His Fellowship is the force behind DC discipleship and the National Prayer Breakfast.

Doug Coe, the Washington DC pastor and power broker best known for organizing the network of Christian leaders responsible for the annual National Prayer Breakfast, died Tuesday afternoon. He was 88.

His death, from “complications following a heart attack and stroke,” came just a few weeks after Coe attended the prayer breakfast’s 64th annual gathering.

“Despite our personal sadness, we have joy in knowing that he is now with Jesus and at peace,” wrote Coe’s family in a note first posted by Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton and separately obtained and confirmed by CT. “All for which he gave his life and tirelessly revealed to so many makes complete sense to him now. He is with family and friends who have gone on before, perhaps saying, ‘See, I told you…’.”

Coe led the Fellowship Foundation, often referred to as “The Fellowship” or “The Family,” a network of ministries and small groups that most famously included prayer groups for influencers on Capitol Hill.

The gatherings are confidential, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, to give participants a safe place to discuss faith without fear of political ramifications. The low-profile, secretive nature of the organization led some to label it as a “Christian Mafia” or even a “frat house for Jesus,” since DC attendees famously met in a row house on C Street.

Former congressmen Frank Wolf and Tony Hall refuted this characterization in describing their 25-year-plus participation in The Fellowship in a 2009 op-ed for CT:

Our own small group is composed of Republican and Democratic members of the Congress, some of whom are now retired. We leave our labels at the door, …

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