On February 2, 2008, Rev. Bernice Vance (B. V.) Robison will achieve something that few Assemblies of God ministers can claim – he will celebrate his 100th birthday. Reared in the Waurika and Terral areas in Oklahoma, Robison later moved to Texas, which became his home state. In 1927, at the age of 19, he began traveling with Floyd Hawkins. Together, they held revivals in towns and communities across Texas, bringing the Pentecostal message to many people for the first time. Numerous Assemblies of God churches were organized as a result of their efforts.
In 1929 Robison married Lillie Mae Holdridge. Following a 1930 revival campaign held in Freeport, Texas, he remained to pioneer a church, which became First Assembly of God. In the early days of the Assemblies of God, most pastors were bi-vocational, and they were expected to be competent in multiple skills. Robison’s natural building abilities meant that, in each of his pastorates, he would erect a church building.
After a hurricane destroyed the first building he erected for the Freeport congregation, he built a second one. To date, five Assemblies of God congregations have been birthed from the Freeport church. In 1935 he moved to Sherman, Texas, to serve as one of the early Assemblies of God pastors in that city. In 1939 he returned to south Texas to pastor the assembly in Cuero. His first project there was to build a new church building. The congregation worshiped in that building until 1993.
In 1942, again feeling the call of God to a city without an Assemblies of God witness, Robison moved 28 miles to Victoria, Texas. World War II was raging, and his new congregation rented a store to serve as its first meeting place. Members moved to a large tent, then finally built a church building, which became First Assembly of God. While pastoring in Cuero and Victoria, Robison served as presbyter of the Yoakum Section.
Robison’s brother, Edward, tragically died in 1949. Edward had been serving as pastor of Oakland Assembly of God, which was in the middle of relocating from South Dallas to East Dallas. The congregation called Robison to finish the job that his brother had started. Robison built another new building and the church was renamed Lakewood Assembly of God. In 1953, he took the pastorate of First Assembly of God in Angleton, Texas. In 1957, after the unexpected death of his wife, he resigned the church and did not pastor for several years. In 1959, he married Leighruie Pitts in Corpus Christi.
He resumed his pastoral ministry — this time in Corpus Christi — where he relocated a congregation and erected a new church, which became Gateway Assembly of God. In the early 1970s he retired and moved to Kerrville. However, the small Turtle Creek Community Church needed a pastor so he consented to serve as its pastor. He remained for fifteen years. In Kerrville, he built his final building, which continues to serve the church. He resigned at age 80, but remained active in teaching and assisting in numerous ways.
Leighruie, his wife of 48 years, passed away in October 2007. Robison fathered three daughters: Berna Robison Pruett, Bonnie Robison Brewster, and Leta Robison Jones. He also has seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Robison, a faithful servant of his Lord Jesus Christ and a hero of the faith to those who have been impacted by his life and ministry, continues to live in his own home in Kerrville, Texas.
Posted by Darrin Rodgers