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Rev. Merritt Howell Coleman

Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Farmer, Seneca Co., NY

     The Rev. Merritt Howell Coleman, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Farmer, N. Y., was born near Athens, Pa., July r, 1859. His parents moved to Waverly, N. Y., when he was abut two years of age, in the excellent public schools of which place the foundation of his education was laid. His father, having learned a trade himself, insisted that his children should do the same. Accordingly, his son was apprentice to learn printing-"The art preservative of arts." It was in the closing weeks of his apprenticeship that Mr. Coleman was called into the gospel ministry. With several very promising business openings before him, it was only after a protracted struggle that at last he devoted himself to the "work of the ministry," licensed to preach by the Waverly Baptist church. As soon as sufficient preparation could be gained, he entered Madison University, (now Colgate,) from whose theological department he was graduated in 1882. Obliged early in his course to be self-supporting, in company with Mr. (now Rev.) Leland J. Wilcox, the "University Press" was established and made a source of good income to both young men by printing the volumes of lectures for class-room work by the professors in the different departments of the university. Since leaving school, Mr. Coleman has held successful pastorates in Salisbury, Half-Moon and Broadalbin, N. Y. Called to the Farmer Baptist church in February 1892, by the unanimous vote of the church, without a single dissenting voice, Mr. Coleman immediately entered upon his work as pastor. Pursuing quiet, steady, personal methods of work, over thirty have been received into the church by baptism since the beginning of his pastorate without any evangelistic help from outside the church. Aside from his regular work as pastor and preacher, Mr. Coleman has pursued special studies in church history, philology, sociology, and English and American literature. Keeping in mind his early education in newspaper work, he has also been a frequent contributor of prose and poetry to the daily and weekly press.

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