The Rev. Samuel Leigh, a Methodist missionary, arrived in Australia in the year 1815 and began his work of preaching the gospel. In the year 1822, nineteen-year-old George Roberts, was transported for life to the penal colony for stealing a watch. Mary Ann Sullivan, an Irish maid, was also transported for life for stealing a ring and an umbrella. They met and were married in Australia in 1832. In the providence of God, Rev. Leigh was instrumental in their conversion to Christ. Years later, George’s great-grandson was named Leigh to honor that godly man and his influence in their lives. Leigh became the father of Stanleigh and Linleigh. The Leigh name has continued—in various forms, on both sides—for five generations. Truly, we have a godly heritage.
Linleigh John Roberts was born February 5, 1934, in Orbost, VIC, Australia, the second son of Leigh & Verona Roberts. He entered the gospel ministry at age 18, covering a circuit of five Methodist country churches by motorcycle each weekend. He quickly realized he needed further training and headed to the U.S. to attend Moody Bible Institute. There he met LaVerne Roehl, they were married July 5, 1957, and their adventure began. He continued theological training at Columbia Bible College, SC, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, and L’Abri in Huemoz, Switzerland. He served as the pastor of churches in Adelaide, South Australia; Mott, ND; Coulterville, IL; Savannah, GA; Newark, DE; Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Macon, MS; Colorado Springs, CO; and Seattle, WA, as well as preaching in countless others around the world. He served on the faculty at Adelaide Bible Institute, Columbia Bible College, and Illawarra Bible College (where he became president), and Whitworth Bible College—teaching Old & New Testament, Systematic Theology, and Philosophy.
Whether teaching or preaching, Lin’s passion was helping God’s people to KNOW their God and his presentations were always biblically sound, clearly and simply explained, and practical for application. Recordings of Lin’s sermons and lectures began to be shared by those who found them helpful and impactful and, in the early 1980’s, with the strong encouragement of the Session at Macon Presbyterian Church (MS), Biblical Foundations, International was born. While it took a few more years before Lin and LaVerne were financially able to dedicate themselves full-time to the ministry of BFI, all of Lin’s greatest gifts were utilized, and his passions realized, in this itinerant ministry and through his writing. For the next fourteen years, Lin and LaVerne served all around the world—Brazil, Malawi, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.—doing conferences, seminars, teaching, preaching, and interim pastoring until Lin suffered a stroke in January, 2003. Lin and LaVerne moved to Colorado Springs to live with their daughter, Gwen. Lin continued his ministry of writing and had opportunities to teach their Sunday School community at Village Seven Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Lin entered the Mt. St. Francis Nursing Center where he continued to minister by preaching occasionally, leading a Bible study, continued writing, and contributed a monthly column in the newsletter which gained him the title of “resident theologist.”
Lin became gravely ill on Sunday, December 29, the family was called and were able to enjoy three days interacting with him—reading Scripture, singing hymns, recalling memories, and saying sweet goodbyes. The family sang him into glory at 1:50pm on Saturday, January 4, 2020, where the angels took up the song.
Lin is survived by his wife of 62 years, LaVerne, their five children—Gwen & Joe (Colorado Springs, CO), David & Paula (Ft. Collins, CO), Jonathan & JoAnne (Cedar Bluff, MS), Judith & John (Bismarck, ND), and Daniel & Julie (Tacoma, WA), seventeen grandchildren and spouses, seventeen great-grandchildren (with two more arriving imminently), his brother Stanleigh and wife Beryl, and their family in Australia. Lin was preceded in death by his parents and one granddaughter, Megan.
Books authored by Linleigh J. Roberts:
Let Us Make Man, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1988.
Know Your God, Evangelical Press, 2005.
Adventures Along Life’s Highway, Briarpatch Press, 2018. (Lin & LaVerne’s life story)
Lin’s sermons are still available to hear on www.tiny.cc/linleigh