Elder Robert T. Anderson died at his residence in Christian county, Ky., on the 8th of June, in the 63d year of his age.
He was born in Virginia, April 9th, 1792; was married in 1815; moved to Green county, Ky., in 1818; was baptized by Elder Wm. Warder in 1821, and became a member of Mt. Gilead Church, in Adair county, in 1828. Whilst he was a member of this church, and a resident of Adair county, he commenced preaching the gospel.
He removed to Russellville in 1830, and became the pastor of Pleasant Grove Church, eight miles south of Russellville, to which neighborhood he moved in 1831. In 1832 he took the pastoral care of Hopewell Church, in Robertson county, Tennessee, and in 1834 he became the pastor of Keysburg Church. These churches he attended until 1839, when he was called to the care of Hopkinsville Church, and in 1840 he moved to Christian county, and with Hopkinsville, had the care of Olivet and West Union Churches. Subsequently he resigned the care of Hopkinsville, and became the pastor of Salem.
He continued to preach to Salem for three or four years. During his ministerial labors in Christian and Caldwell counties, which were through a period of several years, he constituted and preached to Locust Grove Church for some time. He also constituted Pleasant Grove Church, in Caldwell county, of which he was pastor when ho died.
Elder Anderson, in addition to the service which he rendered to the churches of which he was pastor, labored arduously to extend the cause of Christ throughout a large extent of country which was destitute of the stated ministrations of the gospel. During the performance of which labor he supplied different churches for definite periods with preaching. And it has been
said, by some persons familiar with his history, that he did more to supply the destitute with preaching (and that, too, gratuitously) than any minister cotemporary with him in the Bethel Association. During the most of his ministerial career, he was engaged in teaching school, for which, by his attainments as well as his amiable disposition, he was pre-eminently qualified. He had connected with his school a department for the instruction of the deaf and dumb, and his mode of instructing such has been considered by persons of experience and sound judgment well adapted to secure success; but it was as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Elder Anderson was most useful.
Although at the time of his death he was only preaching as a pastor to Olivet, in Christian county, and Pleasant Grove, in Caldwell county, he was not an idler in the kingdom of Christ, but was always, when not confined by the necessary claims of his family and the duty he owed his school, actively engaged in traveling to and fro, and scattering the seeds of truth among the poor and destitute with a most unsparing and liberal hand. He was truly a most industrious and persevering minister of Jesus Christ. His labors, too, were for many years signally blessed of God. During the time he preached to Pleasant Grove Church, in Logan county, the church enjoyed much of revival influence, and several delightful and refreshing seasons were realized, during which upwards of three hundred were added to the church, and during the same years his labors were greatly blessed in the Hopewell Church, in Robertson county, Tenn., by the addition of about two hundred members. In addition to the foregoing, Elder Anderson labored uccessfully in many other places in the Bethel and adjoining Associations. Hopkinsville Church, of which he was once the pastor, realized great benefits from his services; and his industrious exertions to build up the cause there will long be remembered by many of the followers of Jesus Christ with the most devoted affection for him, and among none with whom he was associated during his life will his name be held in more lasting remembrance. At Pleasant Grove Church, in Caldwell county, he was eminently successful, and it is believed by his family that he hastened his death by exposing himself during a revival there last winter. Elder Anderson has been also most intimately associated with the
rise and progress of the Bethel Association. He was Clerk of the Association from 1838 until his death.
He ardently engaged in all the missionary and educational efforts of that body. His voice was always raised in the support of any measure calculated to advance the interest and elevate the character of the Association.
During his life he formed a very wide-spread acquaintance with members of the Baptist Church, especially in Kentucky and Tennessee, and no man ever mingled with his brethren under the influence of a spirit of warmer and more unaffected Christian courtesy than he did. He gave evidence, from the spirit which he uniformly exhibited, that he was a man of God; and he evidently enjoyed a large measure of God's Holy Spirit, and was preeminent for the equanimity of his feelings in the performance of all the duties of life. Immaterial, though gloomy and trying, the seasons through which he was called to pass might seem to others, yet to him each gloomy season and each trying event had a sunny side.
His physical frame was remarkably strong, and though in his sixty-third year, he looked as though he might live many years, and still be useful in the Church of Christ. But sometime last winter the church at Pleasant Grove enjoyed a most interesting revival. The meeting was continued for some weeks. The cause seemed to demand of him more than usual exertions. He preached continuously through several days. The weather being inclement, he took a severe cold, which continued for some weeks after the meeting ended, and finally terminated in neuralgia. This disease first affected his right arm, gradually moved to his head, and ultimately settled over his right eye, and terminated in apoplexy, of which he died on the 8th of June. We are thus particular in describing the disease of which he died, because a rumor went abroad that Elder Anderson's mind was affected. This is untrue. Although at times a great sufferer for upwards of three months, the native strength of his intellect remained unimpaired until the last; and he was always aware of his condition.
In conversation with his family and numerous friends, he frequently said he should not live long; said he believed it was all for the best; said he was convinced that his situation was such
that he would do no more good; that he was no longer able to do anything for bis family, or for the cause of Christ. Said that he felt that his labors with this world were closed, and that he was willing and ready to go. It is true, his whole nervous system was deranged by his disease, and at times he would become somewhat delirious -- frequently having two, and sometimes as many as three attacks of this kind in twenty-four hours, but at such times he knew his friends. These seasons were generally increased, both in number and violence, from company and conversation. He continued usually cheerful throughout his protracted sufferings. Thus peacefully and happy, after a laborious life of twenty-four years in the ministry, Elder Anderson passed into the spirit world; and though he has left a wife, children, grand-children, and numerous friends to mourn his loss, nevertheless they are not called to sorrow as those that have no hope. To him, no doubt, the Saviour will, at the last day, apply his own blessed words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," * * "enter thou into tho joy of thy Lord."
[From The Chrsitian Repository and Family Visitant, 1859, pp. 175-178. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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