V.L. & Alga Roberts
Vincent L. and Alga Roberts did much more than provide funding for the scholarship which bears their name. By their example they left to each of us a legacy.
Each was born in the Deep South long before civil rights. Each graduated from Oakwood College in an era when many of America’s population did not finish grade school. Alga, a mezzo-soprano soloist, became known as the “Songbird of the South,” taught in church school when the going pay was $5 per week, was ordained the first female elder in the Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church in California, and accompanied her pastor husband, Frank Bland, as me made his way from local pastor to General Conference executive.
In 1987, at age 80, Alga became the radiant bride of Vincent Roberts. He with his wife, had also spent a lifetime in the ministry, first as a pastor, then in departmental and leadership roles in the Southwest Region and Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Taking “Arise and Shine” as his motto, Vincent sought to place the gospel in every home in the Southwest Region through literature evangelism. He established new schools, renovated and built many churches, and taught financial accountability. Most remembered as treasurer of the Southwestern Union, he gave spiritual and financial counsel to all of the church’s organizations in the Southwest. Wherever he labored he blazed a trail of faith and confidence. He spent his life helping people succeed.
At Southwestern he chaired the Committee of 100 board for many years, established the Roberts Recording Studio in memory of his deceased wife, and was the longest-serving trustee in Southwestern history (1956-1996).
One of the financial decisions of this outstanding couple was to set an example as the first African-Americans to establish a scholarship at Southwestern.