- This article pertains to the character as he appears in print. You may be looking for his small-screen counterpart.
He engaged in self-flagellation with a knotted rope that has twelve knots representing the twelve apostles. On the night of Dome Day, he whipped himself bloody in atonement for his part in the methamphetamine laboratory and distribution business operating in a building behind his church, a transgression which he believed had brought the wrath of God down on Chester's Mill in the form of the mysterious barrier. He experienced auditory hallucinations which he believed to be the voice of God, leading him to read the Biblical passage: "The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart. / And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee."
On 21 October 2012, Coggins held a prayer-meeting in the field of Alden Dinsmore's farm near the barrier at Route 119. When Rory Dinsmore attempted to shoot over the edge of the barrier and was instead blinded by the ricocheting bullet fragments, Coggins interpreted the event as a sign from God. He wrote a short note to Jim Rennie reading "James— I must see you tonight. God has spoken to me. Now I must speak to you before I speak to the town. Please reply. Richie Killian will carry your message to me. Reverend Lester Coggins," and gave it to Killian to be delivered. He received Sanders' reply – "Midnight. My house." – and met Rennie at his house shortly after midnight on the morning of 22 October 2012, explaining his plan to confess his part in the meth operation.
Coggins died from being beaten and choked by Big Jim and Junior. Junior moved the body to the pantry of the McCain house along with Angie McCain and Dodee Sanders, and Dale Barbara was later wrongly arrested for his death.
- Under the Dome - Section 12 (Nyuck-Nyuck-Nyuck), Chapter 13