History of the Restoration Movement

Dr. J. W. Roberts


Life Of J. W. Roberts

J. W. Roberts was born August 28, 1918, in Henderson County, Tennessee. He was the son of Robert Lee and Stella (Wilson) Roberts, Sr. He attended high school in Clarksburg, Tennessee, 1932-35. He graduated from Burkesville, Kentucky, High School in 1936.

Roberts attended Freed-Hardeman College, 1936-38, where he received a Junior College Diploma. He attended Abilene Christian College, 1940-42, where he received a B.A. degree with a major in Bible and a minor in English. In 1944 he attended the University of Wichita, Kansas, where he received the M.A. degree in religious education. In 1955 he attended the University of Texas at Austin receiving his Ph.D. in classical languages.

At Abilene Christian College Roberts was a member of Alpha Chi (honorary scholarship society), he won a scholarship as the member of the Junior Class with highest grades (1940-41), and graduated Summa Cum Laude and as Honor Graduate (Valedictorian) of the class of 1942.

On June 2, 1942, Roberts married Miss Delno Marie Wheeler. To this union one son and one daughter were born. The son was named Jay Wheeler and the daughter was named Kathy Fae.

He began preaching in 1938 as a senior in high school and continued his regular preaching by appointment during his two years schooling at Freed-Hardeman College. During this time he preached for small rural churches in west Tennessee and Kentucky.

Places where he did full time local work were: Iraan, Texas, 1938-40; Wichita, Kansas (first full-time preacher for Riverside church), 1942-45; Indianapolis, Indiana (Bright Wood Church, 1945-46); Perrin, Texas (over seven years driving down weekly from Abilene, 270 miles round trip). He preached two summers for the Graham Street Church in Abilene and two summers for Pepperdine University, and Great Lakes Christian College. He was Religious Emphasis speaker at Texas A&M in 1964 and Washington State College in 1963.

Roberts was director of Graduate Studies for Bible and Religious Education at Abilene Christian University beginning in 1963 and continued to serve until the time of his death in 1973.

He was Cub Master, Scout Master, and Advisor to Boy Scout Troop and Explorer Post spanning more than 20 years. Roberts served as a deacon for the University Church of Christ in Abilene. He served as moderator for Otis Gatewood in a debate in La Junta, Colorado, in 1942.

Roberts was honored by friends of the ACC Library in 1971 with "J. W. Roberts Day."

Places where he did mission work in other lands included a five and a half month tour (1966-67) visiting mission points around the world and holding special classes and giving lectures at Nhowe Mission, Chimala, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Ibaraki, Daresaalam, Honolulu, Bayuioi City (Philippines), Bang Kok and he made four mission trips to Guatemala. One of his joys was in knowing that a large number of his students became teachers in Christian schools, preachers in churches and missionaries in many areas of the world. Dr. Roberts wrote as well as co-authored numerous books and commentaries. Already published were full commentary volumes on James and John with Revelation ready for the press at the time of his passing. His works for the Living Word material series included booklets on Timothy and Titus, James, 1 and 2 Peter and Acts.

In addition to his research, writing, and classroom duties, Dr. Roberts served as a guest lecturer and speaker throughout the United States.

His specialized fields for teaching were New Testament Greek and the Bible. He held membership in the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. From 1958 on, he taught from his own mimeographed textbook, "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament for Beginners." One of his great dreams (unfulfilled) was to have this material-which he considered the best "tested" method of teaching Koine Greek-published.

Roberts died April 15, 1973, in the West Texas Medical Roberts, Jr.; and five sisters, Mrs. Mildred Shepherd, Mrs. Mary N. Hays, Mrs. Betty S. Blay, Mrs. Erie M. Clovis, and Mrs. Ann Hill.

Funeral service was held at the University Church of Christ in Abilene with Bob Douglas, College Church minister; J. D. Thomas, head of Abilene Christian University Bible Department; Dr. John Stevens, Abilene Christian University President; and Reuel Lemmons officiating. Burial was in Abilene, Texas, with interment in Elmwood Memorial Park.

-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, Pages 243-245

Directions To The Grave of J. W. Roberts

J. W. Roberts is buried in Abilene, Texas in the Elmwood Memorial Park. The cemetery lies on the southern outskirts of the city of Abilene. From the west side of Abilene on I-20 take exit 283a and head south on Hwy 83/277. Go about 7 miles south and exit off on Hwy 277 South. Travel a couple of miles on Hwy. 277. The address is 5750 U.S. Highway 277 S. Office Phone: 352-692-0655. See Map Of Cemetery Here. Also buried here are E.R. Harper, J.D. Thomas and Jimmy Mankin.

GPS Location
32°24'45.7"N 99°47'58.8"W
or D.d. 32.412690, -99.799652
Companion Gardens - B 2 Space 2

Delno Marie 1920-2007
J. W. 1918-1973

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