Bill grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and came to know Christ at age seven. From the early years it was clear God was calling him to sing for Christ. As a teenager, Bill began leading the music in his home church and when the pastor moved to begin a new ministry, he took Bill with him to lead the music and Bill hasn’t stopped.
Bill has served as minister of music in churches in Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, and now for the past twenty-eight years, served in Georgia. For nearly seven years, he was ‘on the road singing concerts and crusades. Bill has traveled extensively throughout the Europe and the Middle East singing of his faith in Christ. He has toured The Holy Land many times and in recent years has toured with the Georgia Baptist Sons of Jubal, not only to Israel, but China and yes, North Korea. In the spring of 2018, the Jubals will share the Gospel in concerts throughout the United Kingdom.
Bill and his wife, Dorothy, have three grown children and five grandchildren and two great grandsons, all actively serving the Lord in local churches. The Coens live near Cleveland, Georgia, Gateway to the North Georgia Mountains.
After many years of serving as Minister of Music in churches throughout the country, Bill is now “retired” (not really) and will be singing concerts, leading conferences, and conducting choral clinics and serving as interim minister of music wherever the Lord opens doors.
The driving force in Bill’s ministry is to service Christ and boldly “lift up His name.”
“Though I love to sing and do so as often as I can, one of my great passions is the choir. Though many churches have replaced the choir with praise teams, my heart is to give people a place to use their gifts. Praise Teams are extremely effective in leading worship and I applaud them, but praise teams also limit the number of people who can use their God given gifts. There are countless people “out there” who are gifted and give the opportunity, are eager to sing, play, and honor the Lord with the music God has put within them.
An army of excited, committed to Christ, excited singers is a thrilling testimony. A big choir energizes God’s people to sing and is a great testimony of faith to unbelievers. I do, however, believe the choir is to be a three-dimensional leader in worship, engaging the worshipers. Two-dimensional choirs are like a beautiful two-dimensional painting; lovely to look at, but it doesn’t draw you in. God has called His singers to be conduits of faith, vivid pictures of God’s love and grace The choir is biblical and still very relevant. We cannot sing stylistically like we did fifty years ago with heads bowed in books and stern faces, but a vibrant choir in this 21st century is an overwhelming witness of faith.
I have learned through the years, the key to it all, regardless of musical style, is that God’s music must be excellent. Perfection is not reality, but excellence is. My heart is that people SEE the SONG even before they hear it.
“And He has put a new Song I my heart, even praise unto our God…..
… many will SEE it, fear, and trust in the Lord” Psalm 40:3
In the fall of 2013, Bill released his first album in thirty years, I SING BECAUSE. This is a CD of “songs people have asked me to sing.” A great mix of music styles, this CD includes: “You’re My God,” “Revelation Song,” “I Am Blessed,” “In Christ Alone,” “The Well,” “I Sing Because,” “The Anchor Holds,” “That’s When Love Was Born,” “Redeemer,” “Sweet Beulah Land,” “I Can Only Imagine,” “Midnight Cry.” For my birthday a few years back, my wife surprised me by having three of my early LP’s remastered to CD. We hope sometime in the near future to make these available.
When ever possible, I encourage choirs to record. It is a great testimony of faith and blessing to the local church and community. In addition, even a local church choir CD can have a huge impact around the world. My choir members have taken and given their recordings to those they encounter in the U.S., on mission trips, vacations, and business trips to almost every continent. Of course, many copies have been sent to missionaries to share in their work. Recordings are a true extension of the choir ministry.