Dr. Lee Roberson, longtime pastor of the Highland Park Baptist Church and founder and president of Tennessee Temple Schools, died Sunday morning at the age of 97.
Dr. Roberson was world-renowned in religious circles.
His longtime associate, Dr. J.R. Faulkner, wrote this account of his life:
He was born in a two-room log cabin on Nov. 24, 1909, and spent his first two years on a farm near English, Ind., a small town in the southern part of the state. In 1911, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Roberson, took him to a farm near Louisville, Ky., where his father farmed, worked on streetcars, and built homes to make a living. At the age of 14, he was led to the Lord by his faithful Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Daisy Hawes, and joined the Cedar Creek Baptist Church outside of Louisville.
After spending two years at the Louisville Male High School, where he received a diploma in public accounting when he was 14 years old, Dr. Roberson then attended the Fern Creek High School and was graduated after four years. While a student, he played football with the high school team.
Brother Roberson entered Old Bethel College in Russellville, Ky., in 1926, and finished the first year. There he worked at various jobs from washing dishes to scrubbing floors to pay his way. From Old Bethel College, he went to the University of Louisville to complete his college work with a major in history. He also completed his work for a degree at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. At the age of 19, he was called to a church in Jeffersontown, Ky., which he did not accept.
In his early years, Dr. Roberson was well known as a singer. Having studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and with the well-known teacher, John Samples, of Chicago, his services as a vocalist were in great demand. He served as a soloist on the staff of radio station WHAS of Louisville, Ky., and WSM out of Nashville. Doors were opening in the field of secular music. Dr. Roberson could have signed a contract with a certain man in the city of Nashville that, no doubt, would have led him to the top in music. However, he felt that this was not the thing the Lord wanted for him; so he refused to sign the contract.
The first church that Brother Roberson served as pastor was in Germantown, Tn., while he was going to college. In 1932, he was called to be pastor of the Temple Baptist Church in Green Brier, Tn. It was there that he discovered the truth of the second coming of Christ. After three years with the Green Brier Church, where the Lord wonderfully blessed, Dr. Roberson entered full-time evangelistic work in 1935. He served as evangelist of the Birmingham Baptist Association; and within two years, he conducted some fifty revivals in the Birmingham area.
It was while he was in Birmingham that he met Miss Caroline Allen, who, on Oct. 9, 1937, became Mrs. Lee Roberson.
On the first Sunday in November 1937, Dr. Roberson became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Fairfield, Ala.
In 1939, Brother Roberson was asked to be the state evangelist for Alabama. He felt this was not the Lord's will for him at the time, so the offer was not accepted.
On May 2, 1941, Lee Anne, the Roberson's oldest child, was born.
After five years with the Fairfield church, Dr. Roberson was called to the Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, in November of 1942. Brother Roberson, our pastor, is a man of God at home as well as at church. He has set an example of faithfulness and devotion to his family and to his convictions before his church and to the entire world. At home, he has sought to teach his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord around a daily family altar, which has reflected itself in the lives of the children.
Dr. Roberson's devotion to duty and to his convictions has laid upon him a demanding schedule that has caused him, throughout his life, to get up early and to burn the midnight oil in prayer and study of the Word of God and the writings of others that he might maintain his burden to reach as many souls for Christ as he can, by every possible means. New sermons are constantly pouring from his soul and new books from his pen.
Whether he be speaking from the pulpit of the Highland Park Baptist Church, the chapel platform of Tennessee Temple Schools, to his Men's Bible Class, or at one of many other special services, his messages are always fresh, fervent, and filled with the power of God. In speaking of him, someone has said, "He is truly the Spurgeon of our times."
Dr. Roberson's daily schedule began with Bible study and prayer at 6:30 in the morning, followed by breakfast and devotions with his family, a broadcast beginning at 8:30 a.m., and a chapel service at Tennessee Temple Schools at 10:00. His morning hours were also filled with private conferences with church people and students of Tennessee Temple Schools. His daily visitation program took him into the numerous hospitals of the city as well as homes of the church members.
Pastor Roberson's favorite Scripture...
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28
Life-Changing Printed Sermons by Pastor Lee Roberson
Have Faith in God
Faith for a New Year
Tears Gone Forever
Stir Up the Gift of God
Keep On Rejoicing
Faith and Five Smooth Stones
Contending for the Faith
A Mother's Faith
Little Faith and Hasty Answers
The Dynamite of Faith
The Shield of Faith
The Victory of Faith
Does Jesus Live At Your House?
One Way Home
The Detours of Life
The Need of This Hour
What Held Jesus to the Cross?
Life-Changing Audio Sermons by Pastor Lee Roberson
Get Right With God
Boudoir or Battlefield
Be Ye Therefore Steadfast
Knowing God's Will
The Driving Force - Part 1
The Driving Force - Part 2
Pastor's School 2001 - March 21st
Pastor's School 2001 - March 22nd
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Highland Park Baptist Church.
The body will lie in state from 12-1 p.m. Thursday at the church.
Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 404 South Moore Road.