When you first meet Pastor Chip Roberson, pastor at Cave Spring Baptist Church, you may feel like you’ve known him for years. At least that was my reaction as I sat down with the retiring Pastor who loves the Lord and his beautiful wife more than anything in the world. (He lets you know that, too).
Roberson is 57 and been preaching at Cave Spring Baptist Church for the last five years, but what you may not know about him is the road it took him to get to where he is today.
Roberson was born in Cedartown, Georgia and went to college to become a pharmacist. Roberson, an atheist at the time, said he had everything he ever wanted, a great wife, a house, and a Mercedes which he had always wanted. He also had two children, Ben who recently exited the U.S. Army, received a Purple Heart and V-Tag for Valor and Claire, a graduate of Southeast Seminary at Wake Forest who is currently doing mission work in El Salvador.
Things were going well until one day when things began falling apart. Something was wrong with his car, the roof on the house he built was leaking and he had started drinking. Just when he thought things couldn’t get worse, he hit rock bottom.
Roberson said for the first time in his life he hit rock bottom and hit his knees where he prayed to Jesus.
“It was like all the weight was lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “I became a believer in 1978 and in 1980-1981 the Lord called Teresa and I to move to New York.”
For two years in New York, Roberson and his wife were committed to planting a church, but after a year and a half they were called to Texas where they stayed for three years. They moved to Chesapeake, Virginia and were finally called by God to Cave Spring Baptist Church in 2004.
After 30 years of moving around, planting churches and serving as a pastor to Cave Spring Baptist Church, Roberson has decided to retire.
“The Lord really pressed my heart to leave,” Roberson said. “After 30 years, the Lord is fulfilling his promise to my wife to move us back home.”
Although Roberson is sad to leave Cave Spring Baptist Church, he is excited to start the next chapter of his life. After Cave Spring Baptist Church’s Patriotic Celebration on Sunday, June 28, Roberson and his wife loaded up their car and were headed back to Rome, Georgia, to settle down with their families. Roberson plans to work as a pharmacist at a CVS there.
“I’m not retiring from ministry, I’m retiring from pastoral ministry,” he said. “We’ve had a great five years here. I think the Lord has accomplished a lot at Cave Spring Baptist Church. Cave Spring Baptist Church is a great place. We love the people here and the church. They’ve been so good to us.”
Roberson was surprised and excited to be given a farewell dinner with 386 people and 30 gallons of banana pudding (his favorite) and hotdogs.
“My passion, my dream what became a vision was that we can reach the world with the Gospel and we darn near did it,” Roberson recalled.
“There is definitely a part of me that is sad. I’ll miss the people. I’ll miss being able to get in my car and go to the airport and be on a plane in 20 minutes. I’ll miss Texas Tavern. I’ll miss the mountains and I’ll miss the position of the pastor. I’m at my best when the wheels fall off. I’ll miss preaching every Sunday. I’ll miss the pressure of preaching every Sunday and Wednesday. With everything I can be and I did my best to focus my life and ministry on the word of God.”
Roberson hopes his ministry has always followed the word of God.
“I’ve tried to preach expository sermons. I’ve tried my best to break open scripture and explain to the people all that’s in it. My dream was to reach the valley and the world. We’ve been fortunate to plant many churches. I’d like to be remembered as a pastor with a mission and evangelism. We wanted to give back to the community so the community would remember why we need the church on the corner.”