I love the way Pastor Kenneth Roberts lived for Jesus. When I read Paul’s statement I think of him:
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
I met Bro Kenneth (as we all called him) in 1980. I was coaching in a small town and he was the pastor of the 1st Baptist Church. He became a huge mentor and encourager for me over the following 2 years. I became the student pastor at the church and we did life together. There were the good times and there were difficult times. A true friend “walks in when others walk out”, that was Bro Ken always walking in to my life.
When our son was born, I forgot to bring cash for food (not many places took credit cards). When he showed up he asked if I had eaten. I was embarrassed and said no (because I had no money) – but he wouldn’t have it, and slipped me some cash.
We also met with a guy named Lloyd at 5:30am on Wednesdays for breakfast and accountability. That was my first taste of using early times to meet to challenge men to step up. I loved those breakfast meetings and the country ham and eggs!
I was going through was of the most difficult challenges of my life (up to that point anyway). He drove up to our 1200 square foot home in his two tone black and grey Ford Bronco. We went for a ride- and he just listened. I was so angry at the seeming injustice that came my way. He listened quietly as I yelled, promised vengeance and cried. When I was done he continued to drive and just ask questions and let me process. It was during that time that God began to redirect us to move to Fort Worth, Texas and go to seminary. Bro Ken was there for financial support and took me to the store and bought me 3 suits (we actually wore them back then). He never mentioned I should stay- he supported our next move. Life was very fragile then and his support for the move gave us confidence. As I look back- I am so grateful for the pain and hurt that God used to shape and redirect my life. I am grateful to Bro Ken for his support and encouragement.
I talked to him several times on the phone in the last 30 years, he was always the same. About 2 years ago, we were able to get dinner with Bro Ken and some others from back in the day. He laughed, encouraged and seemed to love every minute. At the end of our meal he tried to pick up the check in his generous nature. We said no and finally got to buy him a dinner! Thank you God for the gift of Kenneth Roberts he made a huge difference in my family’s life!
Bro Kenneth died this past week and he is missed! Here is a brief obituary!