R. H. Boll grew up in southern Germany, and emigrated to the USA with relatives when he was only 15 years old. After staying near family in Zanesville, Ohio, he worked his way south to Tennessee, where he came in contact with preachers of the Restoration Movement and was baptized into the church of Christ. From 1895-1900 he attended the Nashville Bible School. After a few years as a traveling evangelist, Boll entered his association with the Portland Avenue church of Christ in Louisville, Kentucky, which would remain his home base.
Boll was in demand as a writer and editor, and in 1909 became the first page editor of the Gospel Advocate. By 1915, however, his writings showed an emerging Premillennial viewpoint, which led to his departure from the editorial staff. Boll in the meantime purchased the journal Word and Work, which he edited until his death in 1956. This became the leading journal among Premillennial churches of Christ.