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John Emerson Roberts

John Emerson Roberts was born in 1853 in Fredonia, Ohio, the son of a Baptist minister.  His principal and most important edication was received at Shurtleff College in Upper Alton, Ill., from which institution he was graduated in 1878 with the degree of D.D.  His reputation for eloquence and ability, already won, soon secured him a position with the Baptist Church in Carrollton, Ill., where he remained until 1881.  He then accepted a call from the First Baptist Church of Kansas City, and here he gained new laurels by his eloquence.  In 1884 he found that he could no longer reconcile himself to orthodox teachings, and resigning his pastorate, accepted a call from a Unitarian Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.

   In 1887 he returned to Kansas City to take charge of All Souls' Unitarian Church, and in this position it seemed that he had reached the zenith of his fame.

     But even the Unitarian Church was too narrow for his soaring thought, and in 1897 he resigned, and, launching forth on bold new lines, organized the Church of This World.  It has been said "there is no other church like it in this world."  It has no organization, no officers, and he lectures, rather than sermonizes.

     Dr. Roberts married Miss Edith Wilson and they have two children.
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