Mourners Gather to Honor the Life and Legacy of Regent University Founder Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 20, 2023) – More than 2,000 mourners gathered at the campus of Regent University on Monday, June 19, to celebrate the life of Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, who entered his rest on June 8 at the age of 93.
As guests entered the private memorial service at Shaw Chapel, they were comforted by the majestic tones of the Virginia Symphony orchestra. Its classical notes danced across the sanctuary and ushered in a peace that graciously took up space in the room.
After sharing an insightful video that chronicled the impactful life of this great pioneer and patriarch, eldest son, Tim Robertson, treated the congregation to inside information, like his father’s love of the long running television programs Bonanza and Gunsmoke. But it was his dad’s life of obedience and faith that equipped him to lead their family and change the world.
“My Dad hosted over 10,000 episodes of the 700 Club. Nobody in broadcasting has even come close, but what endures through those 10,000 episodes is the fact that millions of people have made documented decisions to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior,” Tim shared. “And additionally, tens of millions more were introduced to the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Gary Spell, Founding Director of The Regent University Singers, presented a sacrifice of praise unto the Most High—singing Dr. Robertson’s favorite hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
Dr. Robertson’s daughters, Elizabeth Robinson and Ann LeBlanc, shared excerpts from Romans 8 and Psalm 63—scriptures that inspired their father as he sat in his wingback chair with Bible in lap and petitioned the throne each day to be a part of whatever God was doing.
Elizabeth recalled, “He was listening for God’s voice, speaking to him through the pages of scripture. He loved God’s Word. He lived and breathed it. It was his passion.”
Ann, who is on a faith walk—overcoming cancer—offered encouragement, “Right up to the very end, dad was always believing in miracles…He pronounced three weeks ago that this (pointing to Ann) is my miracle. She’s been healed of cancer…Two weeks after he made this pronouncement, one of the tumors is completely gone and the other one has shrunk.”
The congregation erupted in praise at the power of God’s might and faithfulness.
Chris Mitchell, Regent Vice President and Chief of Police, lifelong security, and treasured friend of Dr. Robertson, was next to approach the podium with a perspective that only he could offer after serving at his side for 21 years.
“We did practically everything together. From hospitals to trips to sitting by his side, listening to him—I treasured the pleasure of his presence,” Mitchell uttered as he grasped at his emotion. “There’s a promise that God has made. He made it to Doc (Dr. Robertson) and He made it to us…The visionary may have passed, but the vision lives because it lives in me, it lives in you, and we are determined that we will see the glory of the King manifest in our day because God is faithful…Trust God.”
Dr. Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Regent Law faculty, and friend who shared Dr. Robertson’s desire to protect believers in the courts, spoke on Dr. Robertson, the champion.
“In one sense we have lost a tremendous leader, visionary, man of faith, man of God, but in a very real sense we have gained another champion in heaven,” declared Sekulow. “When I think of Pat, I think of II Timothy. Pat Robertson has run the race. Pat Robertson finished the course. Pat Robertson kept the faith.”
Kenneth Copeland, televangelist and friend of Dr. Robertson for 50 years, greeted the congregation and insisted that Robertson lives on through the Kingdom legacy that he etched across the globe.
“You cannot calculate when you think about all the invitations (salvation), you think about Superbook, you think about Regent University, you think about Operation Blessing, you cannot calculate the people that are in the Kingdom of heaven right now because of this life and ministry,” Copeland acknowledged. “You cannot calculate how many ministries have come out of that. You cannot calculate the churches. You cannot calculate all of the Kingdom that has gone on through all of those churches. It’s an innumerable number and only heaven knows.”
An air of splendor fell upon the moment as Suzanne S. Youngkin, First Lady of Virginia, honored the family by presenting them with a state flag on behalf of her husband, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Gordon Robertson, President and CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network and President of Operation Blessing International, honored the two promises he made to his father. He kept the service brief, ending it with a powerful and heartfelt prayer—giving his father back to the Lord. Second, he asked the pallbearers to take their places and for the congregation to join in with the New Orleans jazz band that would follow the casket while joyously playing When the Saints Go Marching In, because, “This is a celebration!”
As the music began to fade, Dr. Robertson’s beloved family and dear friends took leave of the crowd to fulfill a final request of their patriarch.
Dr. Robertson’s children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and those considered family, met in front of CBN’s Headquarters for an intimate burial service at the Eternal Flame—an enduring flame that burns to symbolize the constant mission to lead people across the globe to faith in Jesus Christ.
When all was finished, Dr. Robertson was laid to rest next to the love of his life, wife Adelia “Dede” Robertson, and the flame that would never be extinguished.
Before leaving this earth, Dr. Robertson was asked how he wanted to be remembered. His reply was brief, but it carried with it the weight of a surrendered life. Dr. Robertson summarized his existence with this, “He served God and his generation.”
“His master replied, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant! – Matthew 25:21
About Regent University
Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with more than 13,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University has been ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 11 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2023).