Home Call: Samuel E. Robinson
I recently received word that brother Samuel E. Robinson was called into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday afternoon. Sam, as he was most often called, was a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. He had a strong interest in the Great Commission and devoted much of his time to helping the cause of the Gospel by serving missionaries.
For 52 years Sam served as a director of Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc. , a missionary service organization that serves overseas missionaries commended from North American assemblies. For 24 of the 52 years, Sam served as President of the organization. It is worth noting that all of his service was on a volunteer basis. If you are not familiar with the work of this organization a brief history of CMML, written by Sam Robinson, is available on the CMML website.
Although Sam was a very capable businessman spending much of his career working for the American Bank Note Company in New York City, his passion was for the pastoral care of overseas missionaries. For many decades he spent countless hours counseling, shepherding, and encouraging the Lord’s workers—over the phone, in his office, and in his home.
I am very grateful that I personally had the opportunity to get to know Sam and his lovely wife, Ruth (who entered into the presence of the Lord in April of 2010). For the better part of 11 years (1994 – 2005) I had the privilege of working closely with Sam in the New Jersey offices of CMML. During that time I also fellowshipped at the same assembly as the Robinsons, and was often a guest in their household.
While numerous memories of brother Sam fill my thoughts, here is a small sampling of some of the more memorable:
- At the CMML office Sam was tirelessly dedicated to the gospel and was deeply passionate for shepherding the Lord’s servants. He was often first to the office in the morning– one had to rise very early to arrive before he did!
- At the assembly Sam was faithfully dedicated to the meetings of the church. One Lord’s Day morning Sam and his wife were conspicuously absent from the Lord’s Supper– after the meeting it was announced that overnight there was an apparent hostage situation in their neighbor’s home and the SWAT team had the entire area surrounded. Thankfully, the situation was a misunderstanding, there really were no hostages, and no one was hurt. Nevertheless, the story does illustrate brother Sam’s dedication to the meetings of the assembly– only the SWAT team could keep him away.
- In their home the Robinsons loved to show hospitality to all of the Lord’s people. Ruth was an excellent cook and Sam loved to discuss the things of the Lord. Because of Sam’s aversion to all things poultry Ruth often prepared her trademark pot roast. Without question the most savory pot roast I’ve ever tasted.
- One final memory: when my wife and I started to tell our friends and family that we were expecting our first child Sam was overjoyed for us… in fact, he was the only non-family member who actually broke down in tears of joy for us! I will never forget how excited he was for us.
Brother Robinson will be missed; however he has left behind a legacy of service, compassion, and dedication to the cause of Christ. Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to Timothy “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. Sam Robinson was one of those ‘faithful men.’
It is my prayer that I will follow Paul’s admonition to Timothy and pass on to another generation those things that I have learned from brother Sam. To God be the glory!
Information regarding funeral arraignments is available on the CMML website here.