Roberts, John Wright
Roberts, John Wright, missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church for Africa, was born of colored parents at Petersburg, Va., and was converted and joined the Church while in the United States. He early emigrated to Liberia, where he was admitted among the missionaries. The Liberia Conference elected him to elder's orders in 1841, and in the same year he came to the United States and was ordained. In 1866 he was elected to the office of missionary bishop, and was ordained in St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, June 20, 1866. He left for Liberia June 25. From that time on he labored faithfully for the edification and enlargement of the Church in the republic of Liberia and the adjacent territory. He died Jan. 30, 1875. Bishop Roberts was endowed with excellent mental gifts, which, under the circumstances of his early condition, were exceedingly well trained. He was a gentleman by nature and culture, a Christian in faith and life. See Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s.v.