Stable carbonous catalyst particles composed of an inorganic catalytic metal/metal oxide powder and a carbonaceous binder material are formed having a basic inner substantially uniform-porous carbon coating of the catalytic powder, and may include an outer porous carbon coating layer. Suitable inorganic catalytic powders include zinc-chromite (ZnO/Cr.sub.2 03) and suitable carbonaceous liquid binders having molecular weight of 200-700 include partially polymerized furfuryl alcohol, which are mixed together, shaped and carbonized and partially oxidized at elevated temperature. Such stable carbonous catalyst particles such as 0.020-0.100 inch (0.51-2.54 mm) diameter extrudates, have total carbon content of 2-25 wt. % and improved crush strength of 1.0-5 1b/mn, 50-300 m.sup.2 /g surface area, and can be advantageously utilized in fixed bed or ebullated/fluidized bed reactor operations. This invention also includes method steps for making the stable carbonous catalyst particles having improved particle strength and catalytic activity, and processes for utilizing the active stable carbonous carbon-coated catalysts such as for syn-gas reactions in ebullated/fluidized bed reactors for producing alcohol products and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis liquid products.