In Memory of Pastor Tom

April 4, 1946-July 7, 2010

Tom was born April 24, 1946, in Ewing, Illinois, to Verbal and Annabel Roberson. He grew up in Willow Springs, Illinois. He married Linda Cragg of Muskogee, Oklahoma, after finishing college, and went on to serve the Lord in full-time ministry for more than 30 years with her by his side. He was the husband of one, father of four and grandfather of 14. He was the pastor of Oakland Heights Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, for 13 years.

Beloved by his family and church family, Tom's legacy is one of life change. He loved missions and traveled to many foreign countries with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He touched people around the world in life and continues to do so in death.

The family would like to extend thankful hearts to the people of Oakland Heights Baptist Church. You have been gracious, faithful, generous and loving to our entire family. We love you. You will always be our church family.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Verbal Roberson.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Linda Roberson; his children, Jody Janz and husband, Dennis, Niki Perek and husband, Jeff, Matt Roberson and wife, Jennifer, and Tommy Roberson and wife, Julie; his mother, Annabel Dykstra; his sister, Barbara Roberts; brother, Jim Roberson and wife, Betty; and sister, Joyce De La Ossa and husband, Jess. He left a legacy in 14 grandchildren: Andy, Josiah, Caleb, Bethany, Melody, Kayeleigh, J.T., Jacob, Joseph, Halleigh, Emmaleigh, Chloe, Claire and Kelsi.

Article in today's paper:

Oakland Heights Baptist Church is mourning the loss of its pastor, the Rev. Thomas Rae Roberson.

Roberson, 64, lost a seven-year battle to cancer this week. His funeral is at 4 p.m. today at Oakland Heights Baptist Church. Burial is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Greenhill Cemetery in Muskogee, Okla.

"He was a very godly man," said the Rev. Kevin Bright, associate pastor of discipleship. "Almost every decision he made he could back up with a biblical reference."

With 13 years at the church, Roberson was Oakland Height's longest tenured pastor, Bright said. He helped Oakland Heights open two other churches — Vida Abundante, a Spanish mission, and Lifepoint Church. Both are in Longview.

"He was a loving leader," said Marine Moore, who was Roberson's administrative assistant for 13 years. "He felt deeply about his congregation. He was there for them in their troubles and their successes."

When Roberson was faced with trouble, he turned his eyes to the Lord, she said. He wrote a book this past year called "Mercy Endures." It tells the story of his journey with cancer.

"He always had a positive attitude," Bright said. "I rarely ever saw him down. He trusted God. Yes, he wanted to be better, but more than anything, he wanted to glorify God."

Under his leadership, the church paid off its debt, renovated its sanctuary and opened a mission house on church property to be used by missionaries on furlough and people visiting family members in the hospital, Moore said.

Roberson's faith helped encourage all four of his children to enter the ministry. His daughter, Jody Janz, is a Southern Baptist missionary in South Africa, and daughter, Niki Perek and her family serve at a church near Chicago. His son, Matt Roberson, is in the music ministry at a church in Oklahoma, and son Tommy Roberson is a youth pastor in Angleton.

He is survived by his four children and their families, as well as by his wife, Linda Roberson, who taught Sunday school at Oakland Heights and helped him as he counseled families.

I know this isn't the greatest picture ever, but this was taken March 1, 2009 at church during baby dedication. Here Pastor Tom is reading the meaning of Kyndall's name and the verse that he picked out for her.

Pastor Tom was a man after God's own heart and did everything to glorify Him. He is greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew him.

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