Rev. Dr. S. L. Roberson
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S. L. Roberson


Metropolitan Memorial Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. S. L. Roberson

Rev. Dr. S. L. Roberson was born in Moundville, Alabama on March 24, 1920 to Rev. Garther Roberson Sr. and Estella Sears Roberson. The family moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan when Rev. Dr. Roberson was about three years old. He attended Ypsilanti High School and graduated in 1937.

He joined the Conservation Corps and worked in a camp near Freesoil, Michigan to plant trees for about four years. In addition, during this time, he was taking classes at Normal College (later Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti.

He entered the United States Marine Corps in 1942 and served at Okinawa and Iwo Jima. When he returned home two and a half years later, he enrolled in Detroit Bible Institute. He graduated in 1949 and apprenticed under his father at the Second Baptist Church.

In 1954, Rev. Dr. Roberson began his own ministry at the Metropolitan Memorial Baptist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Rev. Dr. Roberson began working at Ford Motor Company in 1947 as an hourly employee. He worked his way into the industrial relations division and became personnel manager of the Ypsilanti Plant. He retired in 1980. During his ministry, Rev. Dr. Roberson has been chaplain to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.

He is an active member of the American Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Wolverine State Convention, and the Huron Valley Convention. Dr. Rev. Roberson is a member of the board of directors of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Washtenaw County Ministerial Alliance.

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
2 October  1998
audio clip

Discusses the connection between health and religious beliefs

And to my surprise, when I got there that next morning—because I thought I’d go up there and come on out in maybe a shot or two—they found that my left kidney was practically destroyed and [Dr. Shelton] said, “What are you going to do?” And I know you have these people saying you don’t go to a hospital because if you do, you don’t have faith in God. But, at that moment it came in my mind: He had prepared for this body to be taken care of. And it’s a misconception for people, and it’s wrong, and I won’t be a part of anybody teaching people that religion and your medical science [don’t mix]. If you belong to a religion that teaches that, you’re wrong. And I won’t because I’m a living witness. The only difference is you’ve got to know [and] have a relationship with Christ.


William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young


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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
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