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Rev John S Coffman

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Rev John S Coffman

Birth
Death
22 Jul 1899 (aged 50)
Burial
Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana, USA Add to Map
Memorial ID
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COFFMAN. - Pre. John S. Coffman was born on the 16th of October, 1848 in Rockingham Co., Va. He was a son of the late Bish. Samuel Coffman. His boyhood days were spent on his father's farm. He received his education in the common schools and later in a Normal School at Bridgewater, Va. He owes his educational aspirations largely to Bro. David A. Heatwole, father of Bish. L. J. Heatwole of Dale Enterprise, Va. He taught successfully for about six years. His school life, no doubt, prepared him for the gospel work to which he was called afterward. He gave his heart to God in his youth and was baptized on the 4th of July, 1861. As the Civil War was then raging and the Southern Confederacy gradually forced every able bodied man over sixteen years of age into the Confederate ranks, Bro. Coffman and a number of other brethren, who in common with all other Mennonites, Quakers and Dunkards was opposed to slavery and the bearing of arms, became a refugee and moved northward with Gen. Sherman's army on its return from a raid up the Shenandoah Valley, and remained in Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland for two years, when he returned to the then desolate valley that suffered all the devastations of the two conflicting armies. He was married on the 11th of November, 1869, to Sister Elizabeth J. Heatwole. This union was blessed with five sons and two daughters, all of whom, with their mother, survive their father. He moved with his family to Elkhart, Indiana, on the 17th of June 1879, and entered upon the duties of Assistant Editor of the HERALD OF TRUTH, which position he held until he assumed the editorial work on the Lesson Helps, which position he ably filled until the time of his demise, his last editorial work having been done on the lessons for the Third Quarter, 1899. Aside from this work he was actively engaged in evangelistic work and traveled extensively in connection with this work, he having been ordained to the ministry in Virginia on the 18th of July, 1875. Notwithstanding his arduous labors he usually enjoyed excellent health, and had never been wholly unable to work until some months before his death. Several years ago, however, his health began to fail, although by a careful course of diet and life he was able to continue his labors almost without interruption until a few months ago when the disease, the nature of which was not then fully known, so reduced him that he was able to do but little. He could not take enough solid food to sustain strength, and in the hope of obtaining relief be finally went to the noted Sanitarium at Battle Creek, Mich. But even the treatment there, while it relieved him, did not strengthen him, and he returned home after a two weeks' stay, accompanied by a trained nurse who ministered faithfully to all his wants. The last week of his life our brother suffered very much, the cause of which, as was learned at the post mortem, being cancerous or tuberculous growths on the stomach and intestines. He continued to grow weaker until Saturday, July 22, at about 5:30 P.M., after a final struggle with an attack of pain the physical forces relaxed and the tired body sank slowly and calmly into the dreamless sleep of death. He had reached the age of 50 years, 9 months and 6 days. His remains were laid to rest on the afternoon of the 25th in the South Side Cemetery. By request of our departed brother Bish. Daniel J. Johns of the Amish Mennonite Church near Goshen preached the funeral sermon, the text used (Gal. 2:20) being one of Bro. Coffman's favorite passages. The funeral services were attended by over one thousand people, friends from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Canada, Michigan, Illinois, among them over forty ministers, being present. The deceased had attended a number of the meetings of the Elkhart City Ministerial Association and the ministers of the same attended in a body, As the meeting house was too small to hold so large an assemblage, part of the congregation went across the street to the Elkhart Institute Hall, where the brethren M. S. Steiner and John Blosser spoke words of love and consolation. The church, the community, the ministry but most of all the happy family circle has lost a dearly loved one, a zealous worker, a tenderhearted, compassionate friend who will live in cherished memory in many hearts. God comfort the bereaved widow in her deep affliction and give her and her children grace to walk in the ways of the Lord, to fight manfully the good fight and keep the faith, until the end. Beside the widow and her five sons and two daughters all grown, and Sister Anna Sowers who has been as one of the family for a number of years, the deceased leave his aged mother, six sisters, three brothers and two grandchildren to mourn their loss.

COFFMAN. - Pre. John S. Coffman was born on the 16th of October, 1848 in Rockingham Co., Va. He was a son of the late Bish. Samuel Coffman. His boyhood days were spent on his father's farm. He received his education in the common schools and later in a Normal School at Bridgewater, Va. He owes his educational aspirations largely to Bro. David A. Heatwole, father of Bish. L. J. Heatwole of Dale Enterprise, Va. He taught successfully for about six years. His school life, no doubt, prepared him for the gospel work to which he was called afterward. He gave his heart to God in his youth and was baptized on the 4th of July, 1861. As the Civil War was then raging and the Southern Confederacy gradually forced every able bodied man over sixteen years of age into the Confederate ranks, Bro. Coffman and a number of other brethren, who in common with all other Mennonites, Quakers and Dunkards was opposed to slavery and the bearing of arms, became a refugee and moved northward with Gen. Sherman's army on its return from a raid up the Shenandoah Valley, and remained in Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland for two years, when he returned to the then desolate valley that suffered all the devastations of the two conflicting armies. He was married on the 11th of November, 1869, to Sister Elizabeth J. Heatwole. This union was blessed with five sons and two daughters, all of whom, with their mother, survive their father. He moved with his family to Elkhart, Indiana, on the 17th of June 1879, and entered upon the duties of Assistant Editor of the HERALD OF TRUTH, which position he held until he assumed the editorial work on the Lesson Helps, which position he ably filled until the time of his demise, his last editorial work having been done on the lessons for the Third Quarter, 1899. Aside from this work he was actively engaged in evangelistic work and traveled extensively in connection with this work, he having been ordained to the ministry in Virginia on the 18th of July, 1875. Notwithstanding his arduous labors he usually enjoyed excellent health, and had never been wholly unable to work until some months before his death. Several years ago, however, his health began to fail, although by a careful course of diet and life he was able to continue his labors almost without interruption until a few months ago when the disease, the nature of which was not then fully known, so reduced him that he was able to do but little. He could not take enough solid food to sustain strength, and in the hope of obtaining relief be finally went to the noted Sanitarium at Battle Creek, Mich. But even the treatment there, while it relieved him, did not strengthen him, and he returned home after a two weeks' stay, accompanied by a trained nurse who ministered faithfully to all his wants. The last week of his life our brother suffered very much, the cause of which, as was learned at the post mortem, being cancerous or tuberculous growths on the stomach and intestines. He continued to grow weaker until Saturday, July 22, at about 5:30 P.M., after a final struggle with an attack of pain the physical forces relaxed and the tired body sank slowly and calmly into the dreamless sleep of death. He had reached the age of 50 years, 9 months and 6 days. His remains were laid to rest on the afternoon of the 25th in the South Side Cemetery. By request of our departed brother Bish. Daniel J. Johns of the Amish Mennonite Church near Goshen preached the funeral sermon, the text used (Gal. 2:20) being one of Bro. Coffman's favorite passages. The funeral services were attended by over one thousand people, friends from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Canada, Michigan, Illinois, among them over forty ministers, being present. The deceased had attended a number of the meetings of the Elkhart City Ministerial Association and the ministers of the same attended in a body, As the meeting house was too small to hold so large an assemblage, part of the congregation went across the street to the Elkhart Institute Hall, where the brethren M. S. Steiner and John Blosser spoke words of love and consolation. The church, the community, the ministry but most of all the happy family circle has lost a dearly loved one, a zealous worker, a tenderhearted, compassionate friend who will live in cherished memory in many hearts. God comfort the bereaved widow in her deep affliction and give her and her children grace to walk in the ways of the Lord, to fight manfully the good fight and keep the faith, until the end. Beside the widow and her five sons and two daughters all grown, and Sister Anna Sowers who has been as one of the family for a number of years, the deceased leave his aged mother, six sisters, three brothers and two grandchildren to mourn their loss.



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