By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
BISHOP J Rodney Roberts, the senior pastor of the Five Porches of Deliverance Centre who was hailed as a "giant man of God" by fellow clerics and congregation members, has died.
He reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in the early hours of yesterday. He was 63 years old.
Bishop Roberts had suffered a stroke on July 6, but according to his church, was well on his way to making a full recovery when he suffered his heart attack.
"As his family, along with our ministry, mourns such a great loss to the gospel community, we thank you all for your support of Bishop Roberts over the years," the church said in statement.
Bishop Roberts, who was married to Pastor Curlene Roberts, has been serving the Bahamas for the past 39 years by proclaiming the Word of God and volunteering his services to various religious organisations.
According to the Bishop Rodney Roberts Ministries website, the senior pastor had a heart for the spiritual, emotional and physical growth of the communities at large, and more specifically for the youth of the Bahamas.
It was his belief that if the people of the Bahamas would truly submit themselves to God's will, He would truly save the land from senseless violence and unnecessary crime.
Opposition leader Philip "Brave" Davis yesterday extended heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and supporters of Bishop Roberts on behalf of his wife, Ann Marie Davis, and the entire Progressive Liberal Party family.
"We had all hoped that God would spare his life to continue the earthly sojourn with us for just a little while longer. Our Heavenly Father has seen it fit to call him to eternity. Sadly he passed away in the wee hours of the morning," said Mr Davis.
"While we who are left behind in this troubled world are saddened by his passing, we can also rejoice in the knowledge that he has gone to a better place."
Mr Davis reflected on the late pastor's life, saying it was "one of coming from a mighty long way to reach the higher heights of accomplishment in this society."
He said Bishop Robert's life is one in which the young people in the Bahamas should emulate.
"His voice will be missed in the public debate and in our religious community. Many look forward to his saying 'Thus said the Lord'," said Mr Davis.
Bishop Roberts' church, located on Market Street and Poinciana Avenue, just celebrated its 22nd anniversary July 11-15.