Spain married Syble Mink of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee 14 May 1948. They have two children, Mrs. Philip (Mollie) Johnston, and John Philip Spain. They also have five grandchildren.
He then began his education in Pre-med at the University of Tennessee. Upon changing his life's direction into ordained ministry, he entered the University of North Alabama, from which he earned a B.A. degree. Robert then earned the M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and an M.A. from Scarritt College. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from Lambuth College.
Rev. Spain served as the Superintendent of the Nashville District, 1978-83. He was always an active participant in his Annual Conference and the General Church. He was elected a delegate to the General Conference of the U.M. Church five consecutive quadrennia, being the first elected the last four of them. He served eight years on the General Board of Church and Society, eight years on the General Board of Publications, and four years on the General Council on Ministries. He was a reserve member of the Judicial Council, as well.
Upon his election and consecration, Bishop Spain was assigned to the Louisville Episcopal Area (1988-92), serving as Presiding Bishop of the Louisville and Kentucky Annual Conferences, and of the Red Bird Missionary Conference.
Upon his retirement August 1992, Bishop Spain taught clergy and laity through the Focus on Ministry seminar, sponsored by the United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville. Upon the death of Bishop Joseph B. Bethea in South Carolina, the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops assigned Bishop Spain to the South Carolina Conference until August 1996.