ Temple Church’s “Impacting Your Life Television Ministries”, which aired on two television stations from January 2005 through December 2011. His ministry is marked by an in-depth knowledge of God’s Word and a spirit of evangelism. He is a faithful and active pastor in the 2nd jurisdiction of the M.D.C. under the leadership of Suffragan Bishop Lawrence Brown, Sr.
He continues to serve the New Christ Temple Church family through the preaching of the Word and a love for the body of Christ. He has been a visionary for the ministry as evident by pulpit renovations, sound room installation, and upgrades to the church property. He was promoted to the position of District Elder by Bishop Larry O. Jones, Diocesan of the Midwestern District Council in July 2012. District Elder Coats is married to the lovely First Lady Bettie D. Coats and they are the proud parents of two adult children, Jamie (husband, Jerry, Alexander and four grandchildren, Taylor, Jada, Torrie and Jala.