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William Louis Roberts (1798-1864)


William Louis Roberts (1798-1864)

James Dodson

Biographical Sketch

Born near Franklin, Pendleton County, Virginia (now West Virginia), June 27, 1798.  His parents were members of the Associate Reformed Church.  He received preparatory course in the Academy of Bedford, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Jefferson College in 1820.  He received appointment as a cadet in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, but was persuaded to abandon military aspirations by the Rev. Dr. J.R. Willson and joined the Covenanter Church.  He studied theology under the direction of Rev. Dr. J.R. Willson at Coldenham, New York, and was licensed by the Northern Presbytery, September 11, 1822.  He was ordained by the same Presbytery, installed as pastor of the congregation of Paterson, New Jersey, May 19, 1824, and resigned this charge, December 18, 1825.  He was installed pastor of the united congregations of Clyde, Galen, Caledonia, and York, New York, November 16, 1826, and resigned these societies, October 6, 1830.  He was installed pastor of the congregation of Baltimore, Maryland, January 15, 1835, and was released, October 19, 1837.  He was installed pastor of the united congregations of Clyde and Sterling, New York, October 19, 1837, and resigned this charge, May 26, 1855.  He removed to Hopkinton, Delaware County, Iowa, and was stated supply to the newly organized congregation of that place for five years, and was installed as pastor, May 9, 1860.  He remained there until his very sudden death of heart disease, December 7, 1864.  By many he was regarded as one of the great preachers of the Covenanter Church.  He was a keen controversialist and a great debater.  He did much to strengthen the members of the Church in her distinctive principles.