David Roe was born on 17 October 1847 to Anglican parents at Stone, Staffs.The family later moved to Cheddleton. After education at Leek Grammar School, at sixteen, as a result of a dream, he emigrated to the United States where he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and then trained for its ministry at Wyoming College, Pennsylvania. A pastorate followed, but ill-health resulted in his returning to England where he trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Didsbury College. After successful rural appointments in Kington and Hereford, in 1879 he was sent to Mile End Road, Bethnal Green, where the Lycett Memorial Chapel replaced an iron chapel. In 1897 he went to the Bermondsey Settlement under Scott Lidgett and there was persuaded by C.H. Kelly to succeed William Warren Grigg as Superintendent of the Wesleyan Seamen's Mission. Under his leadership the new premises of the Queen Victoria Seamen's Mission were opened in 1902 and the Mission later became a separate circuit including the Canning Town chapel and Brunswick, Limehouse. He died on 3 April 1921.
Two brothers, both converted under PM auspices, also became ministers. Roe, Harvey entered the PM ministry in 1878. Bryan Roe' (1859-96; e.m. 1885) became a PM Local Preacher, but joined the Wesleyans during his apprenticeship. Recommended for the ministry in 1881, no candidates were accepted that year and he took the opportunity to train for eighteen months under Henry Grattan Guinness at Harley College. After working as an Evangelist in the Lincoln District, he was accepted as a candidate in 1883, and trained at Richmond College, London. He served in West Africa, where he became Chairman of the Lagos WM District. He died on 22 February 1896, travelling back to Britain for rest.