Azariah Harrell was born June 26, 1823, in Knox County, Tennessee. He was a son of John Harrell and grandson of John I. Harrell, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War and an officer under Washington. He was a member of a large family, being the oldest of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. At the age of seventeen he made a profession of religion and joined Zion Baptist Church. He was ordained to the ministry in 1861, Elders Joshua Frost and Jonathan Bishop acting as a presbytery. July 21, 1842, he was married to Rebecca Keisling. To this union were born two sons. July 8, 1877, he was married a second time, to Mary West, to which union was born an only daughter.
Brother Harrell was active in the ministry for more than fifty years. His field of labor was Morgan, Roane, Anderson, Campbell and Knox counties. He was a member of Zion Church seventy-four years, preached 545 funeral sermons, married 256 couples, baptized 722 persons, and witnessed 1200 conversions. Brother Harrell was a useful minister of Jesus Christ. He died March 16, 1915, near Powell’s Station, within three miles of where he was born and where he had lived all his life, aged 91 years, 8 months and 20 days. His widow, one daughter, one son, and four brothers and sisters survive him. He was buried by the Masonic Order, of which he had been a member nearly half a century, under the shadow of Zion Baptist Church, of which he had been a member three-quarters of a century, lacking only a few months.
Burnett, J. J. Sketches of Tennessee’s Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, TN: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919, pp. 219-220.
[Transcribed from the book by Stephanie A. Hill.]