Pastor Roosevelt Robinson, was born on “Christmas Day” December 25, 1937 in rural Orangeburg, South Carolina to the late Isabella Hair and Roosevelt Robinson. He entered into his forever peaceful journey on April 26, 2021.
Pastor Robinson also known as “Jim” was educated in the public schools of Orangeburg S.C. He then joined the U.S. Army immediately after high school to fight in the Korean War, which was one of the most destructive conflicts of the modern era. After the war, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Ms. Viola Hammonds and from this union five children were born.
He was known across Columbia as "Professor", because he could expound on any topic, repair anything electronic (TV, radio, etc.) and he had a quick mind. Pastor Robinson accepted Jesus Christ into his life and never looked back. With specialized education (Midlands Technical College) and devotion, he became a supervisor of traffic light engineers for the state DOT. Under the mentoring of Reverend James T. Montgomery (Temple Zion), with a series of church promotions: a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, and ordained into the Christian ministry, staff minister, and Associate Pastor (Burning Bush Baptist). He furthered his spiritual education with Biblical studies at Liberty University. He was elevated to the Pastor of St. John Baptist church - one of the oldest churches in Lexington County, South Carolina. He was nationally recognized for uniting an integrated congregation as they rebuilt a church and community. The church’s story was mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey Show and a part of Oprah’s Book Club, The St. John Baptist Church story is documented in “Standing on Holy Ground: A Triumph over Hate Crime in the Deep South” (St. Martin's), by Sandra E. Johnson. He retired, but his legacy remained by helping families and individuals with spiritual, financial, and educational goals through his mentoring. After retiring, he became a cherished member of Disciples for Christ Church (DOCC) which is led by Pastor Dr. John Lane, Sr. and First Lady Janet Lane.
One scripture he was particularly fond is: Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Another scripture he found compelling is Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Also, John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you
He was preceded in death by his parents Isabella Hair and Roosevelt Robinson; his brothers Elijah Hair, William Hair, John Wesley Hair, David Robinson, James Robinson; sister Eartha Lee Hair Carter. In addition to his parents and siblings, he was also predeceased by his oldest son Roosevelt Robinson Jr. and his grandson Melzie Brandon Robinson.
Those left to celebrate his life and embrace fond memories: his loving wife of 63 years Mrs. Viola “Hammonds” Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina; two sons, Mr. Melzie (Dianne) Robinson of Atlanta, Georgia, 1SG(R) Mitchell (Sylvia) Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina; two daughters, Mrs. Cynthia (Pastor Wendell C.) Sims of West Columbia, South Carolina and Mrs. Linda (Howard) Wilkerson of Elgin, South Carolina; siblings, Roosevelt Robinson of Queens, New York, Isaac Robinson of Long Island, New York, Robert (Colleen) Robinson of Cape Coral, Florida, Pastor Edward Davis of Queens, New York, Elder Jerome (Patricia) Robinson of Prince George, Virginia, Elder Pricilla Robinson of Piscataway, New Jersey and Brenda (John) DeStephano of Long Island, New York; sister in law, Thelma Robinson of Petersburg, Virginia; seven grandsons, Ryshaun (Nina) Fogle of Columbia, South Carolina, Howard (Erica) Wilkerson of Raleigh, North Carolina, Roosevelt Robinson III of Columbia, South Carolina, Tyman Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina, Michael Wilkerson of Columbia, South Carolina, Khalid Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina and Nicholas Robinson of Atlanta Georgia; four granddaughters, Nechelle Robinson of Atlanta Georgia, Kalen Robinson of Columbia, South Carolina, Alexandria Wilkerson of Columbia, South Carolina, and Gabrielle Robinson of Atlanta, Georgia; 9 great grandchildren and host of other loving relatives and friends.
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