Name: Leon M. Roberts
Birthplace: Jacksonville, FL
Job title: Senior Pastor
How and when did you come to know the Lord?
It was July 14, 1974 at church camp that I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I had an awareness of the Lord all of my life and had spent a week being taught by men of God. I knew the Holy Spirit was drawing me and so on the night of July 14, 1974 the invitation hymn was “Trust and Obey” and I put one foot out in the aisle and then stepped back in. Brother Thompson, who was the camp cook, watched me do this twice. The third time, he gave me a push out into the aisle and I went forward to receive Christ. I was baptized by a preacher named Asa Keel in the camp swimming pool. I had the desire to come to Christ before this date but my grandparents wanted to make sure I was truly committed and ready at age 12.
How and when did you become involved in Life ?
I preached for the first time when I was 12 at the same summer camp where I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I did so at the request of the camp’s director and his wife, who went home to be with the Lord. I preached from age 12 on and at age 16, I taught our adult Sunday School class. I later enlisted in the U.S. Army and became involved in preaching in Europe at churches in Germany and Austria through a translator. I also preached to military congregations. I attended Miami-Dade College where I received my A.S. in Mortuary Science in 1986 and worked in the funeral business, eventually owning my own funeral home. I received my B.S. in Bible from Trinity International University in 1994 and my Master of Arts in Religion in Church Life in August 2008 from Liberty University. I went on to complete my Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling at Liberty University in May 2010. I have served as an associate and senior pastor to churches in both Tennessee and Florida.
What is your church/ organization doing that is exciting or unique?
This year, we are excited to begin our feeding the hungry project that provides a brown bag lunch which includes a sandwich, beverage, piece of fruit, and a Bible tract that provides a plan of salvation. We believe that this is the year of revival and a great awakening that will last until the rapture. I believe that God wants us to be heavily involved in this type of outreach.
What is the best part of your job?
I get to serve the Lord and His people. I love to counsel, encourage and reassure people that God loves them and that Jesus Christ died for them. I get to see people saved, healed and delivered. And, as a certified trainer in Evangelism Explosion, I get to train disciple makers!
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Seeing people reject Christ. I would like to see all men and women give their life to Jesus. But, I realize that there are those who will reject His plan of salvation, and this hurts.
If you weren’t doing what you’re currently doing, what would you like to be doing?
I would be flying a corporate jet or flying for an airline. I am a former pilot, but I gave it up to become a full time pastor.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
Yes! Its time, its time, its time for the harvest!
What is your favorite Bible verse or area of Scripture, and why?
John 3:16 because it presents the heart of God to people and opens the door for an opportunity to share my testimony and witness. I love to lead people to the Lord.
Besides God, who has been the most influential person in your life?
On a personal level, my late grandfather, C.W. Roberts, Sr. was a man who instilled in me a lot of my faith, values and love for the Word in me. He lived it before me. Next, would have to be Billy Graham, whom I have loved and admired from childhood.
What is your favorite way to relax?
Watching a Three Stooges, Twilight Zone, or Andy Griffith marathon on TV with my wife and our four cats: Gonzo, Casee, Savannah Pearl, and Boo-Boo.
What is the last book you read (besides the Bible), and what did you think of it?
The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin. It enabled me to better understand that we have authority to call upon the name of Jesus Christ and use His name to minister to others.
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited, and why?
I visited the Swiss Alps in December of 1982. I was in awe of the beauty in God’s magnificent creation.
What encourages you the most/frustrates you the most about Christians in our society?
Their laziness and complacency frustrates me the most. What encourages me is when I see Christians who hunger and thirst for righteousness and want more of God and want fellowship with Him and His Son Jesus Christ and want to share their witness and testimony with others. Too many Christians want to be blessed but are not willing to first be a blessing.
What is something that God has been teaching you lately?
God has been showing me that 2011 is the year of revival and the final great awakening for America. People by and large, need to be loved with the same kind of love that God gives us each and every day. This is hard, especially when you meet mean spirited people.
Tell us something about your family and/or something about yourself that most people do not know.
I fought against the call of God to Life for a few years and found myself too concerned with what other people thought about me. I was an approval seeker; now, I am over that and I have discovered that there is more to life than making money and pleasing people. There was a time when it was all about me and now it is all about Christ. I have died to myself, at last! What freedom that is!
In what ways do you feel your church has broken down barriers this past year in terms of reaching the unsaved?
Are there any out-of-the-box methods you have used, and how have they worked?
Implementing changes and removing obstacles is what best describes us. Seeking the Lord’s will for us has been a tremendous help. We are also expanding our media Life to reach the lost beyond our four walls and implementing a program to feed the hungry in our community. Our focus now is on outreach and in-reach so that we minister to and meet the needs of our church family and community. We are a church in revival and recovery that has survived some past events that threatened to close our doors. But, we are here to stay! We are beginning leadership training this year to train up leaders for Life in the church and also to train lay Life and lay counseling people as well.