An Interview with Rev. Rolison of Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Q. How long have you been a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church?
A. “Here at Redeemer almost two years, this summer it will be two years, just about.”
Q. What is your testimony of how you came to Christ?
A. “Sure, I grew up in a very godly Christian home, but it wasn’t until teenage years when I went through some personal disappointments, lost a…well some difficulties with a one friend, as we both matured that caused me to revaluate who my friends where, and what really mattered to me in life.
And the Lord directed me to strong Christian friends, and it was at that time that I really grew in my assurance of salvation. So I guess you could say that I was a covenant child, but the gospel did not really become steeped in my heart, it was not pressed deeply in my heart until later teenage years.”
Q. What is your testimony of how you were called to the ministry?
A. “In the teen years the Lord really convicted me of some sins of unbelief and disobedience and I really saw my need for Christ. And the friends that he had directed me to and actually a couple of teachers in high school, were very strong Christians, and two of the teachers actually were reformed.
So I gobbled up everything that they taught about the scriptures, would evaluate those things. Talk about them with my Christian friends at school, at just a secular, a non-denominational, non-Christian even, private high school. And really began to delve into reformed theology, and biblical theology, and when I went off to college I had three primary interests:
- One of those was being a journalist, a sports writer.
- Second was looking into political science, international, military relations, in particular, and that is what I studied in college actually.
- But the third was perhaps going to seminary, because I was very interested in knowing more about Christ, and in helping others, if you will, catch the zeal the Lord had given me for His Word. I know that’s kind of a man centered way of thinking of it, I would want to refine that now. I was loving these things and I was wanting other people to benefit from what God had to say in his word too. So basically I just felt God’s strong leading to seminary in the end.
I have had an aunt pass away that was just about 90 years old. A few months before I graduated college, and she left, she and my uncle…she always said that I was going to seminary, even though she was Roman Catholic…she always said that I was going to make a preacher, she and my uncle had left enough resources to me to comfortably to go to seminary, and not have to worry about that.
God worked it out just wonderfully! He called her home, she had left. He had provided for her and her husband, my uncle a wonderful resource field to go to seminary. And basically I quickly found out that seminary, and now the ministry combined everything that interested me the most, and the gifts that God had given me, in terms of research, writing, communication, theology primarily, biblical theology and being able to share Christ with other people.”
Q. Where did you attend seminary?
A. “I went to Reformed Seminary in Charlotte.”
Q. Are you married?
A. “I am yes sir, I have been married seven years.”
Q. Do you have kids?
A. “Not yet, we are working on it, praying for it, but not yet.”
Q. What is it about this denomination above any other that you felt led to?
A. “Sure, I think that…well full disclosure, I was a conservative Episcopal priest before I went into the PCA, but I was always…we were very low-church Protestant, a lot like J.C. Rile or J.I. Packer, very different from the mainline or Anglo-Catholic strings of Anglicanism, but when I had an opportunity at a PCA church I felt like it was more theologically at home for me, primarily because of the fidelity to God’s Word, in terms of doctrine and practice. You know, I felt like not just the things that we confess that the bible teaches but also the way that we do things in PCA Presbyterianism is more in line with what God has revealed in His Word, and what we can deduce by good and necessary consequence.
Q. What is the Gospel?
A. “I think the Gospel highlights are that there is one triune God, who made you and He shows Himself to you very plainly in the world that He has made, in His law written on your heart, and He is a perfect holy God, and he demands perfection from you. That is your purpose in living to glorify Him by being perfect.
The problem is because of sin you can’t be perfect, and what’s more than that, you can’t even fully or truly at all confess He is God, and that you are not God.
And so that is the problem, that is the reality, that God has made you, and the problem is that you are separated from Him.
When I get to the heart of my gospel presentation, I borrowed this from Henry Krabbedam formally of Covenant College, I tell people from Ezekiel 36, that you have three problems and that God has three solutions.
The three problems are:
- First, that you have a cobra heart, this works really well if you do missions work in Africa
- Secondly you have an excrement past, or a life covered in waste, filth.
- Then the third thing is that you have a poisonous spirit, poisonous life.
So those are the three problems that you have and the three things that God does for you are:
- God takes out that cobra heart, and God gives you a new heart the heart of the king, the heart of Jesus.
- Secondly, he washes you from your filth, and gives you that perfect record of Jesus.
- Thirdly He takes away that poisonous spirit and he gives you the Holy Spirit, so that you can love and serve Him now through eternity.
So that is my Gospel presentation, but I will say this, when I give the gospel presentation I stop after telling a person the three problems. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t move them to ask, then I am not going to tell them.”
If you would like to hear Rev. Rolison preach, Redeemer Presbyterian Church services are Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m., and Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.
To learn more about Rev. Rolison and Redeemer Presbyterian go to: http://www.redeemerpresbyterian.org