Loma Linda and Redlands has changed a lot in the 25 years since Pastor Randy Roberts, senior pastor at Loma University Seventh-day Adventist Church, settled into the area to minister to the community.
Roberts heads one of the largest Adventist congregations in the world. As time has passed, both the church and community have changed. Excerpts of an interview are presented below.
How long have you been in the ministry?
Just overall, about 30 years in some branch there - of either pasturing or chaplaincy or teaching. But overall, about 30 years.
How many at Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church?
Almost 12 years.
Are you a Loma Linda native?
No. My family is originally from Texas, although I grew up outside of this country. I grew up in a lot of Latin American countries. Quite a few. My dad was a pastor also. In that day and time (we) tended to move a lot. I was born on Columbia, South America. We lived in Columbia, Venezuela, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Mexico; Quite a few places.
Did you always know you wanted to be a pastor?
Fairly early on, probably mid-teen years, yeah, something like that.
Was it because it was logical you would follow in your father's footsteps?
I'm sure that the fact that my dad was a minister had an affect on that, no question, but I had deeper sense that that's where God was leading me, guiding me, calling me.
What do you find the most fulfilling about what you do?
Being able to have a positive influence on people's lives, moving them maybe in a more God-ward direction; being able to share with them a vision of a God of love; A god who has a big heart; A God who desires a forever friendship with us. I think some of those things are part of the same package of wanting to make a difference in people's lives in a positive way for God.
Do you live in Loma Linda?
We live in Redlands. But I've lived Loma Linda/Redlands a little over 25 years. I worked first at the Chaplain's office in the (Loma Linda University) Medical Center. I was there a little over seven years. And then I taught at the School of Religion at the university. I was there for 6 1/2 years or so. And I've been at the church since.