First Lady Bettie D. Coats was cultivated in the ways of the Lord through a Godly upbringing by her parents, Grover D. and Eula Mae Berry. First Lady Coats is the younger of two children born to her parents. She was reared in Whigham, Georgia, a small community, located near Tallahassee, Florida, the state’s capital. Her parents, both now deceased, imparted a love for God and a strong work ethic. Her mother, more specifically, provided the spiritual guidance which focused on a love for God, church attendance, and participation in activities at the St. Stephens Missionary Baptist Church.
She was educated in the Grady County Public School System and graduated from Whigham High School in Whigham, Georgia. She immediately enrolled in the Albany State College in Albany, Georgia, majoring in Sociology. While in college, she joined the Albany State Gospel Choir, participated in various concerts, community events and enrolled in the Army ROTC program. As God directed her steps, she and her infant son, joined her sister in St. Louis Missouri, who was attending graduate school at Washington University. Her sister, a member of the New Christ Temple Church, Elder Alexander Whittier, Jr., inspired First Lady Coats to fellowship there with her. Lady Coats entered a data entry training program to enhance her skills. As she continued on with faithful attendance, First Lady Coats received the gift of the Holy Ghost at a service at the church where the guest speaker was Suffragan Bishop Illona W. Dickson, the current chairman of the Midwestern District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
First Lady Coats, building on the early spiritual training instilled by her mother, continued on to serve God and His people. She served the church as the secretary of the Sunday School department, usher, choir member, and pastor’s aide member. She served the Midwestern District Council as the corresponding secretary of the Ushers’ Department for many years. She is known for her sweet, quiet, but strong disposition. She has faced life’s challenges with the power of God and He has brought her out with great victories. As she continued to serve the Lord, Pastor Alexander Whittier, Jr, and the New Christ Temple Church family, God was ordering her steps for elevation. In August 2000, Pastor Alexander Whittier, Jr., a faithful servant of God, went home to be with the Lord. She had served Pastor Whittier with unwavering support and respect. Elder James E. Coats, assistant pastor, and former Sunday School superintendent, became the new pastor of New Christ Temple.
As the then Sister Bettie D. Berry, continued to serve the Lord with all of her heart, God elevated her to First Lady. God revealed to Pastor Coats that she was to be his wife. Pastor and Lady Coats were joined in holy matrimony on July 13, 2002. They each brought one adult child to the marriage. She has continued in the work of the God in support of her husband, District Elder James E. Coats. She has developed excellent technical media skills. She has implemented monitor projected scriptures during the preaching of the Word, announcements, activities, local, and national events. First Lady Coats loves decorating God’s house as evident by flowers and roses on the outside landscape and the beautification in the Sanctuary. Lady Coats’ vision was to renovate the pulpit to have a more platform design. District Elder Coats agreed with the vision and recommendation, and the pulpit is now fully renovated. She has a heart for God’s people and instituted the Prayer Partner Project. Members pull names and secretly pray for the person throughout the year, providing anonymous gifts and cards of inspirations. She is a Woman of God with the heart of the people as a driving force in her life. She has been employed at the Midwest Library Service Company for 28 years.
First Lady Bettie D. Coats is married to District Elder James E. Coats and they are the proud parents of two adult children, Jamie (husband, Jerry), Alexander and four grandchildren, Taylor, Jada, Torrie and Jala.