In Memoriam: Don Cole, Retired Moody Radio Pastor and NRB Hall of Famer

Don Cole

On Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, retired Moody Radio Pastor Don Cole died from complications due to Parkinson's disease. Pastor Cole, who was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006, was 89 at the time of his death.

Reflecting on Pastor Cole’s life, Collin Lambert, Vice President of Moody Radio, said, "From the first moment I met Pastor Cole, I knew I was standing in the presence of a spiritual giant."

"Despite that, he was one of the most humble, loving, caring men I've ever known,” Lambert added. “His love of God's Word and his love for people were ever present. He will be truly missed."

Wayne Shepherd of Wayne Shepherd Communications similarly highlighted his longtime friend’s humility and sincere love for people.

“Pastor Cole was one of the most gentle and humble people I’ve known, and yet he taught the Word with authority,” recalled Shepherd, who met Pastor Cole after joining the staff of Moody Radio in 1974.

“He never treated anyone as an interruption in his life. He always had time for everyone,” added Shepherd. 

While it is difficult to summarize the years of faithful service by Pastor Cole to the Church, he is perhaps best remembered for his role as Moody Radio Pastor. From 1971 until 2008, he was behind the mic teaching, counseling and leading by example while he worked at Moody Radio.

“He had a tremendous ministry to listeners as he taught the Word,” recalled Shepherd. “But at the same time, he ministered to the staff at Moody Radio in very unique and profound ways for many years.”

Many will remember Pastor Cole’s Christian Perspectives on the News broadcast, his verse-by-verse Bible studies in The Living Word, or – in later years – his insightful commentaries.

Pastor Cole also fielded questions about the Bible and the Christian life through a pioneering national Christian radio call-in known as Open Line, which ran from 1982 until 2008. For his significant contribution to Christian broadcasting, the National Religious Broadcasters awarded Pastor Cole the William Ward Ayer Distinguished Service Award in 1996 and inducted him into the NRB Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Pastor Don Cole was the recipient of NRB’s Hall of Fame Award in 2006, and rightly so,” noted Dr. Frank Wright, President and CEO of NRB. “His love and devotion to the Word of God, his passion for biblical fidelity in preaching and teaching, and his long-standing dedication to the Kingdom of God were hallmarks of his life and ministry. As one of the deans of the community of Christian broadcasters, Don Cole’s faithful labors over so many years were a wonderful example of God’s bountiful grace to His Church.”

To honor Pastor Cole's life and ministry, Moody Radio is airing Remembering Pastor Cole, a one-hour special broadcast on its 36 owned-and-operated stations and select affiliates. It can be streamed online for free at Audio excerpts from the radio ministry of Pastor Cole including Open Line, Christian Perspectives On The News, The Living Word, along with a review of his work in Africa, will be featured on the broadcast.

A memorial page has also been created on Facebook, where Pastor Cole’s life and legacy is being celebrated by those who knew him or were influenced by him.

Furthermore, Pastor Cole’s grandchildren have set a goal to build a school in his name in Angola, where he and his family had served as missionaries. Gifts for this purpose can be given through the website of RISE International

In addition, memorial gifts can be given for the Don Cole Memorial Fund to support widows and orphans in Angola, whom Pastor Cole long had a heart for.   Gifts for this purpose may be sent to: Christian Missions In Many Lands, P.O. Box 13, Spring Lake, NJ  07762.

A public visitation has been scheduled for Friday, August 31, at Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago. Visitation will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and a public memorial service will be held from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The burial will be private.

Published: August 9, 2012