The Reverend James E. Cobb, late Presiding Elder of Delhi District, died at the residence of Col. T. C. Standifer, of Trenton, Louisiana, Monday, April 18, 1879. He was taken down sick and confined to his bed on Tuesday night, March 18, which he did not leave until God, in His wise providence, relieved him of his sufferings and took him to Himself. Brother Cobb was a patient sufferer, having been for years afflicted with dyspepsia and other derangements of his physical organism. He traveled and preached under disabilities that few men could have borne. Such was his zeal for the cause of the Master he would not cease to imitate his example of “going about doing good” until stayed by the hand of Divine Providence; even then he was slow to believe he was near the end of his career of usefulness on earth. Said he: “I never expect to be able to preach any more, but I have begun a work for the honor of my Saviour, and I believe he will spare me to fulfill it.” He, however, was submissive to the will of God, and requested that his brethren, in praying for his recovery, should do so with direct reference to God’s will. “If is Thy will, spare me to complete this work; if not, Thy will be done.”
On Sunday, March 16, Brother Cobb preached his last sermon in Trenton, on the necessity of the suffering of Christ, Luke 9, 31-32. He preached with great earnestness, and his sermon was pronounced to be equal to his best pulpit efforts. He retired from the church to the parsonage much exhausted, and suffering greatly from a disease by which he had for years been afflicted. On Monday, April 28, with persons gathered around his bed, his diseased body sped its way to God.
Brother Cobb had been thirty years an itinerant preacher, had filled several very important positions in the service of the church and was the author of a work of decided merit on Faith. His career as Presiding Elder in the Louisiana Conference was eminently successful. He was a laborious student, a discriminating, but industrious reader, and an able and zealous defender of Methodist doctrines. Of rather frail constitution, he probably shortened his life by intense and protracted ministerial labors. We do not know Brother Cobb’s age, but suppose that he must have been, at the time of his death, about fifty-five years old. He had been a widower for years, and we believe but one child, a daughter, survives him. In 1866 he was a member, from the Ouachita Conference, of the General Conference, which met in New Orleans.
The following memoranda comprise the Conference and ministerial history of Brother Cobb, as far as we are able to trace it: admitted on trial in the Arkansas Conference in the fall of 1848 and stationed in Camden; stationed at Arkadelphia in 1849; agent of the American Bible Society in 1850; ordained Elder in 1851 and agent of the American Bible Society; editor of the Memphis Christian Advocate in 1852-55; transferred to St. Louis Conference and appointed to Lexington, November, 1856; in October, 1857, transferred to Ouachita Conference; in 1858 appointed to Columbus African Mission; Arkadelphia station in 1859; president and agent of Arkadelphia Female College in 1862; Arkadelphia station in 1863; agent for Trans-Mississippi Army Tract Society in 1864; Little Rock station and colored charge with W. P. Ratcliff in 1865.
The General Conference of 1866 changed the name of Ouachita to Little Rock Conference. Brother Cobb remained in the Little Rock Conference until 1870. In January 1870, he was transferred to the Louisiana Conference and appointed president of Homer College, which position he filled for four consecutive years. He was Presiding Elder of the Opelousas District, 1874-77; New Iberia, with M. C. Manly in 1878. His last appointment was Presiding Elder of the Delhi District January 1879.
The remains of Brother Cobb were carried to Homer by his beloved son-in-law, Brother Edgar White, and were interred in the presence of almost the entire town and community, by the side of his only son, “Willie,” who died in 1870.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1880|