Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
(pages 131 - 132)
Following is a brief account of one of God's noblemen, once a useful minister of the gospel and a brother greatly beloved among Baptists, whose praise is in the churches and who was greatly respected by all who knew him.
Noah, son of William and Elizabeth Coram, was born December 16, 1822. He united with the Mouth of Richland Church by experience and baptism November 14, 1840. In 1843 he was married to Miss Caroline Zachary. He was licensed to preach by the Mouth of Richland Church, and September 10, 1853, his license was "extended."
February, second Saturday, 1855, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry, Robert G. Kimbrough, J. S. Coram, James Kennon, and Elihu Millikan constituting the presbytery. Mouth of Richland was his first pastorate. He was also pastor of Dumplin, Alder Branch, Smithwood, Pawpaw Hollow, Union, Mill Springs, Dandridge, and other churches. Dumplin was his "home church." Having served this church faithfully as pastor for a long time, on the third Saturday in February, 1876, the church gave him a final call, which he declined, on account of failing health and increasing weakness. He had long been afflicated [sic] with a weakness of the spine, and for years had done his preaching from his "gospel chair."
"Noah Coram, though physically weak, had a strong and penetrating voice, a clear head, and a big heart. He was clear and strong on the plan of salvation, and was a sound gospel preacher. He had a great soul in a weak body. He was a tender and persuasive preacher, a sweet-spirited brother, universally beloved." (Dr. Jesse Baker.)
Perhaps his greatest effort as a preacher was the introductory sermon before the East Tennessee Association at Henderson's Chapel, Sevier County. His text was, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," and, notwithstanding he had to preach from his chair, so gracious were the words of the preacher and so great was the effect of the sermon, that the hearers wanted the speaker to "go on," one brother being sorry that the preacher did not have strength to preach "three hours" for his special benefit.
At another Association a certain well-known and able brother preached a sermon on the so-called "Lord's Prayer," and called on Brother Coram to "conclude," which he did with an exhortation that set things "on fire," so much so that his older and more distinguished brother (J. S. ), who didn't at all believe in shouting, was walking the floor, "happy" and shaking hands with everybody, carrying a "full cup" with exceeding care, lest it run over.
Noah Coram could not only move an audience mightily; his influence was for good and "only good." He had salt in him, and his life was savory.
He fell asleep April 26, 1882, and loving hands laid the mortal part to rest in the cemetery at Dumplin.
"As a pastor he was much beloved by the churches he served, and by all who knew him. In all of his long and sore afflictions he bore up with calm and patient resignation." (Record of Dumplin Church, July, first Saturday, 1882.)
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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