Robinson, Asa Theron
1902 - 1903
The Queensland Conference’s fourth president was Canadian Asa T Robinson. Born 8 February 1850 in New Brunswick, Canada, Robinson became a Seventh-day Adventist in 1870. In 1876 he married Loretta, the twelfth child of a highly respected Adventist family. His father-in-law, William Farnsworth, was one of the earliest Adventists to accept and promote the seventh-day Sabbath.
As a young man Asa Robinson came under the mentorship of leading Adventist minister and evangelist, Stephen N Haskell. In 1882 Haskell persuaded Asa and Loretta to sell Adventist books door-to-door, and two years later he invited Asa and Loretta to assist him in pioneering city evangelism in Worcester, Massachusetts. Through her participation in this campaign, Loretta became the first female Bible instructor in Adventist history. Learning quickly and without formal training as a minister, Asa Robinson was ordained to the ministry in 1886.
Robinson showed early evidence of leadership qualities and administrative skills for in 1887 he was elected president of the New England Conference. In 1891 the Robinsons were asked to serve as missionaries in South Africa. Over a period of six years, Asa Robinson organised the first conference outside of North America, he reorganised semi-independent boards into departments of the conference, and he established missions within South Africa, e.g., Solusi in what is now Zimbabwe.
When invited to relocate to Australia (1898-1904), Robinson brought with him ideas about administrative structure that he had proven in South Africa. Robinson served as president of the Queensland Conference 1902-1903. Upon his return to the United States in 1904, Robinson served successively as president of three conferences: Nebraska, Colorado, and Southern New England. In 1921, aged seventy-one, Robinson accepted appointment as chaplain of the New England Sanitarium and his wife served by his side as spiritual counsellor to the patients. Aged eighty, Robinson retired to northern California. He died on 11 August 1949, just shy of his one-hundredth birthday.