Bud Robinson's Conflict at Camp Meeting

Published Apr 28, 2010
Bud Robinson's Conflict at Camp Meeting

A Methodist circuit rider rode up to the Texas ranch where Reuben "Bud" Robinson worked. Bud's master was a Universalist--one who taught that all men would be saved no matter how badly they behaved in this world. Bud adopted Universalism and bad behavior. The Methodist said he was staying for the night, ordered Bud to take care of his horse, and took command of the dinner table that evening by praying at the start of the meal and reading Scripture afterward. The words made a tremendous impact on the entire household. Bud felt as if Jesus Christ had come to the frontier. The minister's fervent prayers cut the young man's heart to the core. The circuit rider promised to return in a month.

The next month, he told Bud to come to camp-meeting. Bud obeyed. He already knew there was something different about Christians and wanted it. His dad had been an alcoholic, so the family lived meanly, but Bud had once spent a night in a Christian home and saw the difference. He had heard a lot of cussing and seen a lot of fights at home whereas the Christian home was a model of peace. Although Bud's mom was a Christian, she did not know how to live the Christian life. She was an example of determination, however, raising thirteen kids herself after the dad died. Which was why young Bud was working.

He had reached the third grade by the time he was eighteen, and barely remembered a thing he had learned in school. Part of the problem was that he was an epileptic. And the man who would preach over 30,000 sermons in his life, stuttered uncontrollably. His body was subject to paralysis and his arms dislocated easily. As Basil Miller noted, "His entire assets were a praying mother."

At camp meeting, Bud was invited to give his life to Christ. Bud wrestled with the invitation. One moment he thought he'd go forward because of Jesus; the next he vowed mentally to shoot the first man who talked to him about Christ. Jesus urged him forward while Satan turned his feet to lead. Christ won. Bud went forward, confessed his sin and was as "happy as a pig in the sunshine." He was baptized with a basin of water poured over his head. His conversion was on this day, August 11, 1880.

Immediately he began telling others about Christ. He stuttered so bad, no one could understand him. Despite this drawback, he felt God was calling him to preach. A Methodist committee rejected his request for a license, but one of the members urged the others to reconsider and they reversed their decision. The first time Bud preached, men gathered to mock his garbled efforts, howling and slapping their knees. Suddenly the Spirit set Bud's tongue free and he spoke the gospel as distinctly as any other man. Several mockers got saved.

Bud vowed to make a man of himself or die trying. The first twenty years of his Christian life were years of desperate struggle and intense pain as spasms dislocated his arms; but with the help of his wife, Sally, he learned to read and gradually his speech improved. God used Bud to bring thousands of souls into the kingdom of heaven. He became a leading evangelist of the young Nazarene Church and wrote and published a million and a half words in faith journals.


  1. Miller, Basil. Bud Robinson; miracle of grace. Kansas City, Missouri: Beacon Hill Press, 1947.

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