Again we associate three brothers together in the ministry, each of whom has made an honorable record. Their parents, who were earnest Christians, settled in Vanderburgh county, Indiana, in 1819. Three years afterwards the father died. The opportunities for early education in a new and sparsely-settled country being very meager, the entire training of the children devolved on the widowed mother, a woman possessed of a good, well-cultured mind, and, far better, of earnest piety. Daily were he children upborne on the arms of faith and prayer to the divine throne. God honored her faith. She lived to see all her children, eight in number, five sons and three daughters, hopeful Christians, three sons entering the ministry [Rev. Ebenezer W. Hall, Rev. Benjamin Hall and Rev. Ephraim Hall] and two becoming ruling elders.
REV. EPHRAIM HALL is the third of the three brothers, and was born in the same place with them. His early experience was similar to theirs, and one year earlier in life then they he gave himself to Christ. This was at New Salem camp-ground, in Vanderburgh county. Soon after uniting with the church he became a candidate for the ministry, and was licensed and ordained by Indiana Presbytery. To the pastorate of Ellettsville and Bloomfield congregations, in Morgan Presbytery, he gave many years of active labor; to the former twenty years, and of this period seventeen years to the latter. For six years he was pastor of the church at Washington. Disease restrained him through a period of seven years from preaching the gospel, but the tongue so long silent is again able to proclaim for the sacred desk the unsearchable riches of Christ. For three years he has been eminently successful as the pastor of Hermon congregation. May he voice never again falter until it is hushed in death.
[Source: Cumberland Presbyterianism in Southern Indiana: Being a History of Indiana Presbytery and an Account of the Proceedings of its Fiftieth Anniversary Held at Princeton, Ind., April 13-18, 1876, Together with Various Addresses and Communications, and a Sermon on the Doctrines of the Church. Compiled and Arranged by Rev. W. J. Darby and Rev. J. E. Jenkins. Indianapolis: Printed at the Printing and Publishing House, Published by the Presbytery, 1876, p. 61.]
Photograph made on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary
of the Presbytery
at Princeton, Indiana April 13, 1876.
The four men above were early members of Indiana Presbytery.
Left to Right: Rev. James A. Ritchey, Rev. Hiram A. Hunter, Rev. Benjamin Hall, Rev. Ephraim Hall
[Source: General Assembly Minutes of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1883, page 40]
It was my painful privilege a few days ago to visit the home of the late Rev. Ephraim Hall, Washington, Ind. We do not always realize the truth of the passage, "It is better to go the house of mourning than to the house of feasting," but I did, as my tears and prayers mingled with those of the bereaved and sorrowing wife and four daughters of my dear brother, and brother of my dear mother, who passed on before, a year ago last March. Rev. E. Hall was the youngest of three brothers who entered the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Indiana.
He was born in Surry county, England, Nov. 15, 1815. He came with his parents, William and Elizabeth Hall, to this country in 1819, landing at Evansville, Ind., when that city contained less than a dozen houses. His father died about three years later, leaving the care and training of five sons and three daughters to the pious and faithful mother, who impressed her characteristics and virtues on all her children and many of her grandchildren, living to see the former and many of the latter members of the Church of her choice. She possessed a strong and well balanced and cultured mind, and unswerving faith and deep, fervent piety. When about fifteen years of age, brother Hall made profession of faith in Christ at New Salem camp-ground, near Evansville, a place of blessed memory to many others as well as the present writer. He soon after united with the Church and in a few years was received as a candidate for the ministry, giving some years to preparatory study, chiefly under the direction of Rev. Hiram A. Hunter, at Princeton, Ind. In 1838 he was licensed to preach, and ordained in 1841. He labored as an evangelist about three years, with good success, under the direction of the Indiana Presbytery, after which he settled in Ellettsville, where he remained about twenty years, preaching half of the time for seventeen of these years at Bloomfield. At these points, as everywhere, he was successful. After this he traveled as Synodical missionary a year, his labors being greatly blessed by the great Head of the Church in reviving and edifying congregations.
In October 1859, he took charge of the church at Washington, Ind., serving it seven years, when his failing health compelled him to give up the active work of the ministry. For a time he engaged in secular business, and when in about seven years he had so far regained his health as to be able to preach, he forsook all and took charge of Hermon congregation, in Knox county, where he labored very successfully nine years-several hundred being converted, the Church strengthened and built at three or four different points, and one new congregation organized. These were years of great toil and heavy work, involving much travel and exposure. But he never faltered, never sought to avoid duty nor to make it light and easy, was faithful in all the relations of life, was scrupulously exact in business transactions, and punctual in all engagements. Providence did not often interfere with his appointments, nor with his attending the judicatures of the Church.
The last year of his fruitful and successful life was given to various churches in special meetings. He had just taken up the work at home, in Washington church, and was moving on with his accustomed energy and devotion when he was suddenly called away. On the 18th of April, 1883, just as he and the family were preparing to go to prayer-meeting, he was seized with a severe pain and dead in two hours-paralysis of the heart, the doctors thought. Happy exchange, blessed transposition! From the lower to upper sanctuary, from the house of prayer to that of endless praise.
In the midst of life we are in death, but death does not end all. He being dead yet speaketh. Thousands will rise up and call him blessed. Many letters of sympathy and condolence have been received by the family from friends in several different States, all bearing uniform testimony to the excellence and worth of Brother Hall, His preaching was scriptural and to the heart, his voice soft and pleasant, he was always earnest, he never trifled with perishing souls, his manners easy, his style pathetic and persuasive. He was a close Bible student, as his well-worn Bibles, commentaries, and notes attest. He was a man of much prayer, strong faith, and a pure life. One who has known him intimately about forty years writes me: "I know that no purer spirit ever entered the portals of heaven." Just here I wish to insert a very brief and faithful tribute to his memory some correspondent sent to the Herald and Presbyter:
DIED.-Of heart disease, on the evening of the 18th inst., Rev.
E. Hall, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, Washington,
Ind., with less than two hours illness. He has resided in Washington
about twenty-one years. Southern Indiana had been his home longer.
His industry in pastoral work was untiring. His ministry was remarkably
successful. His life was free from many of the weaknesses into
which others fall.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, June 14, 1883, page 2]