Benjamin Perry Robertson was outstanding preacher and educatorPublished 10:00pm Monday, June 9, 2014
Benjamin Perry Robertson, the son of William Davis and Marina Westmoreland Robertson, was born in the family home on the Old State Road near Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, on January 22, 1863.
He attended the Robertson public school near his home during its 3-month sessions each year. He became a church member at age 18 and moved to Greer to attend school, then entered Judson College at Hendersonville, N.C.
While attending Judson, he felt the call of God to preach the Gospel and began preaching and teaching among the mountain people of the Dark Corner. He served as supply pastor at North Fork and Glassy Mountain Baptist Churches and taught sessions at upper Greenville County and Saluda schools during his vacation periods.
He preached a farewell sermon at North Fork in 1989 and entered the Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Ky. While there, he maintained a close association with the North Greenville Baptist Association and, along with other like-minded supporters of Christian education, helped to establish North Greenville High School, the forerunner of present day North Greenville University.
In the annual meeting of the association on October 14, 1891, Dr. M.L. West, Chairman of the Committee on Christian Education, had given his report and delivered a compassionate speech on the great need for it throughout the association. At the close of his speech, Benjamin Perry Robertson was granted the privilege to speak to Dr. West’s report and to offer a resolution, relative to articles for establishing a Christian school at Tigerville.
The resolution contained five articles covering: the establishment of a nine-member board of trustees; trustees assuming the responsibility for the school’s welfare; trustees would be under the control of the association; the school’s curriculum should be sufficient to prepare students for college; and special emphasis would be placed on the teaching of the Word of God.
Upon graduation from the Seminary in June, 1892, he was called as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Gaffney, S.C., and served there for eight years.
During his ministry, he pastured twenty-three churches, including the First Baptist Church of New Orleans and Second Baptist Church of Atlanta.
While in New Orleans he helped establish the Baptist Bible Institute, which later developed into the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was also instrumental in the founding of Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C., and a religious teachers college in Washington, DC, where he served as its first president.
Robertson was married twice. First, to Mary Ida Osborne of Spartanburg, who died in 1909, and was buried in Gaffney. Secondly, to Nannie Linnie Davis of Atlanta.
He died on January 7, 1949, at age eighty-five at his home near Greensboro, N.C., and was buried with his first wife in Gaffney.