ANNAPOLIS, Md. (ABP) – Ross Coggins, a missionary and denominational worker before switching careers to U.S. foreign aid, died Aug. 1 at his home in Annapolis, Md., after an illness.
Coggins, 83, was a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked as associate director of student work for the Baptist General Convention of Texas before serving five years as a missionary to Indonesia and then seven years as communications associate for the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission.
He left denominational work for career opportunities including USAID. Today he is best-known among Baptists for his 1956 poem that became a staple of the Baptist hymnal, “Send Me, O Lord, Send Me,” one of hundreds of poems he penned over the years. His 1976 poem “The Development Set,” a satire on the jet-setting lifestyle of aid professionals supposedly in interest of the poor, appears on several websites.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Doris, two daughters and three grandchildren. A private memorial service is scheduled Aug. 13. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Hwy., Annapolis, MD 21401 or to a charity of choice.
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.