Populist Saints: B. T. and Ellen Roberts and the First Free Methodists
Publish Date: 2006-10-05
Author: Howard A. Snyder
Benjamin Titus Roberts (18231893) is best known for founding the Free Methodist Church in 1860 after his expulsion from the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was also an outspoken voice for such reform causes as the abolition of slavery, women in ministry, and farmers rights so much so that he played a role in the rise of the Populist Movement. Ellen Stowe Roberts (18251908), scion of a prominent Methodist family, shared her husbands passion for holiness, for speaking good news to the poor, and for urban ministry.
Popular Saints warmly tells the story of B. T. and Ellen Robertss lives, recounting their critique of powerful elites and illuminating the crisis of Methodism that gave rise to the Free Methodist Church. Howard Snyders detailed biography views key nineteenth-century currents and events such as abolitionism, revivalism, womens rights, the Civil War, and the expansion of railroads through the lives of these two extraordinary figures, who taught a holy populism of simplicity, justice for the common people, and radical discipleship.