CELEBRATION OF LIFE
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Lifehouse Church in Rocklin, California. Please visit the "Services" page for details.
Click on this link to join the livestream: https://youtu.be/pwCJn6E1Gj8.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lifehouse Church "Roberts Heart of Worship" fund: http://www.thelifehousechurch.com/giving.
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Larry Kent Roberts passed from this earth into God's Heaven on February 20, 2021, following a 2-month battle with Covid-19 complications, and a 14-year struggle with Frontotemporal dementia. He fought the good fight…he finished the race…and he kept the faith. Well done, good and faithful servant!
Larry was born on November 28, 1948, in Liberal, Kansas….in the middle of a blizzard! His parents, James Donald and Jean Maxine Roberts, had to ride to town in a road-grader in order to get to the hospital. Two years later, they headed to Tennessee, where his sister, Janet Joy was born in 1951. After his dad completed college, they moved to Dallas, TX where he studied at Dallas Theological Seminary. Larry attended Dallas Christian grade school, and the story has been told that he would gather the neighborhood children into a group on his porch and lead them in singing. A choir director was born!
After seminary graduation in 1958, the family moved to Hanston, Kansas for Larry's first of many experiences in being a 'preacher's kid'. As a child, Larry would spend hours playing with cars and making up his own background music to entertain himself. Even at a young age, he knew the make and model of every car on the road! It was during those years that Larry joined the Boy Scouts and eventually became an honored Eagle Scout. In 1962, his baby brother, Stacey, was born. In 1963, his family moved to Denver, CO where he attended a large High School and enjoyed playing the saxophone in the marching band. He also joined the city-wide Youth for Christ choir, which is where he discovered his passion for choral music in praise to God! During his summers as a teenager, he would go to work on his Uncle Karel's wheat farm…learning to drive all kinds of heavy machinery and loving it!
In 1966 the family moved to Fairview, OK, while Larry enrolled at John Brown University in rural Arkansas. He began with a major in Radio Broadcasting, but soon changed to music after a Music Professor heard his gorgeous voice! Four years later, Larry graduated from JBU with a Bachelor's in Music Education. While in college, Larry was heavily involved with various musical singing groups, traveling all over the United States. He also played his saxophone in the Jazz Band. It was during his college years that Larry met and married the love of his life, Alice Rowland, on December 18, 1970.
Following graduation in 1971, they both traveled and sang with The Sound Generation, doing pre-shows and back-up singing for many well-known entertainers. Larry was both the vocal director and Road Manager, learning much about stage presence and group management. He then took a job as Admissions Counselor for the University, traveling and leading P.R. Conferences. It was on one of those trips that he met a pastor who planted the seed of church ministry in his heart. After much prayer, Larry and Alice took a big step of faith in 1973 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, beginning what would become a life-long ministry in church worship music. His whole life had prepared him for this new calling.
Larry's first experience in church ministry was at Royals Palms Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ. To supplement his income, Larry sang 'favorites' at a local, up-scale restaurant. This experience broadened his love and appreciation for all kinds of music. His repertoire was endless! While in Phoenix, Larry became a father for the first time, welcoming his son, Brian Kent, in 1975. In 1977, the family moved to California, where Larry became the Worship Pastor for 7 years at First Baptist Church of Fair Oaks. A daughter, Amanda Gail, was born during those years, in 1978. In 1984, Larry became the Worship Pastor at Sunrise Community Church, in Fair Oaks, CA, where he faithfully served his LORD for 22 years.
In 2007, at the age of 58, Larry was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia and was no longer able to serve in the way that his heart was designed to do. This was an unexpected life-change that required many adjustments for both Larry and Alice, but he continued to live his life as full as possible, under the circumstances. Eventually, Larry became home-bound and was lovingly cared for by his wife, his children and his friends. "Happy moments count" became the family mantra, because a 'moment' was all he had.
But Larry's life is not to be defined by what he did or where he lived…but who he WAS! Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Larry had the purest of hearts, and would go out of his way to do a kind and loving deed for anyone…even a total stranger! He was generous to a fault, both with his money and his time. He was an excellent musician and loved leading large choirs and orchestras. He was also a very creative and talented music 'producer', making countless cds and music videos in his own home-studio. Larry was a total extrovert and LOVED being with people…especially if he had a good story to tell! He planned and led many tour groups to foreign countries. He and Alice traveled all over the world, co-leading a youth musical drama group. Larry had an insatiable appetite for adventure…and did everything from sky-diving to motorcycling to flying planes. If it had an engine…he wanted to drive it! He loved nature and always wanted to explore…and photograph…everything he saw. He was passionate about spending time with his children and taking them on 'adventures' in order to teach them about life. He absolutely adored his wife and they enjoyed 50 years of togetherness in both music ministry and family ministry. Their favorite way to spend time together was motorcycling down the Oregon and CA coast. They were inseparable. But most of all, Larry is to be remembered as a man who deeply loved his LORD and was faithful to the very end. He will be greatly missed because he was so greatly loved.
Larry is survived by his devoted wife, Alice ; his son Brian and wife, Alisa; his daughter, Mandy and husband, Joseph; his grandchildren, Micah, Samareh, Setareh, Joshua, Noah, Sara Alice, Cyrus and Ava; his siblings Janet Crawford and Stacey Roberts; and his uncle, Karel Roberts.