Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Robert Moffett
Those who personally know the author of these sermons, and who have enjoyed the pleasure of his acquaintance and the blessings of his ministry and work, will attach, perhaps, little value to a brief biographical sketch written by another. The best biography is that written by himself in their hearts, and on the great religious movement of which his work has been a conspicuous and important part.
It matters much less where, geographically, a man comes into the world, than how he comes into its life as a living force, or what lie does and becomes in it. Heredity and environment condition his character and power. Robert Moffett was born in Laporte County, Ind., November 9th, 1835, the youngest of the three sons of Garner and Mary J. B. Moffett, who moved to Indiana in 1831 from Washington Co., Va. In 1836 the family moved to Cherry Grove, Carroll Co., Ill., and there, amid a deeply religious and well cultured community, Robert grew into manhood. Garner Moffett was a man of prominence and influence throughout and beyond the limits of his county, and was held in high esteem for his character and usefulness. He was a pioneer among the Disciples of northern Illinois, and, though a farmer, was a preacher of no mean ability, and was influential in laying the foundations and caring for the churches of that region. His wife was a woman of sterling virtues and of devoted religious character, a mother in Israel, whose influence and example left an abiding impression upon the church and community. From this parentage Robert received the priceless inheritance of a healthy physical organization, a strong and well-balanced mental constitution, and a religious and intellectual training, in which were laid the foundations of his strong character and useful life.
The year 1854 Robert spent in preparatory studies at Hiram, Ohio, and graduated from Bethany College, W. Va., in the class of 1859, having sat four years at the feet of the Sage of Bethany. Soon after graduation he married Miss Lucy A. Green, of Summit, County, Ohio, a daughter of the late venerable Almon B. Green, who, throughout his entire ministry, has been a helpmate worthy of a crown of honor among women. Of their union nine children were born, six of whom have passed into that rest that awaits the awakening to the endless life.
He began preaching while yet a student at Bethany College and was there ordained to the ministry in 1859. He spent nearly a year evangelizing in northwestern Illinois, and in June, 1860, settled with the church in Wooster, Ohio, as pastor, where he remained nearly five years. In January, 1865, he was called to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where he filled a successful ministry of five years, when he was appointed Corresponding Secretary of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society. In May, 1870, he went to Bedford, Ohio, where he preached three years in connection with his work as Corresponding Secretary. In 1875 he moved to Cleveland, where he still resides. In October, 1882, he was made Corresponding Secretary of the American Christian Missionary Society, filling the office till 1892, continuing, in 1893, as assistant, spending the fall of '93 and spring of '94 evangelizing, mostly in Canada. August, '94, to June, '95 he was assistant Secretary of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society, when he was again chosen Corresponding Secretary, retiring, finally, in July, '99, after a continued service in the Society work of nearly thirty years, having successfully and faithfully filled every position into which he has been called, and retaining the confidence and the affection of his brethren to the end of his long service. His physical power of endurance, his persevering industry, his evenly balanced mind and temperament, giving him quick insight into men and things, his large common sense, and his faithful devotion to duty have made him an invaluable counsellor and worker for the Societies and the churches.
As a preacher, he is strongly affirmative, addressing both the mind and the heart. He has large sympathy, fine imagination, strong and well trained logical powers and a vocabulary of chaste, and vigorous Anglo-Saxon words; and though simple in style, there are times when he carries his audience through grand marches and sublime flights of eloquence. A Baptist minister, who heard him frequently, said to the writer, "In listening to his theme, we forget the man", a compliment, indeed.
-Seeking The Old Paths, And Other Sermons By Robert Moffett, Biographical Sketch By John R. Gaff A.M. c.1899, pages x-xii.
Robert Moffett was born in Laporte County, Indiana on November 9, 1835. He is the youngest of tthe three sons of Garner Moffett and Mary J.B. Moffett, who came from Washington County, Va., in 1833. In 1836, the family moved to Cherry Grove, Carroll County, Ill. Here, amidst the sweet and greatening influences of a highly cultured and truly religious country home, Robert Moffett grew to manhood; and here the foundations of his strong character and of his active and useful life were laid. the year 1854 he spent in preparatory studies at Hiram, O. He graduated at Bethany College, Bethany, West Va., in the class of 1859. Soon after graduating, he married Miss Luch A. Green, of Summit County, O., a daughter of the now venerable A.B. Green.
He began preaching while yet a student at Bethany, and was ordained to the ministry there in 1859. His first pastoral charge was at Wooster, O. where he settled in June 1860, and where he remained nearly five years. In January 1865, he was called to Mount Vernon, O.; and there he continued in a successful ministry for five years, when he was appointed Cor. Sec. of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society. In May, 1870, he went to Bedford, O., where he preached during three years, in connection with his work as a Cor. Sec. In 1875, he moved to Cleveland, O., where he still resides. In October, 1882, he was appointed Cor. Sec. of the General Christian Missionary Convention. This position he still holds, in connection with the Corresponding Secretaryship of the O.C.M.C. The former position he has held for fourteen years, and the latter for two. His practical common sense, persevering industry, and organizing ability, have rendered him eminently successful in this difficult field of labor.
As a preacher, Mr. Moffett is strongly affirmative, but never dogmatic. He has large sympathy, fine imagination, strong and well trained logical powers. He carefully and thoroughly prepares his addresses, but delivers them without manuscript. In style he is direct and simple, addressing both the understanding and the heart; but there are themes and times in which he rises to sublime flights, carrying his audience, through a grand march, to a lofty vision of thought or beauty.
He is yet in the strength of his manhood, and in the prime of his life. He has a body that, notwithstanding a lameness in one leg, which compels the use of a crutch, shows healthy vital organs, and promises many years of usefulness and power.
-The Disciple Of Christ, ed. S.M. Jefferson, Vol.1 No. 6, March 15, 1884, p.177
Directions To The Grave Of Robert Moffett
From Akron: Robert Moffett is buried in Cleveland, Ohio in the Lake View Cemetery. It is located in the East Central part of downtown Cleveland. Traveling on I-77 (main interstate leading North from Akron) go to downtown Cleveland to its end. Take I-90 north to Exit 173b. Turn right and take the first street to the right, E. 30th St. Go one block and turn left on Hwy. 20 (Euclid Ave.) Continue heading east on Euclid about 4 miles. The cemetery will be on your right. Click On the map of the cemetery showing the grave of Robert Moffett Here! While in the cemetery be sure to also visit the grave of President James A. Garfield, a minister among churches of Christ as well president of the United States of America.
From Youngstown: Robert Moffett is buried in Cleveland, Ohio in the Lake View Cemetery. Take Hwy. 422 into Cleveland. Take I-271 north to Exit 34 (Mayfield Heights Rd. Hwy. 322) and turn left (west). Go about 7 1/2 miles through Lyndhurst and Cleveland Heights and the cemetery will be on your right. Click On the map of the cemetery showing the grave of Robert Moffett Here! While in the cemetery be sure to also visit the grave of President James A. Garfield, a minister among churches of Christ as well president of the United States of America.
Lake View Cemetery Association