Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 20, 1955

At Rest

M. Roy Stevens

Coffman: Earnest Carroll Coffman, born February 3, 1890 in Tennessee departed this life September 15, 1955 at Memorial Hospital, Houston, Texas. Brother Coffman was 65 years of age at the time of his untimely passing. He was the son of Geo. W. Coffman and Jenny Legg Coffman. On September 3, 1921 he was united in marriage to Ethel Holt, with his brother E. C. Coffman performing the ceremony. Two sons were born to this union, Earnest Carl and Herbert Lyle. He is survived by Sister Coffman, his two sons and one grandson.

Brother Coffman was baptized at the age of 14 at Appleton, Tennessee by Brother E. C. Harris. He finished high school in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, after which he graduated from Middle Tennessee State Normal. He served as principal of Rockdale School in Tennessee. Brother Coffman also served in the Medical Corp in World War I until honorably discharged, after which he attended George Peabody College receiving his B.S. degree.

Brother Coffman began preaching while teaching in Knoxville High School serving churches in the surrounding area. He also served the Knoxville church as preacher six months before coming to Houston in 1924. Brother Coffman spent the remaining thirty-one years of his life in the Houston area serving as local evangelist for the following eleven congregations: Summer and Johnson (now Pierce and Baldwin), Heights, West University, Galena Park, North Houston, Kashmere Gardens, Humble, MacGregor Park, Burban, West 34th, and was serving at East Houston at the time of his death. Several of these congregations were mission efforts of his own vision. Several more of the Houston congregations had their beginning from gospel meetings in which he did the preaching, sponsored by the congregation with which he was laboring. In fact, his main interest, with that of his wife, was what we choose to call "Mission Work," in the Houston area.

Brother Coffman was a Paul to many Timothy's. He guided and counseled many a younger man, this writer being among, that number. He had a vast library of carefully selected books which is to be shared by Sister Coffman, Herbert, and his latest "Timothy," Rody Ross, who is now preaching part time in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. September 16, 1955 in the meeting house of the Heights church where he served 12 years as local evangelist. Words of consolation were offered by this writer, assisted by A. Chester Grimes. Personally, I feel that no greater compliment could have been paid to me than to know that he, with the family, requested me to have a part in the funeral service of this godly man. He and I had many wonderful experiences together in Gospel Meetings, arbitrations, and other services of the church.

To act as an arbitrator, and to assist brethren in restoring peace, was one of his highest ambitions. He considered the restoring of peace among the Houston congregations at different times one of his greatest accomplishments.

Eulogy Of Family

He was a patient and kind father. A loving and thoughtful husband, was exceedingly proud that one of his sons became a Gospel preacher. He was a great encouragement, not only to his wife and sons in living the Christian life but to all with whom he came in contact. He was appreciated by many as a walking concordance — always ready to give a Bible answer to Bible questions. The key watch words of his life were vigilance and faithfulness, as was so ably pointed out by Brother Roy Stevens.

Words are not at our command to express our appreciation for the subject of his last sermon, "A Good Man." Stressing this thought, he said, "If when I die, my boys can stand by my grave and 'say that their father was a good man, then I will not have lived in vain."

Excerpt From Houston Press

Earnest Carroll Coffman, beloved Houston minister, plowed the fields of Tennessee and hewed cross ties with a broadaxe to pay for his education.

Like Abraham Lincoln, he minded not the strenuous labor to accomplish his goal and many's the time he stopped at the end of a furrow, read a passage from the textbook in his hand and repeated it from memory while continuing down the row.

Mr. Coffman was considered the "dean" among Church of Christ ministers here — having preached in this city longer than any other of his brethren.