ROBERTA (WHEELER) HARTER
Mariam Roberta (Wheeler) Harter was born to Garland Parris Wheeler and Mariam Francis (Hawkins) Wheeler on June 16, 1950 at her home in Crab Orchard, West Virginia.
There were six children in the Wheeler family. Roberta's siblings are Wayne Gale Wheeler born June 4, 1948 (Died in November 2002 with a massive heart attack); Darrell Gene Wheeler was born on September 7, 1952 (Died April 8, 1973 - saved a girl's life by giving her his life preserve jacket and wihle drowning, he was speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance); Garland Parris Wheeler, Jr (known as "Junior") was born October 26, 1954, David Lee Wheeler was born June 19, 1956, and then Ralph Anderson Wheeler (known as Ronnie) was born September 29, 1958.
The Wheelers relocated to MacArthur, West Virginia, which is located near Beckley, West Virginia.
Roberta's father was a coal miner and her mother sang in the local church. They attended the MacArthur Church of God under the pastoralship of Rev. Otis Clyburn.
In 1963, the Wheelers moved to Columbus, Ohio to seek better employment. It was at her home in Columbus, Ohio where Roberta gave her life to Jesus Christ on December 1, 1963. In Columbus, the Wheeler family attended the Frebis Avenue Church of God where T. A. Perkins served as pastor.
In 1966, the family moved to Darbyville, Ohio where they purchased their home. Six months, later the family went to Grand Rapids, Michigan to fulfill an assignment where Roberta's father worked as a Heating & A/C installer. After completing their obligation in Grand Rapids, the family returned to their home in Darbyville.
Since Columbus was a greater distance to travel than Circleville, in 1967, the Wheeler family began attending the Circleville Church of God in Circleville, Ohio where Rev. R. J. Varnell was the pastor.
Roberta was sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost in July 1967 at the Circleville Church of God located on Nicholas Drive in Circleville, Ohio.
Roberta, throughout her teenage years, always felt that she would not be just an ordinary church lady, but rather that she would be somehow involved in some aspect of ministry.
Roberta and her younger brother, Darrell Gene Wheeler, loved God with all their hearts. The Spirit of God would often come upon Darrell as a young teenage boy and he would shout and praise God. Although he could hardly carry a tune, one Sunday in the church service, Darrell stood to his feet and began singing beautifully in other tongues. The glory of the Lord filled the church.
One Sunday morning, due to the winter weather conditions, the Wheelers were unable to attend the Circleville Church of God. Roberta and Darrell decided to attend the little Darbydale Church of the Nazarene. They enjoyed the Sunday School class and afterward, participated in the Morning Worship Service as well. All of a sudden, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Darrell and he began speaking in other tongues. Before they realized it, an usher escorted Roberta and Darrell to the door and requested that they leave the service. (Since the posting of this web site, someone has contacted Roberta and gave their apology for this incident. Roberta has no resentment whatsoever.)
The Church of the Nazarene came out of the great Holiness Movement of the 19th Century, however, they did not accept the Pentecostal blessing although many other holiness churches did. In fact, their original name was the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. When the Pentecostal Movement started, the Church of the Nazarene deleted the word Pentecostal from their name because they did not wish to be associated with Pentecostals.