Long before Pastor Touré Roberts founded one of the fastest growing churches in Los Angeles, California, he was nursing a gunshot wound as a youth in the city.
The 45-year-old pastor, who leads The Potter's House at One LA in Los Angeles, California, and The Potter's House of Denver in Colorado with his wife Sarah Jakes Roberts, has paved an unconventional path to the pulpit. In his recently released second book, Wholeness: Winning in Life From the Inside Out, Roberts reveals the intimate details of his life struggles before he pursued ministry full-time.
At the age of 16, Roberts was the victim of a drive-by shooting, which he admitted was a memory that he blocked out of his adult life. As an adult, Roberts became apprehensive about addressing the matter.
"I felt ashamed and extremely self-conscious about being shot. ... What type of person gets shot," Roberts wrote in his book. "Maybe they would think I was some sort of drug dealer or thug. As a black male, I knew I could easily be stereotyped."
After being raised in a single parent household and growing up in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood filled with drugs and gangs, Roberts went to college and made a name for himself as a successful businessman in the technology industry. Eventually, God called him to lead people in the faith that his mother instilled in him and he obeyed that call to start One Church LA over 15 years ago.
Even though Roberts has managed to help and inspire countless people as a pastor, he buried much of the emotional pain that accumulated during his youth. From blocking out the memory of his shooting to feeling rejected from his father, Roberts had to confront a number of traumatizing moments while writing the book that he believes will help others heal from brokenness and become whole.
In a conversation with The Christian Post, Roberts admitted that addressing some unresolved feelings about his now deceased father proved to be the most painful area of his life to work through.
"I had to acknowledge that I was hurt and to a certain degree deeply damaged by the rejection of my father. In that chapter, I found myself with my back against the wall," he told CP. "That was really an earth-shattering, life-changing moment. Just really acknowledging, 'hey it hurts.'"
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