Posts Tagged ‘Free Methodist founder – died’


Benjamin Titus “B T” Roberts died 2/27/1893. Born at Gowanda, NY, 7/23/1823 was a school teacher at 16 headed toward being a lawyer. At 20 a testimony brought conviction. He wanted God but also wanted to pursue law & struggled for 3 weeks. He later said “Christ demanded an unconditional surrender.” He graduated from Wesleyan University (CT) where he was influenced by Stephen Olin & John Wesley Redfield M.D. & had Daniel Steele as a classmate.  Roberts became a Methodist pastor in NY, married Ellen Stowe (they had 7 children) – but he did not “settle down.”

 In 1857 he penned “As a denomination, we are just as liable to fall by corrupting influences, as any were that have flourished before us” & pointed out that some Methodists pastors were Masons (secret society), others charged pew rent, frivolity was tolerated & salvation by faith in Christ had been replaced by “love.”  The hierarchy showed him the door (some 15 yrs. after his death they admitted they had wronged him).

The Free Methodist Church was founded, 1860 & the paper “Earnest Christian” started the same yr.  Later the F. M. would start Chesbrough Seminary (now called Roberts Wesleyan) North Chili, NY, and Roberts would publish his Fishers of Men (1878) and other books.  The word Free in the new group’s title showed they were “free from slavery, secret orders, worldliness in dress and rigid formality in public worship.”

Read Full Post »