His Early Years
Roy Phillip Montgomery was born at Marshall Town, Iowa, December 9, 1883. He was the oldest of his three brothers, Rupert, Claude, and Earl, who were born after the family moved to Nebraska. The Montgomery family moved to Missouri while the boys were still young. As a young man, in the year 1904, Roy entered the school at Keene, then known as the Keene Industrial Academy. He graduated in 1907, and immediately entered the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving in Oklahoma. By special request he taught the church school in Oklahoma City his second year, and then again gave his full time to the ministry, entering into a series of meetings with Elder David Voth in Newkirk, Oklahoma. It was here that he met Nellie Korns, to whom he was married March 9, 1909, at Newkirk. Together the Montgomerys had three children, Leora, Marvin, and Phyllis. For over fifty-six years they gave their lives together in the service of the Lord. At the Oklahoma camp meeting in the summer of 1910 they offered their services to the mission board of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and were sent to the Seminary in Washington, D. C. for special training preparatory to going overseas.
In 1911 they sailed for Singapore, and a little later to the Malay States. C. F. Jones, for many years a missionary to the South Seas, was forced to give up his work due to sickness, and Elder Montgomery was asked to direct it until Elder F. A. Detamore could arrive from the United States to take over this work. Then Elder Montgomery was sent to Sandakan, Borneo to open up the mission work there. While on furlough in 1916 it was found that heart trouble would keep him from returning to the mission field, as they so much desired to do.
Years of Service
Elder Montgomery returned to pastoral work in Oklahoma for four years. In 1920 he was asked to serve as president of the South Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists — a responsibility he held for six and a half years, when he was called to the same position in the Arkansas Conference. It was during his tenure that the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference was formed February 23, 1932. That June, after six years in Arkansas, Elder Montgomery accepted the call to become the president of the Texico Conference, which comprised western Texas and the state of New Mexico. After five and a half years in that responsibility, he asked to be relieved, and accepted a call to be pastor of the Dallas, Texas, church. For a number of years he pastored churches in Houston, Corpus Christi, Waco, and other Texas cities.
His Retirement Years
In 1953 he was ready for retirement, but responded to a call to raise funds for the new women’s dormitory to be built at his old school at Keene, — by that time known as Southwestern Union College. In 1954 he theoretically retired, but actually served as pastor of the Cleburne Seventh-day Adventist Church for some six years, when a heart attack caused him to go on complete retirement. However, for the next six years he was a constant counselor and guide for the church in Cleburne, of which he was a most faithful member, both in attendance and by his support. He passed quietly to his rest at the Johnson County Memorial Hospital in Cleburne, Texas, Sabbath morning, December 11, 1965, at the age of 82 years and 2 days.
(1916, Jan. 7). Presbyterian Church. The Republican News Journal (Newkirk, Oklahoma), p. 8.
(1966, Jan. 12). Southwestern Union Record, p. 7.