Robert Shuler Endowed
with a good mind and sharp wit, Shuler was
an excellent extemporaneous speaker. He was
in demand as an evangelistic speaker throughout
the South. In addition, his great courage,
coupled with his conservative theology and
evangelistic fervor, prompted him to preach
with the altar call in view. Robert was born
August 4, 1880, in the foothills of the Blue
Ridge Mountains of Virginia. At the age of
nine, kneeling between his mother and his
uncle, who was the preacher in the "meetin'
house" at Comer's Rock, he received Christ
as his Lord and Saviour. His primary education
consisted of a three-month school where he
mastered the "McGuffey's Readers."
In 1897 he entered Emory and Henry College
as a sub-freshman and graduated in 1903. Two
years later he married Nelle Reeves, and the
same year he entered the Holston Conference
of the Methodist Church.
Robert became pastor of the
Trinity Methodist Church of Los Angeles In
1920, a position he occupied until his death.
He began with a depleted congregation and
saw it grow to five thousand members in the
1930s. The basis for growth was a dynamic
pulpit ministry in which he thundered against
the sin he saw around him. In 1929 he was
given a radio station which was housed in
the tower of his church. It became a strong
voice against crime and corruption in southern
The growth of Shuler's
church paralleled the growth of the population
on the West Coast with its "rootless"
people from all parts of America. These masses
found in him a "champion of the common
man," for Shuler's cry against corruption
was the complaint of the masses. The politicians
hated Shuler and tried every means to silence
his preaching. His life was threatened, his
church was bombed, he was sued and finally
put in jail.
Robert Shuler ran for
United States Senator on the Probibition Ticket
in 1932 and lost by only fifty thousand votes.
His writings included: The Methodist Challenge,
What New Doctrine Is This?, Some Dogs I Have
Known, and I Met Them on the Trail.
Three of his sons followed him in the ministry.