Earl Jerome Roberts entered this world on September 27, 1957 to parents Alfreeda Roberts and Sam Anderson Parker. He was Alfreeda’s baby boy and he knew it. At an early age, Earl discovered his passion for sports, his love for great gospel music, as well as his calling to preach the gospel. He would be one of the best to do them both. Earl was raised by his mother and grandmother in the heart of Carthage affectionately known as “across the tracks” on Cook Street. His roots were there and he took great pride in his community.
Earl attended Carthage Independent School District. During his years in public school, he participated in several sports, including football for 4 years. He was the 1 st starting African American quarterback for the Carthage Bulldogs. Earl then discovered he not only loved football, but he was one of Carthage’s best baseball players. He was the pitcher for 3
years and had a mean curve ball. While attending Carthage High School, Earl also participated in track, where he ran in the 220, 440 relay and the 100-yard dash.
On February 14, 1976 Earl attended the Carthage High School All-Sports Banquet. He was voted “Most Valuable Back” and was called “Mr. Touchdown.” Earl was a great asset to the history of Carthage Independent School District, as well ashis community. In 1981, Earl accepted the calling that God placed on his life to become a gospel preacher. He had the privilege to sit up under the leadership of many pastors; however, his most privileged honor was to have Pastor J. T. Harris as his pastor. Earl was blessed to serve as shepherd to many churches during his pastoral tenure. Some of those churches include Mt. Zion CME (Carthage), Vivian Chapel CME (Longview), Warren Chapel CME (Kilgore), Chapel Springs Baptist Church (Beckville), Original Zion Hill Baptist Church (Tatum), Antioch Baptist Church (Henderson), and Greater St. James Baptist Church in Alton, Il.
Upon his return from Illinois, Earl served as interim pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Linden, Texas until his health failed in 2016. In addition to pastoring, Earl loved to hear and sing great gospel music. He loved it so much that he became a disk jockey (DJ) at KJTX FM 104.5 radio station in Jefferson, Texas where he hosted the “Glory Train” Gospel Hour. He made sure his listeners enjoyed what he called “the songs that brought us over.” Some of those songs included “Room at the Cross” and “Have You Got Good Religion” by Pastor Clay Evans, “Jesus You’ve Been Good to Me” by Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes, as well as “Lord Help me to Hold Out” by Pastor James Cleveland. Through his tenure at the radio station, Earl gained many listeners and the music he played touched the lives of many individuals. When his time at the radio station ended, Earl remained faithful to pastoring. He continued studying God’s word and leading God’s people. He was active in his local ministerial alliance, as well as the district associations that his church was a part of. While pastoring in Alton, Illinois, Earl was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and he received many awards. He also was a yearly attendee at the National Baptist Conventions and Congress. He formed great relationships with national pastors, such as Dr. C. A. W. Clark, Rev. Frank Ray, Dr. Jerry Black, and Rev. Asa Sampson.
On Sunday, September 6, 2020 Earl answered God’s call to come from labor to receive his JUST reward. He has now been reunited with his mother, Alfreeda Hawkins, father Sam Parker, Grandmother Odessa Mitchell, brothers Alfred Rogers Roberts and Romeo Parker and his grandson Kentrell Palmer.
His life and the many memories created during his lifetime will continue to be cherished by his loving and beautiful wife of 19 years, Arethia Roberts, his children Jermaine (Alexis) Roberts, Chase Kuykendall, and Christopher Slaughter; daughters, Shaunkia (David) Love, Tanesha (Reginald) Long I, and DeAngela (David) Hymes; brothers Larry (Ruby) Roberts, John Wayne McMillian, Sammy (Beverly) McMillian, Sr., and Earl (Aretha) McMillian; sisters Paula Parker and Sheila Parker- Moore; Five (5) Grandsons – Micheal Landry II, Reginald Long, II, Karlove Long, Taeilon Long, Brantley Roberts; Four (4) Grand-daughters – Nia Long, Kaiya Braggs, Jade Palmer, Ci’Kaylia Long; One (1) great-grand daughter – RaeLynn Long. Earl made many friends through the years. His extended family, classmates and acquaintances will continue to embrace their many memories of Earl in the days to come.
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