February 22, 1880 - July 1, 1925
|Robert O. Randle was born in Mansfield, La., February 22, 1880, and died in the city of New Orleans, La., July 11, 1925. He was the son of Rev. Robert Randle, an honored member of the Louisiana Conference, and Mrs. Pauline Glass Randle. From the above it will be seen that Brother Randle was still a young man, just in the prime of life, and to those who knew and loved him it seemed that the future held for him so much of promise and usefulness.
He was born in a religious home and grew up in a religious atmosphere, and to the day of his death he was true to the teaching and ideals of the home in which he was reared. He knew the meaning of discouragement and what it was to face great difficulties. He knew the value of hard work, and his whole life was one continued struggle to be something in life and to fill a real place in the world. He had just come to the place where he could realize many of his hopes and reap the reward of his years of effort. But just when the clouds were lifting, the horizon was brightening, and the path of life was getting a little easier, death came and called him away from it all. His death was a shock, not only to the city in which he lived, but also to the entire State to which he had contributed so much. Men in the church and out of it asked the writer again and again, “Why would not God let Mr. Randle live, when he was so good and so noble?” I cannot answer now, but some day we shall understand. Those of us who were closely associated with him realize how impossible it is to put on paper just how we feel and with what esteem we regarded him. But as one who loved him as I loved few men, I feel that there are some things that I must say.
Brother Randle was a man. And when I have said that, I have said the biggest and best thing ‘I know. He was a man of high ideals and lofty purposes. He did not know how to de a mean thing or take advantage of another. It was impossible for him to stoop to that which was low and base. He could have died a rich man if he had been willing to sell his manhood for money. But for him there was just one way, the way of right and honor. He was a man of clean mind and pure heart. In a rather long acquaintance, stretching over a period of twenty years, I never knew him to give expression to an impure thought or unholy desire. His very language was chaste and refined. He was a manly man.
Brother Randle was a friend. He knew how to be a friend, and found joy and delight in helping those who needed his help. I never had a better friend or one whose friendship I valued more highly. He was to me a brother beloved and my life is richer and better for having known him. What a great thing it is to be a friend; to know how to be a friend; to be willing to go out of your way, if in doing so you can make life brighter and easier for some one. Brother Randle was a real friend. When with him you felt that you were in the presence of one whom you could trust and one who trusted you; one whose heart was too big and noble to betray any confidence or take advantage of any situation. Would that we had more like him in the world today!
Brother Randle was a Christian. Yes, knowing him as I did and having been permitted to fathom the very depths of his being, I can say and do not hesitate to say that Robert 0. Randle was a Christian of the highest type. He was not demonstrative in the least. His was a quiet and reserved nature, especially when talking about himself. In every particular his life rang true, and no one could know him inti-mately without believing in his Christianity.
He loved the church and all for which the church stood. I have never known a man more devoted to the church than was Brother Randle. He was never so busy with his own affairs that he could not look after the needs of the church or meet any demand that the church made upon him. He appreciated the value of the church, and gave of his best to make it a real force for righteousness in the com-munity. In return, the church appreciated and honored him. He was president of the official board of the First Methodist Church in Monroe for years, and gave up that position only because he felt that others should share that responsibility. He was a member of every district and Annual Conference for the past fifteen years. He was a member of the last three General Conferences and also of the called session that met in Chattanooga last year. He was a member of the Conference and General Boards of Church Extension. He was a member of the Hospital Board and also a member of the Board of Directors of the Methodist Orphanage at Ruston, La. Thus we see that the church appreciated Brother Randle and honored him with her highest offices. We shall miss him at our Annual Conferences, where his wise counsel and safe judgment were so greatly valued. We shall miss him in the councils of the church at large, to whose call he never failed to respond. While we feel that the church needed him, and could ill afford to lose a man of such noble character, yet we bow in submission to the God whom he served and whose wisdom he never doubted.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1925, Pages 113-115, by F. M. Freeman|