Billy Graham Center

Statement of Christian Experience and "Call to the Ministry"
by R. W. Roberts

Introduction (Bulletin Board for September 2008)


From Photo File: American Sunday School Union
Robert & Josephine Roberts, back row, right side
Missionary with the American Sunday School Union, ca. 1909-1913


I was born near Rome, N.Y. Both of my parents were Christians and members of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church. I received a good training and very early in life had strong convictions. I realised I was a great sinner and eagerly sought the “way of life,” however, I made but little headway, possibly because my religious teachers took too much for granted. I had no adequate conception of the plan of salvation; my theology being a sort of mixture of grace and works.

Our church had no revivals and made no special effort to get people saved. The children having been sprinkled in infancy were considered associate members of the church, and on arriving at the age of accountability were cathechised and if the questions were properly answered they were voted into “Full membership” in the church. So far as I can remember the question of conversion or the new birth was not mentioned. In this way nearly all the children born of Christian parents were admitted into the church and considered Christians.

I was thus confirmed at the age of thirteen, and was told that I was a “New man in Christ Jesus,” however, I could feel no change of heart and was as miserable as ever, and daily longed for peace of mind and victory over sin. Five years later a series of meetings were held in our church, in which the way of salvation was made plain and I accepted Christ as my personal Saviour, rejoicing in his “Substitution” and “Finished work.” This brought great joy and peace to my mind.

Immediately after my conversion I felt a distinct “Call” to do definite Christian work; I longed to traved and tell the world the “Good News” that had set me free; however, my education being limited and having no particular encouragement, I continued in secular work untill about six years ago, when I resolved that, come what would I would obey my Master; and, by grace several hundred have accepted Christ as their Saviour in my meetings.

I consider the constant yearnings of my heart during the years that I neglected the Divine call, and the seal of God’s approval on my labors sufficient proof that I have made no mistake in entering the ministry.

R. W. Roberts [signed]
Nov. 22, 1911
Brainerd, Minn.

From Photo File: American Sunday School Union From Photo File: Roberts, Robert William
Robert W. Roberts
From Photo File: American Sunday School Union


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Last Revised: 9/01/08
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Wheaton College 2008