Lee Roberson
Lee Edward Roberson was the founder of Tennessee Temple University
Tennessee Temple University
Tennessee Temple University is a four-year private Christian university, with its focus on liberal arts education, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Operating there, also, is Temple Baptist Seminary, the university's graduate school of Christian theology....

 in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

, and Camp Joy, in Harrison, Tennessee.

Dr. Roberson was born in a two-room log cabin and spent his first two years on a farm near English, Indiana
English, Indiana
English is a town in and the county seat of Sterling Township, Crawford County, Indiana, United States. The population was 645 at the 2010 census, making it one of Indiana's smallest county seats.-Geography:English is located at ....

, a small town in the southern part of the state. Originally named Leverne Edward, he was known throughout his life as "Lee." In 1911, his parents, Charles E. and Dora (Sego) Roberson, took him to a farm near Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

, where his father farmed, worked on streetcars, and built homes to make a living. In 1923, at the age of fourteen, he was led to the Lord by his faithful Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Daisy Hawes, and joined the Cedar Creek Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 Church near Louisville.

After spending two years at the Louisville Male High School
Louisville Male High School
Louisville Male Traditional High School is a public secondary school serving students in grades 9 through 12 in the southside of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It is part of the Jefferson County Public School District....

, where he received a diploma in public accounting when he was fourteen years old, Roberson then attended the Fern Creek High School
Fern Creek High School
Fern Creek Traditional High School is a Communications, JROTC, Media and the Arts magnet school located on 9115 Fern Creek Road in Louisville, Kentucky and is part of Jefferson County Public Schools. It was founded in 1923 as the first high school in the Jefferson County School System. Today, it...

, where he played football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 and graduated after four years.

Dr. Roberson entered Old Bethel College
Bethel College (Kentucky)
Bethel College was a Baptist-affiliated college in Kentucky founded in 1854 and closed in 1964. It was a women's college throughout most of its history, though it became co-educational for its final years....

 in Russellville, Kentucky
Russellville, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,149 people, 3,064 households, and 1,973 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.1 people per square mile . There were 3,458 housing units at an average density of 325.1 per square mile...

, in 1926, and finished the first year. There he worked at various jobs from washing dishes to scrubbing floors to pay his way. From Old Bethel College, he went to the University of Louisville
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General...

 to complete his college work with a major in history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

. He also continued his education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , located in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention . The seminary was founded in 1859, at Greenville, South Carolina. After being closed during the Civil War, it moved in 1877 to Louisville...

 in Louisville, where he studied under Dr. A.T. Robertson
Archibald Thomas Robertson
Archibald Thomas Robertson was an American biblical scholar born at Cherbury near Chatham, Va. He was educated at Wake Forest College and at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. , where he was thereafter instructor and professor of New Testament interpretation...

. At the age of nineteen, he was called to a church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky
Jeffersontown, Kentucky
Jeffersontown is a city in Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States. Before Louisville and Jefferson County were consolidated in 2003, it was the county's largest city outside of Louisville. The population was 26,633 at the 2000 census.- History :...

, but he did not accept.

In his early years, Dr. Roberson was well known as a singer. Having studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music was a conservatory, part of a girls' finishing school, founded in 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It merged with the College of Music of Cincinnati in 1955, forming the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, which is now part of the University of Cincinnati.The...

 and with the well-known teacher, John Samples, of Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, his services as a vocalist were in great demand. He served as a soloist on the staff of radio station WHAS
WHAS, known by the on air branding as "84 WHAS", is an AM radio station broadcasting in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a 50,000 Watt clear channel radio station assigned to frequency 840 kHz. With clear channel status, its nighttime signal can be heard in most of the continental U.S...

 of Louisville and WSM
WSM is the callsign of a 50,000 watt AM radio station located in Nashville, Tennessee. Operating at 650 kHz, its clear channel signal can reach much of North America and various countries, especially late at night...

 in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

. Doors also opened in the field of secular music. Dr. Roberson was offered a contract by Gaetano Salvatore de Luca at the Nashville Conservatory of Music. After a discussion with De Luca, Roberson decided to give up musical performance, and declined on grounds that such a music career was not in accordance with his divine calling to the ministry.

The first church that Dr. Roberson served as pastor was in Germantown, Tennessee
Germantown, Tennessee
Germantown is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee. The population was 38,844 at the 2010 census.Germantown is a suburb of Memphis, bordering it to the east. Germantown's economy is dominated by the retail and commercial service sectors; there is no heavy industry in Germantown...

, while he was in college. In 1932, he was called to be pastor of the Temple Baptist Church in Green Brier, Tennessee
Greenbrier, Tennessee
Greenbrier is a town in Robertson County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,940 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Greenbrier is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau:...

. It was there that he discovered the truth of the Second Coming of Christ. After three years with the Green Brier Church, Roberson entered full-time evangelistic work in 1935. He served as evangelist
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity....

 of the Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

 Baptist Association; and within two years, he conducted some fifty revivals in the Birmingham area.

It was in Birmingham that he met Miss Caroline Allen, who, on October 9, 1937, became Mrs. Lee Roberson.

On the first Sunday in November 1937, Dr. Roberson became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Fairfield, Alabama
Fairfield, Alabama
Fairfield is a city in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover Metropolitan Area. The population was 12,381 at the 2000 census. As of 2006, the Census estimates the population to be 11,547.-History:...


In 1939, Dr. Roberson was asked to be the state evangelist for Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, but he declined.

After five years with the Fairfield church, Dr. Roberson was called to the Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga in November 1942. Four years later, Dr. Roberson would start the Tennessee Temple University
Tennessee Temple University
Tennessee Temple University is a four-year private Christian university, with its focus on liberal arts education, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Operating there, also, is Temple Baptist Seminary, the university's graduate school of Christian theology....

 and Zion College
Zion College
Zion College was a Bible institute in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was founded in 1949 by Highland Park Baptist Church to train African American ministers and church workers.In 1964, the Zion College was renamed Chattanooga City College...

. Two years later in 1948, a theological seminary, Southeastern Baptist Seminary (later re-named Temple Baptist Seminary in 1954) was added. His ministry would continue to branch out into the areas of radio, a city-wide bus ministry, and the founding of Camp Joy. Highland Park Baptist Church would grow to be one of the largest churches in the country.

He preached his last service as pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church on April 27, 1983, but continued in the work of the Lord. Dr. Roberson preached across the nation and also published many books. He continued to serve until his death.

Roberson died two years after his wife's passing. His legacy includes strong preaching, Bible based standards, and an uncompromising devotion to God.


  • Diamonds in the Rough -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-179-0)
  • Disturbing Questions...Solid Answers -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-161-8)
  • Double-Breasted -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-160-X)
  • Gold Mine, The -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-339-4)
  • Preaching to America -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-667-9)
  • Ten Thousand Tears -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-837-X)
  • The Faith that Moves Mountains -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-276-2)
  • The Man In Cell No. 1 -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-567-2)
  • Touching Heaven -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-848-5)
  • Coming to Chattanooga Soon -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-129-4)
  • Big 90, The -- Sword of the Lord Pub (ISBN 0-87398-087-5)


Reese, Edward. The Life and Ministry of Lee Roberson. Glenwood, Ill: Fundamental Publishers, 1975.

Terry, Lindsay. A Daring Faith in a Hazardous World: Build a Courageous Lifestyle with Lee Roberson. Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2006.

Wigton, James H. Lee Roberson -- Always About His Father's Business. Xulon Press, 2010. (ISBN: 1609579887)
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