The Emancipation of Robert Sadler By Robert Sadler with Marie Chapian
Bethany House Publishers-1975, 2012
American slavery officially ended at the close of the Civil War. Despite this well-known fact, however the practice continued on for many years in isolated places in the South where Jim Crow law, the Klan, and the oppressive culture protected its secret existence. Robert Sadler was a courageous man who lived through this difficult reality. Unbelievably, he was a plantation slave in the 1900s, well after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. After many years of shame and silence about this part of his past, in the latter part of his life he endeavored to have his story written down.
This amazing and inspiring tale chronicles Sadler’s humble beginnings as a tongue-tied youth sold by a family member at the tender age of five, and his triumphant end as a world traveled minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reader sees the darkness and evil of the institution of slavery through his tender eyes, and the reality of what he and many of our ancestors endured is only made bearable by the knowledge that freedom eventually came.
Kept in ignorance of the outside world and without resources or immediate help, God himself was a slave’s only hope. Once Sadler left the plantation that he practically grew up on, the reader follows him on a spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical healing path that eventually leads him to his Creator and the great love and call God himself placed on this humble man’s life.
Though Sadler does become a preacher, he was not like many we have ever known. He was a man of great sacrificial love, unbelievable compassion and insight, and a faith that worked miracles in the lives of ragged and tired individuals from all walks of life. He did not seek fame, power, or glory, but only to reach out to those around him in tenderness and unquenchable faith.
By the book’s end you may find you have fallen in love with this man’s kind and stout heart, and if you’re like this reader, you will want to be just like him. His life is worthy of the telling, and his story is the type that can and will change your mind, your heart, and your life.
Originally reviewed for the Chattanooga News Chronicle by Tabi Upton-2/27/14.