December 20, 1883 - March 1, 1949
|Rev. William F. Roberts was born December 20, 1583 in Bewelcome, Miss, a son of Thomas Jefferson Roberts and Margaret Wilkinson Roberts. He was the seventh of twelve children.
At the age of fourteen he moved with the family to Greensburg, La., where he attended Johnson Collegiate Institute, which was founded and operated by his uncle Nathan Roberts and his older brother, Henry Roberts. Later Rev. Paul M. Brown was in charge of the school. At the age of nineteen he moved with the family to Jena, La., where he completed his preparatory schooling at the Jena High School while R. E. Bobbitt was principal.
He attended Millsaps college, Jackson, Miss. for a time and then came to Shreveport, La. where he took his degree at Centenary College.
On July 5, 1908 he was married to Miss Blanche Bradford, a mem-ber of a prominent Methodist family of Jena, La. The ceremony was performed in Nolley Memorial Methodist Church, Jena. To this union the following children were born: Marion L, Edgar Paul Margie, Erin, Lena Blanche, Willian F., Jr., Jane Elizabeth (deceased), and Bob-Me.
At an early age he united with the Methodist Church, and while a very young man, he answered “the call to preach,” and was licensed at the Alexandria District Conference in Bunkie, La. in May 1903, and soon afterwards he was admitted on trial in the Louisiana Annual Conference, and was ordained Deacon in 1910 and Elder in 1924.
His first pastorate was Sanders Chapel in the Nebo community a few miles south of Jena. He served in different parts of the state and retired from the active ministry in November 1945. His last charge was Nolley Memorial Church, Jena, the church that gave him to the ministry, where he spent four successful years, as: pastor of relatives and friends, who had known and loved him down through the years.
At times he would teach in the high schools where he lived, and was regarded as a most successful teacher.
He was translated to his heavenly home from his flower garden at his home in Jena, in the afternoon of March 1, 1949. He was laid to rest among friends in Nolley Memorial cemetery in Jena, La., services being conducted by his pastor, Rev. John H. Sewell and his district superintendent, Rev. Jolly B. Harper, assisted by R. R. Branton, John Shearer Enos Breithaupt, D. B. Boddie. Other ministers present were R. W. Vaughan, Louis Hoffpauir, C. B. White, Ralph Cain, W. D. Kleinschmidt, Dan F. Anders, Fred S. Flurry and A. T. Law.
He is survived by his wife, seven children, eight grand children, one sister, Mrs. W. P. Fort, Shreveport, La., several ‘nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
He was one of God’s noblemen, and is missed by many friends, who looked upon him as the best friend that they had ever had. He was a friend to everyone—the poor, the rich, the young, the old, and was a lover of folks.
He was my friend and one whom I loved dearly, and I always enjoyed being with him. We have been together in joy and sorrow, in revivals, in school and at borne. I loved him and miss him.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 114-115, 1949 by D. B.Boddie.|