- This article pertains to the character as he appears on television. You may be looking for his literary counterpart.
Lester Coggins was a preacher and mortician in Chester's Mill.
The body of Chief of Police Howard Perkins is delivered to Coggins' mortuary by Officer Linda Esquivel and Selectman Jim Rennie, to which he laments the increasing number of bodies. Coggins consoles Linda before she leaves, after which Rennie attacks Coggins, accusing the Reverend of being "high as a kite" on "[their] stuff." Coggins doesn't deny it, and remarks that they no longer have to worry about Duke revealing their crimes. Rennie then takes Duke's keys and the two leave.
Later on that day, Coggins is waiting outside the town hall in Duke's car when Rennie enters the vehicle, and tells the Reverend that Duke kept no record of the propane shipments in his office. When Coggins postulates that Duke kept those records at his house, Rennie informs him that Duke's house now belongs to Linda and instructs Lester to pay a visit to the Perkins residence.
He spots Linda later on talking to Officer Freddy Denton. He checks on Linda and makes sure she is doing alright since Duke's death the night before. She tells him she was fine, and Coggins continues on his way. The consoling was only a ploy however to snatch Linda's keyring which included the key to Duke's house.
Coggins arrives at the Perkins Residence and uses Linda's keys to enter the house, searching Duke's office before discovering an enveloped taped to the underside of a desk drawer. Inside he finds invoices and receipts from Jackson's Propane, and uses a match to light the paperwork on fire. He then tosses the flaming pages into a trashcan, accidentally causing the drapes next to the trashcan to ignite, and his attempts to smother the flames only cause them to spread faster.
Bystanders soon arrive and gaze at the fire, to which what was left of the Chester's Mill police also arrive on the scene. Coggins calls for help from inside just as officers Linda, Fred, Paul Randolph along with Dale "Barbie" Barbara arrive, and Barbie instructs the onlookers to bring their garden hoses in order to put the fire out. Julia arrives shortly after, taking photographs of the fire while Barbie orders the rest of the bystanders to fill up buckets, pots, and trashcans with water. Linda then hears Coggins calling for help and rushes into the house while Rennie flees the scene. Inside Duke's house, Linda breaks into the office to find Coggins and drags the Reverend out to safety just before a propane tank beside the house explodes, causing the neighbors to scatter.
Coggins is treated by an EMT, and after putting out the fire by destroying the Perkins Residence with a bulldozer, Rennie confronts him privately before they are approached by Linda; Coggins claims that he went into Duke's house to get a suit for the Sheriff's burial, but doesn't remember much about how the fire started. Rennie tells Coggins they need to make up a story as to how the fire got started.
A day later, Rennie visits with Lester Coggins at the Chester's Mill Clinic, demanding to know why the Reverend burned Duke's house to the ground. Coggins claims only that the evidence of the propane purchases has been destroyed, and Rennie reminds him that they must "trust each other" because they are now the only two people who know of "this drug business." Rennie then instructs Coggins to return his mortuary in order to deal with Fred's body.
Later that night, Rennie, Barbie and Linda return to Coggins' mortuary with Randolph's body after the officer went crazy after accidently killing Freddy Denton when a bullet he fired richochet off the Dome, and was sent to prison but had escaped and hunted down, then ultimately killed. While Barbie and Linda are inside, Rennie confirms that Coggins is clean.
Days later, Rennie and Coggins arrive at a crowd overseeing the military packing up and about to leave where they had made camp near the Dome for days. Coggins begins ranting before the crowd, claiming that "this Dome is His wish for a new Eden".
During the Meningitis Outbreak, Coggins goes to Dee's Pharmacy and steals all the medications and packs them into his truck. He then drives back to his home and sets up a fire in a pit, and begins emptying medications into the blaze even as Rennie and Barbie arrive to stop him. Coggins claims that "those people are supposed to die" because "it's God's plan," but Rennie retrieves the medicine from Coggins' hearse as Barbie restrains the Reverend.
That night, Jim returns home to find Coggins waiting on his porch; the Reverend turns over a bag containing his "share of the profits" in order to "wash [his] hands of [their] dirty little business." Coggins assures Rennie that he will pay for defying God's will; he reminds Rennie that Rennie can't hurt hurt without hurting himself, and leaves the property as Rennie heads inside.
The next morning, Rennie finds Lester Coggins outside his house; the Reverend claims to have heard the voice of the Lord Almighty telling him one word – "Moab." Rennie suggests that Coggins replace the batteries in his hearing aid, and instructs the Reverend to stay away before storming into the house; Coggins adjusts his hearing aid, and smiles as he listens to a garbled voice repeating what sounds like the word "Moab."
During Visitor's Day, when family members of those trapped inside the Dome come to visit, Coggins bellows from the crowd, calling the townspeople "sinners" and claiming that Chester's Mill is Moab, but his rant is interrupted by Rennie, who bustles the Reverend off the Bridge. Rennie tries to threaten Coggins, but the Reverend claims that he no longer fears Rennie; he insists that he fears only God, and that the only way for Chester's Mill to survive is for them to confess their sins. Rennie claims that they saved Chester's Mill, but Coggins counters that they merely helped drug dealers to produce poison; the Reverend then tells Rennie that if Jim does not confess his crimes to the town within one day, Coggins will do it for him.
Later, Barbie deciphers what Coggins was talking about. When Coggins said he heard the word "MOAB" on his hearing aid, he explains he had actually tuned into a military frequency. The word "MOAB" actually stood for "mother of all bombs". He deduces that the military intends to launch its "largest non-nuclear missile" at the Dome, killing everyone inside.
On the road, Coggins clutches at his Bible as he listens to Julia's broadcast warning everyone of the evident nucleur bomb being dropped on the Dome.
The bomb however, does not even scratch the Dome, but obliterates everything outside, leaving a dense radiated wasteland surrounding Chester's Mill and the Dome.
On the Sixth Street Bridge, Rennie removes his wristwatch and approaches the barrier, testing the Dome to find it intact. Moments later, Coggins arrives, claiming that he saved the town by repenting; the two look out over the scorched wasteland on the other side of the barrier, and Coggins insists that Rennie must confess to his crimes. Rennie considers, then calmly pushes Coggins' head against the Dome, causing his hearing air to rupture and kill him. With Coggins dead, Rennie does not need to worry about him revealing to the public about the propane conspiracy.
However, the actions of Coggins and Rennie both are brought to light in future episodes.