||Elvin H. Ijams
Brother And Sister Ijams
Elvin H. Ijams: Preacher, Teacher, Scholar
In Memory Of E.H. Ijams
We Visited The Ijams
E.H. Ijams Honored
Vachell Ijams: Simmon Cemetery, Florence, Alabama
Directions To Grave & Photos
||Brother And Sister Ijams - 1975
Coil and this editor (Basil Overton) visited E. H. Ijams and his charming wife a few
weeks ago. Our visit was a great and profitable experience.
E. H. Ijams was born north
of Florence, Alabama May 30, 1886.
Brother Ijams thinks Vachel Ijams came to Maryland from Belgium in
1665. Vachel had five sons; one of
whom was Joseph Ijams. Joseph had a son named Basil. And Basil had a son
named Joseph who was the father of brother E. H. Ijams.
Brother Ijams was married to Una Hartley from Fort Valley, Georgia in 1915. They have three children:
Joe Ijams, M.
D. of Memphis, Tn.; Mrs. J. B. Marks of Atlanta, Georgia; and Mrs. A. B.
Pearson of Nashville, Tn.
doubt Charles Coil stated the case well when he said that brother and
sister Ijams are two of the greatest teachers the Lord's church has ever
had. Brother Ijams teaches three adult classes each week at Highland St.
church in Memphis, Tn. A total of about 275 are in these
Sister Ijams conducts training courses for women teachers at Highland church.
Brother and sister Ijams are scheduled for training work in Huntsville,
Alabama in March, and in Florida in April. They are indeed still keen
and clever and very apt to teach.
From 1923 to 1927 brother
Ijam taught at David Lipscomb College with H. Leo Boles. Brother Ijams
was Dean of that school from 1932 to 1934. He was its President from
1934 to 1944. He pulled that school through the "hard years."
Hearing brother Ijams tell
about hearing T. B. Larimore preach was a good experience for brother
Coil and me. He said he heard Larimore preach in a week's series of
meetings at Poplar St. church (now Wood Ave. church) in Florence,
Alabama in 1906. He said brother
Larimore preached all that series on Hebrews 11:6.
Brother Ijams said he hear brother Larimore in a week' series in Savannah,
Georgia about 1920. He said Larimore preached that week on Matthew
16:13-19. In appraising brother Larimore as a speaker, brother Ijams
said "He had a conversational tone voice, but could raise it so an could
hear him. In this he was like William Jennings Bryan."
Some Ijams Philosophy
Because of the many false
philosophies taught in some institutions of higher learning, this editor
has often expressed fear that this nation
could fall as the result of efforts in institutions of learning. He was
not surprised that brother E. H. Ijams shares this apprehension.
Brother Ijams expressed two
basic principles that are indeed relevant. 1. He said, "We must seek
quality, and break with mediocrity; there is no escape. From the bad
influence of mediocrity." 2. He said, "We have oversimplified the
gospel. It is not easy to be a Christian. There is self-denial that must
be practiced. We may have to die for Christ."
Another thought that brother
Ijams expressed is pertinent too. He said, "Whatever the church does it
should do it well."
Getting The Gospel To All
Brother Coil asked brother
Ijams how we could preach the gospel to all people in the next
twenty-five years. He replied, "We have got to know what we want to do.
We need more papers to inform the brethren. We have got to get them
involved. The task looks impossible, but with God all things are
We commend you brother
and sister E. H. Ijams for living and loving and working for the Lord so
Your past is rich and full
With life's greatest lifts;
But your future's fuller still
With God's eternal gifts.
The Editor, Basil Overton, The
World Evangelist, March, 1975, page 6
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||Elvin H. Ijams, Preacher, Teacher, Scholar!
A Tribute Spoken At His Funeral . . .
The voice of E H Ijams has
been stilled! His speaking was not characterized by tremendous volume or
perfect vocal quality, but few voices ever communicated love, wisdom,
kindness, and truth in such a softly spoken manner.
On July 13, 1982, his gentle
spirit was released from the body in which it had lived for ninety-six
years! He lived for nearly a century, but length was not the most
important dimension of his life, It was, rather, the depth of his
spirituality and the breadth of his influence. For more than seventy of
his years, he preached the gospel of Christ! Sixty-seven years he shared
with sister Ijams. How very fortunate we have been that this great
servant of our Lord touched and blessed so many lives through this
It would be inaccurate to
say that churches in California, Nashville and Memphis where he did
local work, are the only ones to feel the impact of his ministry. That
ministry has spanned the globe! It would be inaccurate to say that David
Lipscomb College, Georgia Christian School and The Harding Graduate
School are the only institutions to feel the impact of his
administrative expertise and his teaching skills. The influence of his
teaching has been felt on the campus of every Christian educational
institution in the world. His leadership in
the educational work of the church, his participation (and that of
sister Ijams) in teaching training programs across the land, study
guides and other materials he has written, have made possible increased
effectiveness in Bible teaching throughout our great brotherhood.
Thousands have sat at the feet of brother Ijams and heard him teach and
preach the word. Those who were his students were
his students in the classroom cherish memories of the unique ways in
which he impressed the great Bible truths upon their hearts. In a class
on Christian Evidences, students saw him lay his watch on the desk and
heard him say, "It is just as reasonable to suppose that all of the
intricate mechanism of that watch just simply fell together, as it is to
believe that the vast universe came into being without a Creator!"
In a study of The Book Of Revelation, brother Ijams warned of the
"Menace of speculation." He urged young preachers always to preach the
word," and never to forget that "the gospel is the power God unto
salvation." He believed
and taught the all sufficiency of the word of God.
We rise to call him blessed!
Brother Ijams would say, "Don't give me the praise! Give the praise to God!" The
powerful impact of his life was based on his faith in the omnipotence of
God! The wisdom of his words found its source in the mind of an
This is not a
time of tragedy, but of triumph! This is not a time of defeat, but of
victory! This is not a time for sorrow, but for joy! This is not a time
to focus our thoughts upon death, but to understand and appreciate more
fully the purpose of life. We confidently believe that, for brother
Ijams, to be "absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord," and
that, for him, "to depart and to be
with Christ is far better." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the
death of his saints."
Someone has said: "When a
great tree falls, how barren the landscape seems without it!" And when a
great man is taken from among
us, his "going" leaves a lonely place against the
sky! Each of us has his own special personal reasons to be grateful that
in the providence of
lives have been touched and blessed by brother E. H. Ijams!
(The foregoing remarks were made
by Clarence C. Dailey as a part of the funeral services for Brother E.
H. Ijams.) Funeral services for brother Ijams were conducted at the
Highland Street church building on July
15, 1982. Those participating were
Collins, C. W. Bradley, Clarence C. Dailey,
Bob Brewer, Larry McKenzie, and Paul Brown. Burial was in Nashville on
16, with graveside services conducted by
Bob Neil and Paul Brown (there may have been others).
World Evangelist, January,
1983, page 2,3
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||In Memory Of E.H. Ijams: He Was Ninety-Six Years Old
Someone has said that a true
friend is a person who stimulates us to live better. If this be
true, then surely brother E. H. Ijams was
a friend to all who knew him. To use Paul's words, "I am debtor'' to
brother Ijams in many ways. Had it not been for his encouragement which
he gave me forty-two years ago when I was a student at David Lipscomb
College. I doubt that I would be preaching today. I also would probably
not be in Memphis today had it not been for his encouragement nineteen
years ago when I was trying to make a decision regarding leaving the
Carolinas in order to come to Memphis to attend the Harding Graduate
School. And over these past nineteen years, he has continued to
encourage and bless my life. To speak on this occasion
is truly one of the great honors of my life. A few years ago, while we
were having lunch together, brother Ijams told me that he wanted me to
have a part in his funeral when that time came.
In many ways, E. H. Ijams
was unique. Most people are contented to be average. In each generation
only a few seem to think and live on a higher plane. Brother Ijams was
such a man! In some ways, he was ahead of his day.
E. H. Ijams was a
multi-talented man. He was a kind, humble, dedicated Christian, a good
husband and a good father. These qualities alone are signs of greatness.
But brother Ijams was more. He was a capable teacher, an educator, a
wonderful preacher and a very excellent writer. At the age of
eighty-five, he preached in a meeting with the Wooddale church and did
some of the best preaching I have ever heard. He was a most interesting
conversationalist an had a wide variety of interests. It was always a
joy to hear him speaking whether on the work series or world missions.
With brother Ijams, there
was no great separation between the sacred and the secular. As a
Christian, brother Ijams viewed every area of life as a sacred trust
from God. He viewed life as Paul instructed, "Whether therefore you eat,
or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1
while having lunch with Brother Ijams, I asked him, "What advice would
you give to younger Christians and preachers?" He answered, "I would
urge them to begin early in life making preparation to serve the Lord
and never cease growing." He stated that one of the greatest regrets in
his life was that he did not begin his own separation earlier. He said,
"I would urge young preachers to emphasize the fundamentals, and to
learn to distinguish between the changing and the changeless, the major
and the minor." Then he said, "I would urge them to emphasize people
rather than things. Learn to serve human needs." He believed that one of
the best works of his life was in connection with the Central Church of
Christ in Nashville, Tennessee where they made a real effort to reach
out to the needs of the people in that community.
I also asked brother Ijams,
"What are some of your fears regarding the Lord's church today?"
He said that he was fearful that our physical and numerical growth will
surpass our spiritual. He also expressed the fear that we will let our
preaching and teaching become shallow, and that we not exalt Christ and
His word sufficiently. He further expressed the fear that we are losing
sight of the power and potential of the local church. He urged me to
give more time to helping congregations realize how much they can
accomplish in the Lord's service.
As a summary statement
regarding brother Ijams, I want to say that it was easy to be good in
his presence. I'm truly grateful for the association which I had with
Bradley, World Evangelist, January, 1983, page 3
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||We Visited The Ijams
In the January 1983 issue of The World Evangelist
there were two stories about the late and lamented E.H. Ijams by C.W.
Bradley and Clarence Dailey.
Five or six years ago Charles Coil and I visited
brother and sister Ijams in their home in Memphis. Then, he was about
ninety-one. He was very alert and interesting. Brother Coil had known
him, but I had not met him. I had known of him and his great work many,
Brother Ijams told us of his admiration for T.B.
Larimore and how much he enjoyed hearing him preach.
Last summer I preached in a series at Bethel Berry in
Lauderdale County, Alabama near my home where brother Ijams grew up. I
enquired about where his parents were buried. Sister Lucille Garrett of
Cloverdale responded and gave me information on brother Ijams' parents.
His father Joseph H. Ijams was born July 20, 1862 and died November 8,
1922. The mother of E.H. Ijams was Francis Ijams. She was born September
9, 1864 and died November 8, 1949.
The graves of Joseph and Francis Ijams are in the
middle of Pleasant Hill Cemetery in the Central Heights Community
northwest of Florence, Alabama. Since sister Garrett gave me this
information, Paul Harris and I went to the graves.
Wayne Kilpatrick is a graduate of International Bible
College, and teaches at the college. He gave me a copy of records on the
Ijams family. Wayne and I recently went to the grave of the great
grandfather of E.H. Ijams, Vachel Ijams, in Simmons Cemetery Near my
home in Florence, Alabama.
The paternal grandparents of E. H. Ijams were Bazil
Gaither and Malinda Thrasher Ijams. The parents of Bazil Gaither Ijams
were Vachel and Martha Ijams. September 22, 1962, the D.A.R. Alamance
Chapter dedicated their monument at the grave of Vachel Ijams in Simmons
Cemetery near Florence. His grave is also marked by a Bronze Plaque
given by the U.S. War Department. Vachel was a Private of the 4th
Regiment of the Maryland Volunteers of the Colonial Army. He was born
January 10, 1759 and died February 20, 1833.
I asked brother Ijams if the name Ijams was Welch. He
said it might be, but he was not sure. The name is pronounced like "Imz."
In the Harding Graduate School Bulletin of August 1982,
was published a splendid tribute to brother E.H. Ijams by Bill Flatt,
Registrar of the school. Among other things he said:
"Much could be said about brother Ijams' outstanding
ministry as president of David Lipscomb College, as minister of the
Central Church in Nashville, as a teacher a Georgia Christian School, as
an educational leader in the work of the church at Union Avenue and at
Highland Street in Memphis. I knew him, however, as a student in his
classes at the Harding Graduate School of Religion in the early sixties.
His class on Building Better Churches was excellent as he told us about
attitudes and activities that build up a congregation. His course on
Christian Evidence made a tremendous impression upon me. His great
confidence and faith was an inspiration to all of us. I will continually
remember the twinkle in he eye as he would bring in a small twig from a
tree that was budding in the spring and comment on how marvelous that
Evidently, brother Ijams liked nature and loved
nature's God! He saw the handiwork of God in all things God made.
In the July 29,1982 bulletin of the Raleigh Church of
Christ in Memphis, Evangelist Jim Moffett wrote:
"E.H. Ijams was buried last week. His influence will
live in the hearts and lives of multiplied thousands. Like our Saviour,
brother Ijams taught by example. His order was to "do and teach." He was
an example "in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in
purity." His faith in God's word was sublime. Many of us as his students
will ponder when we meet life's difficulties, like "pushed aside,"
ignored, betrayed or forgotten: "what would brother Ijams do?" And by
reflecting upon his words of wisdom and his winning ways, will find the
world a little brighter, human souls a little tenderer and our dear
heavenly Father a little nearer."
Brother Ijams died July 13, 1982 at age 96.
As only a breath
Compared to eternity
The Editor, Basil Overton, The World Evangelist, July, 1983, page 21
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||E.H. Ijams Honored
A news report from Harding College says: "E. H. Ijams,
longtime Christian educator, author and minister, has been honored in
ceremonies in which the administration building of Harding Graduate
School of Religion was named for him.
"The announcement of the dedication was made at a
dinner honoring Ijams April 19 in Memphis.
"A member of the Graduate
School's Advisory Council, Ijams has been involved in Christian
education for many years. He has served as a principal and
administrative associate in the public schools systems of
Birmingham and Savannah, as dean
of David Lipscomb College and a president of Georgia Christian
"The work of brother Ijams with
churches and Christian colleges spans sixty-five years.
Born in 1886, he began preaching in
Gadsden, Ma. in 1911. For forty years Ijams has taught courses on the
Christian family and has been a lecturer on the campuses of Harding,
David Lipscomb and Abilene Christian as well as with numerous churches
in 1974, Ijams served as professor of Christian Education at the Harding
Graduate School of Religion and also as educational director for the
Highland Street Church of
Christ in Memphis.
"He continues to
be active in the adult teaching program of the Highland Street
congregation. His duties there have involved teaching various Bible classes and personal
"Ijams studied at State Teachers
College in Tennessee, George Peabody College for Teachers,
the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. For
a number of years he spoke on radio programs for station WLAC,
Nashville. He is the author of Power to Survive
and Surpass. (Pageant Press, Inc., New York.
"The E. H. Ijams Administration Building, formerly
mown as the C. Leroy King Mansion, houses classrooms and offices of teachers and
adninistrators of the Harding Graduate School of Religion."
New Release, As Reported In The
World Evangelist, May, 1977, page 15
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||Vachel Ijams: Great Grandfather
Of E.H. Ijams
Buried North Of Florence, Alabama In Simmons Cemetery
Vachel Ijams, Malinda Thrasher Ijams
Martha Gaither Ijams; Martha Ann Ijams; Janie Ijams
Joseph Ijams; John D. Ijams; Elizabeth Ijams Herndon
Elizabeth Ijams; George Ijams; George Herndon
PVT 4 Regt MD Vols
Jan 10 1759 - Feb 20 1833
Placed In 1962
||Directions To The Grave Of E.H. Ijams
||E.H. Ijams is buried in the
Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. This cemetery serves as the
final resting place of nearly 28 gospel preachers and educators of
yesteryear, the list of which is a veritable who's who among church
leaders. While visiting E.H. Ijams grave be sure to visit the grave of
Batsell Barrett Baxter and
Willard Collins, just within a few feet back
toward the street.
Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee, is located behind the 100 Oaks Shopping
Center that faces I-65 just south of the I-440 Interchange In The Southern Part
Of The City. From 100 Oaks travel
east on Thompson Lane and pass the Pepsi Bottlers, turn right into the Southside Park Of The Woodlawn
Cemetery or Turn left into the Main (Northside) Park of the Woodlawn Cemetery.
See a map of other graves of Gospel Preacher buried in this cemetery
Memorial Park Cemetery
Nashville, TN 37204
N 36˚ 06.828' x W 086˚45.688'
Accuracy To 15'
Graves Faces West
Fountain Lawn A - Lot 70
Una Hartley Ijams
April 17, 1890 - Nov. 9, 1993
May 30, 1886 - July 13, 1982
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