Edwin Louis Cole was the founder of the Christian Men’s Network, an American religious organization devoted to helping Christian men and fathers.
Early Life And Ministry
After his birth in Dallas, Ed (1922–2002) lived with his mother in Texas until the age of four when he became ill with a severe case of scarlet fever. After being told that he would not survive without sea air and sun, his mother Florence moved to Los Angeles, California with young Edwin.
Cole had his education at Belmont High School in Downtown Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Edwin played an active role in the Angelus Temple of Aimee Semple McPherson, often participating in the Temple’s illustrated sermons. He played a trumpet with street corner witnessing teams on Los Angeles’s skid row.
Also known as Ed Cole, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, where he met his wife, fellow Coast Guard member Nancy Corbett. Later Cole began street witnessing again, and within two years accepted the pastorate of a church in northern California.
Cole eventually became a full-time district men’s minister. He spent the next two decades undertaking a number of religious endeavors, including mission trips, evangelizing, and Christian TV stations. In 1977 Cole founded the Christian Men’s Network. At that time he was still actively ministering on two Christian television networks, acting as chancellor of a ministry school, and helping to establish a radio ministry. In April 1984 Cole resigned from these positions to focus exclusively on his men’s ministry, which started slowly but grew in the 1980s and 1990s.
He published many books and preached numerous sermons relating to men and religion.
“Dr. Cole was ordained in the Assemblies of God and received his doctorate as a correspondence student from the New Covenant International University in New Zealand.”
Later Life and Death
Cole and his wife, Nancy, moved back to Texas in 1993 to continue ministering. Nancy died of cancer in 2000, and in 2002, Ed was diagnosed with cancer while being treated for a broken back. He collapsed on August 25, 2002 and was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. He died on August 27, 2002 and was buried at a private ceremony in Newport Beach, California.