Above, Barbara Coggin at her desk in Donor Support.
August 2019 – “Follow God’s will, always,” said Barbara Coggin. For some, that concept is hard to imagine. In today’s world, the media and social media presence are so often contrary to what the Bible teaches. This is not the case for Coggin. Following God’s will is a lifestyle.
In 1988, at age 41, Coggin entered the ranks of an employee at AFA. A recent divorcee, she was looking for a way to let the Lord use her. Through a mutual friend, she was able to connect with Forest Ann Daniels, a secretary to AFA founder Don Wildmon. Daniels knew they needed help making things flow easier at AFA. As Coggin described Daniels, “She was more than a secretary, she was doing everything, just one Wonder Woman.”
As Coggin saw the eagerness Daniels possessed for the organization, she decided to lend a hand at AFA part-time. Bro. Don was beginning one of the first campaigns against the sacrilegious movie The Last Temptation of Christ. She began mailing out fliers informing the public of what the movie contained. After seeing the passion Bro. Don had to protect American families, Coggin followed God’s call and started serving AFA full-time. Thirty-two years later, she’s still here.
Coggin works in donor support, the heartbeat of AFA. Donor support is the first line of service. She is one of six women who keep donor records in order, and answer phone calls, emails, and letters.
One day last year, she opened a letter from a concerned grandmother. After watching 13 Reasons Why, this woman’s granddaughter, Anna Bright, committed suicide. Anna’s grandfather found an issue of AFA Journal in the Post Office garbage can. He fished it out, and told his wife, “This is somebody who will help.”
After reading the plea, Coggin knew she had to get the letter into the hands of someone who could help. She took it to AFA Journal, and writer Rebecca Davis shared the Bright family’s tragedy with readers (AFA Journal, 5/18). AFAJ writer Joy Lucius said, “There’s no telling how many lives Barbara has saved just from reading that letter and knowing something had to be done.”
AFA continues to monitor the Netflix series and challenge the network to cancel it.
A large reason behind Coggin’s desire to protect families is her own. At 73, she is raising three grandchildren: Anna (17), Telsey (14), and Boudin (11). After custody battles between the children’s parents, Coggin took the children into her home. She mentioned her daughter (the children’s mother) is “saved, but she is very much a prodigal daughter.” Coggin added, “God gave me these children to be a part of their lives.”
She also has a son, Bruce, daughter-in-law, Robin, and their children, Mia Rose and Joseph. As followers of Christ, Coggin said Bruce’s family is her “pride and joy.” Finally, granddaughter Jessica rounds out the family.
Coggin would want to leave her children and grandchildren one piece of advice: “Follow God’s will, always.” It is apparent in her own life that she has used this advice and led by example.
Coggin’s compassion and love for Jesus shine bright. She urges AFA supporters to pray for the leaders here at AFA and those in politics. “We’re not battling against flesh and blood, but it’s spiritual warfare.”
When asked about retirement, she recalls the words of Daniels: “God will give you a sign when to retire.” Coggin has not yet seen that sign.
“I love what I do,” she said. “I love the people I talk with and the people I meet. I love the example of Bro. Don.”
Coggin’s story truly challenges others to “Follow God’s will, always,” trust His plan, and be an encouragement to others.