The Baldwin Ledger, 4 Feb. 1910


Rev. R. B. Kester, D.D. the New Pastor of the M. E. Church Begins his Work – An old Baker Boy.


Next Sunday the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Baldwin receives its new pastor, Rev. R. B. Kester, who comes here from Evanston, Ill.


He is a native of Ashland, Pa., and is of Methodist parentage, his father being a Methodist minister. A bronze tablet to his father's memory has been erected in the main hall of the Baker U. Library building.


Dr. Kester graduated from Baker in 1886 and while a student here was always a leader in the student activities. There are still many people here who remember him and will gladly welcome his return. After graduation he traveled quite extensively in Europe. On his return he entered Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston where he received his degree in 1892. His first appointment was Wastington Park M. E. church where he remained four years and while her $76,000 was raised towards a new church, one of the large donors being Mr. Crain Wilson, a brother of Mrs. S. T. Counts of this city. This church is now the well known St. James church of which Dr. Quayle was pastor before becoming a bishop.


In 1896 he became pastor of the State Street Church, where he also remained four years. A sale of this property was effected making possible the erection of the present St. Andrews or Wooley Memorial church on a more favorable location.


In November 1900 he took the Andrew Park church remaining three years during which time $12,000 of a church debt was liquidated. During the past 7 years he has had the Hemenway M. E. church at Evanston the seat of the great Northwestern University.


It is of much interest to Baldwin people to know that a word spoken by Mrs. J. M. Sullivan of this city decided Dr. Kester's choice of a life's work. This conversation was held at a church social. Speaking of that time in a conversation with a friend, Dr. Kester said: "I have believed in church socials more every since and Mrs. Sullivan's timely word assured me that no one can tell just what destinies hang on our daily speech."


The coming of Dr. Kester to Baldwin marks a new epoch in the church history of Baldwin. It is the first time she has ever had a transfer. She will pay a salary equal to that of any church in the Conference and Dr. Kester will be the first alumnus of the college to return to Baldwin as pastor of the church.


Dr. Kester is a hustler. He is a tireless worker. He refuses to allow any year to pass without showing some very material advancement. He is an earnest speaker and a close student of men and events. He has met with great success in all his pastorates. A strong element in his success as pastor has been his sociability. Dr. John Punton of Kansas City who lectured here a short time since says Baldwin is getting the big end of the bargain.


Dr. Kester has a wife and three children who with him will receive a most hearty welcome from the entire community.

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