Reuben “Uncle Bud” Robinson (1860-1942) was born in a log cabin in the primitive mountain region of Tennessee. When he was 16, his father died, and his mother sold what little they had and moved to Texas. After an unsuccessful endeavor as a sharecropper, Bud hired out as a ranch hand. In August of 1880, during a camp meeting, he felt deep conviction for his sin and received Christ as his Saviour and was gloriously saved. That same night, while lying under the wagon with his hat on a mesquite stump for a pillow, the Lord called him to preach.
Although he had no education and stuttered so badly that he could hardly tell his name, yet in the first year of his ministry he saw about 300 conversions in his meetings. On January 10, 1893, he married Miss Sallie Harper at Georgetown, Texas. For two years he served the Hubbard circuit, but the remaining 60 years of his ministry were given to evangelism. While lacking formal education, Uncle Bud had a wisdom all of his own. It was an unusual insight into the purpose for the redeemed man here on earth, a holy walk, day by day.
His philosophy is seen in the following prayer he prayed each morning: “O Lord, give me a backbone as big as a sawlog, and ribs like sleepers under the church floor. Put iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches, and hang a wagon load of determination in the gable end of my soul. And help me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I have a vision, and bit him as long as I have a tooth, and then gum him till I die! Amen!”
During his long ministry, it is estimated that Uncle Bud traveled over 2,000,000 miles, preached over 33,000 sermons, witnessed more than 100,000 conversions, personally gave more than $85,000.00 in helping young people with their Christian education, secured over 53,000 subscriptions to his church paper The Herald of Holiness, and wrote 14 books and sold more than 500,000 copies.
In spite of his handicaps and physical ailments, speech impediment and lack of education, he made the Who’s Who of California. From Boston to Los Angeles, thousands thronged to hear him, charmed by his homespun wit and his unique presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His life was one of activity, and his will to his dying hour was to serve his Lord. He went to be with the Lord on November 2, 1942.
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