Edward Franklin Rollins, born on March 6, 1876, in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Rollins was widely known throughout A. M. E. Zion circles as "the Blind Preacher;" when he was just five years old, Rollins was accidentally shot in the head by another boy, the bullet severely damaging both eyes and resulting in a loss of sight. Despite the injury, Rollins determined at the age of twelve that he would pursue a career in ministry and set a course to achieve his goal. In 1893, he graduated from the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind and completed his religious training under Bishop Cicero R. Harris in Wilmington, North Carolina. Rollins served as pastor for a variety of Eastern North Carolina circuits, including a five-year assignment at the Metropolitan A. M. E. Zion Church.
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