Seven Questions with Courtney Coates, Esq. – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Courtney Coates, Esq.

Courtney Coates, Esq.
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of The Baptist Foundation of California
Today we jump over to visit our friend, Courtney Coates, Esq. who serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of The Baptist Foundation of California. As he puts it, “I oversee all of the legal affairs of the Foundation including the estate planning division where we try to facilitate planned gifts for the kingdom. I also work directly with our clients.” Before settling in at the Foundation, Courtney served as a Lead Pastor in Southern California. He is married to Elizabeth and together they have 4 beautiful daughters. If you attend any CSBC event, you are almost certain to find Courtney working the crowd and encouraging California pastors and leaders with his dimply smile. But if you are one of the few who hasn’t yet had the pleasure, be sure to find him at any of our state trainings and say hello!

What book are you currently reading?

We just got back from the Holy land with The Baptist Foundation of California, and I was so on fire! When the tour guide started breaking down how to view scripture through the lens of Jewish culture…it was pretty interesting stuff. I had to have more information on Israel, Hebrew culture, and the history of Israel so I have picked up a number of books including: “The Essential Works of Josephus,” which is full of great information, “The Temple: It's Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Christ,” “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,” and “Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ,” all of which were written by Alfred Edersheim.

In-n-Out or Chick-fil-A?

It has to be Chick-fil-A because now my daddy/daughter dates with my 7-year-old happen at Chick-fil-A …. It used to be McDonalds but now she wants Chick-fil-A.

Tell us your best, ministry horror story?

I’m a former pastor and I’ve seen the underbelly of ministry. I have lots of stories that I probably shouldn’t share but I remember this one time… I was at the graveside service of a funeral I was leading. Well, the son of the person who had passed was a young man, probably in his early twenties. He was clearly distraught and was walking toward the fresh grave and he tripped over some uneven turf. I had to think quickly and catch him because if not, he would have fallen in the hole.

What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Paul because he wrote so much, contributed so much to scripture and was on a mission to minister to the gentiles. I want to know what his heart was, and then hear about his conversion!

If you could start over with a completely different job from the one you have right now, what would it be?

Growing up, I envisioned being either an athlete or a singer…I was involved in music growing up, but I was also an avid baseball player. Never in a million years did I think I was going to be a lawyer.

What is your favorite bible verse or what is a bible verse you are currently meditating over?

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, … plans to prosper you…” It’s so encouraging to know that God has plans beyond ours and it strengthens me in times of disappointment and gives me a look to the future. Our testimony is still being written and people in the future will be looking back at how we lived and what legacy we left, and they will be encouraged by that. It goes beyond just me.

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

I thought about Jehovah Jireh, but I actually like “Daily Bread” – He’s our Daily Bread. He’s our Provider. I look to Him as my source.