Howell, Robert Boyte Crawford, Dd
Howell, Robert Boyte Crawford, D.D.
a prominent Baptist preacher in Tennessee, was born in Wayne County, North Carolina, March 10, 1801. He pursued his literary and theological studies in Columbian College, also the study of medicine, but without intending its practice. With this preparation, he entered upon the duties of the ministry in the Episcopal Church, of which his family were communicants; but, quite unexpectedly to his friends, he soon joined the Baptists, traveling fourteen miles to reach the nearest Baptist church for this purpose, Feb. 6,1821. Five days afterwards he received license to preach the doctrines of the Baptist Church. At Washington he performed, in connection with his theological studies, the duties of a city missionary, and for a year after the completion of his course he was a missionary in Virginia. He then accepted a call to the pastorate of the Cumberland Street Baptist Church in Norfolk. He was ordained Jan. 27,1827. A revival immediately followed, as the fruits of which he baptized about 200 within a few months. His labors continued here for eight years. In 1834 he removed to Nashville, Tenn. The First Baptist Church had been dispersed by the Rev. Alexander Campbell and his disciples, but under Mr. Howell's labors it was revived and built up. He established, and for some time edited a religious newspaper. He exerted more influence in the support of missions than any other minister of the denomination in Tennessee. After the organization of the Southern Baptist Convention, he was elected and re- elected its president. In 1850 he removed to Richmond, Va., where, in addition to the charge of a church, he was a trustee of Richmond College, and of the Richmond Female Institute, a member of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission, Publication, and Sunday- school Boards, and of the Virginia Baptist Mission and Educational Board. In 1857 he yielded to an urgent call to reoccupy his former field of labor in Nashville. There, besides efficiently promoting all the State Baptist organizations, he was, by appointment of the Legislature, a trustee of the Institution for the Blind, and in other educational trusts. His labors were arduous; in addition to which, he performed a considerable amount of literary work, including some of his most useful books. He died April 5,1868, greatly honored and lamented. Dr. Howell was a man of commanding presence and dignified address, warm and genial in his manners. His labors as a preacher of the Gospel were abundant and successful, and some of his published works had a wide circulation in this country, and were republished in England. He was the author of Evils of Infant Baptism — The Cross: — The Covenants — The Early Baptists of Virginia On Communion — The Deaconship — The Way of Salvation. He left several works in manuscript, among them, "The Christology of the Pentateuch," an enlargement of "The Covenants," and "The Family." He was also a frequent contributor to the periodicals of his Church. (L. E. S.)