RIP: Dr. Joseph L. Roberts- Funeral Info

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About Dr. Joseph L. Roberts:

During the early part of the 1970’s, Roberts became senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia; hand picked by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Rev. Roberts served as the senior pastor for a total of thirty years and was recognized for being an energetic orator and an accomplished musician. During the thirty years that Rev. Roberts presided as pastor, more than 2,000 new members were added to the church’s congregation.  During his pastorate, Ebenezer’s financial giving also increased 300 percent.  A serious practitioner of the gospel, Rev. Roberts’ tenure would lead Ebenezer to establish a robust community outreach program that included the Teenage Mother’s Ministry; tutoring and counseling programs; a food co-op; and an older adult daycare center. 


Rev. Roberts was an accomplished administrator who successfully negotiated bank financing for Ebenezer’s new Horizon Sanctuary; the sanctuary, dedicated on March 21, 1999, was an eight million dollar edifice which encompassed the early roots of Christianity as well as symbols of our African heritage. The 32,000-square-foot sanctuary seats more than 2,000 people.


Acknowledged with several awards throughout his years in ministry; however, there were two that Rev. Roberts took great honor in being a recipient of distinguished alumni awards from Union Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary.


Recognized as a great teacher and accomplished author, in 2006, Rev. Roberts published Sideswiped by Eternity: Sermons from Ebenezer Baptist Church. This collection of sermons demonstrates Rev. Roberts’s commitment to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the lives of his parishioners, and the message of Jesus Christ.


Rev.Roberts is survived by his wife Esther Wortham Roberts, a son, Carlyle and two daughters, Cheryl (Leslie) Richmond, Carolyn (Sonny) Emory and six grandchildren. 

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