Charles Andrew Coates was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on
December 7, 1862, but for most of his life he lived in Teignmouth, Devon, on
the sunny south coast of England, having moved there for his health.
C.A.C. came from a devoted Christian family.
In 1926 he said, "When I was a boy I remember a brother coming to my father's house, and I said to myself, I wish that I knew all that he knows!
In the same year he recalled, "My father used to say that there was not much difference between high Calvinists and low Arminians because "the former had bad self before them and the latter had good self before them, but neither of them had Christ before them".
He was soundly converted in 1878 at the age of 16 . He was true to his commitment and the Lord used him for a wonderful service.
He was well-known in the South of England, taking part in Bible Readings and Conferences in that area.
In June 1941 in his 80th year he wrote:
"My health keeps fairly good, considering my age, but under present conditions [ World War II ] I do not feel able to get about as in past years. "But I am sure that the Lord will give opportunity, and an open door, for such service as he intends to be rendered.
"It is a very great favour from Him to be enabled to serve Him, and His saints, even in the very smallest way".
On December 12, 1939, he wrote:
"It has been a very definite exercise with me ever since I began to break bread that the printed ministry ought not to be made the source of financial profit.
Our brother's health and general condition began to show a marked deterioration about October 1944, and from that time onwards he was unable to get to meetings regularly, and was frequently under medical care.
From time to time he would seem to revive and come out but these occasions became less and less frequent, and the last time he was present at a meeting was on the morning of Lord's Day, August 5, 1945.
After that his condition rapidly became worse and on September 6 he was hurriedly removed to hospital for an urgent minor operation, which gave him relief from pain temporarily, and for a few days he was able to see a number of the brethren.
His sufferings, however soon returned and for a week from September 14 such visits were very restricted. Our sister, Miss Ivy Tucker, who had looked after him for many years, was in constant attendance at the hospital and was able to spend a considerable time with him, reading or speaking to him as his condition permitted, and one of the last pieces of ministry read to him which he was able to enjoy was "Corners" from "Words of Truth" for August 1944.
Further, owing to her experience of his long-standing weaknesses Miss Tucker was allowed to prepare all his meals at home as a special case and take them to the hospital, but he was frequently unable to take any nourishment, and on isolated days did not even speak a word.
During the morning of Saturday, October 6, he became unconscious, a condition from which he never recovered, although even then, at times, his lips were seen to be moving as if, possibly, addressing the Lord.
He fell asleep at 9:20 am on Lord's Day, October 7, Miss Tucker and a hospital sister (in fellowship) being with him at the time.
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