After turning down the position as pastor of Carrollton Baptist Church twice, Dr. Gary Roberson said accepted the role, saying he felt the opportunity would not present itself again. He took over the pastoral position at Carrollton Baptist on July 14, 2019.
“The pastor search committee asked me back in 2010 when I was at First Baptist in Verona, and I told them that I didn’t think I’m the guy for the job. But, my buddy Fletcher Moorman was asked, and I told him that I thought he was the guy for the job,” Roberson said.
Moorman took the position and pastored Carrollton Baptist for several years. Last June, Roberson said the pastor search committee approached him when he was at First Baptist in Bruce, and he again told them he didn’t think he was the person for the job.
“They came back again this June, a year later, and when they asked I told them ‘Yeah, I think I am the guy for the job.’” Roberson said the third time was the charm. He said if he didn’t, he might’ve struck out and missed an opportunity.
“I figured I didn’t have but one more time. One, two, three strikes you’re out,” Roberson said.
Roberson said he’s glad that he finally said yes.
“This is one of the best churches I’ve been. They’re a loving, accepting group.”
Roberson was born in Clarksdale and grew up in Blue Mountain where he attended elementary, high school and college obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Blue Mountain College. He received his master’s degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
Roberson accepted his call at the age of 18, the summer he graduated from high school.
“I had other plans, I wanted to go to Mississippi State and major in landscaping architecture, but God had other plans,” he said.
Roberson said he knew his call to pastor as early as 14 or 15, but he ran, not wanting it to interfere with his budding love life.
His son was also called at the same age, and he accpeted.
“But, my son is following in my footsteps and did what I was supposed to do,” he said.
His son, Kenny Roberson, 20, is a pastor at Mount Olive in Black Hawk. He and his wife Gina also have two twin girls, Ashley Gail and Amy Grace, who are 14.
Roberson said he’s familiar with Carrollton because when he pastored a church near Sturgis in Oktibbeha County, he would pass through on his way to Clarksdale, where he has family.
He said as he’s getting settled in, one of his goals is to preach, love the congregation, and disciple them to Christ. Not only does he preach, but Roberson is also on WFCA out of French Camp at 9:30 a.m. He said he’s been on the air for seven years.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve done,” he said. “I wish I would’ve done it all 24 years.”
Through radio, Roberson can apply the Great Commission. In Matthew 28: 18-20, Jesus says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
In the same way, Roberson said he gets to reach more people and spread the word to those who are listening to WFCA, which has a reach of over 100,000 people.
“In the church, you reach a certain group, but on radio, you reach the whole community,” he said. “At First Baptist in Bruce, we had a television program, but it didn’t reach as many people as I can on the radio.”
Also, while at First Baptist, Roberson had a column in the Calhoun County Journal. He said he loved writing his column and hopes he gets to write it again.
Carrollton Baptist Church holds service every Sunday at 11 a.m. and evening service at 5 p.m. Sunday School begins at 9:45 a.m. and on Wednesdays, the church holds a family meal at 5:45 p.m. Prices are $3 for children, $5 for youth and adults and $12 for a family. Prayer meeting and student activities begin at 6:15 p.m.