Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PAINE, Robert, M.E. bishop, born in Pierson county, North Carolina, 12 November, 1799 ; died in Aberdeen, Mississippi, 20 October, 1882. On 9 October, 1817, he united with the Methodist church, and began to preach at once as a licentiate. He was ordained deacon in 1821 and elder in 1823. For three years he was presiding elder of the Nashville district, and in 1830 he was elected president of La Grange college, Alabama, which office he filled for sixteen years. He was several times a member of the conference of his church, and in 1844 he led the delegation. In that year he was a leader in the debates that preceded the division of the church. He was chairman of the committee of nine that reported the plan of separation, of a committee to draw up a declaration of the intention of the delegates of the southern states, and a member of the Louisville convention in 1845, which organized the Methodist Episcopal church, south, and he exerted a powerful influence in favor of the claims of the southern church to a division of the property. In 1846, at the first general conference of the new body in Petersburg, Virginia, he was elected bishop. During the civil war his church prosecuted its work under great embarrassment and increasing poverty, during which the energy and hopefulness of Bishop Paine were a constant inspiration. Subsequently it rose above its embarrassment, and his contemporaries attributed this in large measure to his efforts. He was greatly interested in missions. Bishop Paine received the degree of A. M. from the University of Nashville, and that of D. D. from Wesleyan university in 1842. He published "The Life and Times of Bishop McKendree" (2 vols., 1859), which is essential to any that wish to study that period in the history of the Methodist church. His only other publication of importance was a small controversial work against Hopkinsianism.
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