The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Ron Roberson: Behind the News

By Debbie Harper and Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club“I went down on skid row to die... These were the last days of my life.”

It’s hard to believe that Ron Roberson -- the local edition CNN news anchor for the L.A. area -- onced lived homeless on the worst streets of Los Angeles.

“I had run out of money; I had run out of friends; I had run out of lies; I had run out of everything. I had stooped so low I had to start eating out of trash cans," he recalls.

Looking back, Ron said he lost his childhood innocence because of an abusive, alcoholic father.

"My father would fill a tub of cold water, put me in it, hold me down until my lungs were about to burst, and then yank me back up again.

“I remember times my mother was being beaten by him, and I would come to her aid, only to have them both mad at me after they had made up. So I really never felt like the love was there. I was always in constant fear.”

At the age of 13, Ron decided he'd had enough and ran away. After years in foster homes, he was drawn to groups like the Black Muslims, which offered him acceptance and more importantly respect.

"They had the respect of the community. They were sharp and clean. These guys were so knowledgeable, and I was trying to find something that I could belong to that would give me prestige, character, and respect.”

Eventually, Ron joined the Black Panthers.

“I just liked the power that they had and the respect that they had as related to the establishment," Ron says. "I’ve got a 12-gauge shotgun that gave me power and strength. It gave me influence. People didn’t bother me because they knew I had a gun.

“What I was looking for in these organizations was family. I think everyone has a need for family. The family I had was so dysfunctional that I couldn’t stay there, and so with the Muslims and the Blank Panthers, I found family.”

For a while, Ron says he was a functioning addict, but soon drug use began to take over his life… and he found himself destitute.

“This is where the drug had really stripped me of everything -- sleeping on the park benches out in front of city hall... It got so bad that I had no money, no nothing. I was starting to eat out of the trashcans, begging for change. I wandered for a year and a half.”

When his wandering failed to relieve the despair that was growing inside, Ron decided to end his life by jumping out of a hotel window.

“I had been staying at the Frontier Hotel, and I had one day left. I didn’t want to go back out to the streets and sleep again. That was the day I stood in the window at the Frontier in downtown Los Angeles, and I had made up my mind to jump.

But at that moment something else began pulling at Ron’s heart…

“And then in the spiritual realm, my life was flashing before me, and that’s what really made me take note to what was going on. I actually began to cry. The Lord began to show me my life -- my black panther days, the days when I was a Muslim. I know people don’t believe this, but I heard the undeniable, audible voice of God speak to me, and He said simply, ‘You’ve tried everything else. Why don’t you try Me?'

“That was the turning point, I jumped back and fell on my knees. I said, 'Lord, I don’t know how to pray.' I knew a few prayers, and I just prayed what I knew. 'Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.'

"I had a renewed vigor. I felt like I had a renewed worth, and it wasn’t tied up in men. It wasn’t tied up in organizations.”

Ron gave his life to Jesus Christ that day and began to be faithful even in the small things.

"I said that prayer and the very next day, I ended up getting a job. My job was to stack mattresses, and I stacked those mattresses like Michaelangelo painted. Glad to be working, just friendly with everybody. I was just on fire.”

Ron's life was changed by the supernatural power of God.

“I felt the power of the Lord, as He spoke to me on that ledge. I felt His power and strength. Once I received Him into my life, it was over -- no more drugs. I walked away from everything associated with it.”

As his faith grew, so did his opportunities.

Ron RobersonToday, he has a great family -- a Godly wife named Tina and a beautiful daughter with a vibrant personality. He works as a news anchor for the local CNN news in L.A. interviewing government officials and entertainers.

“I was a crackhead eating out of trashcans. Sometimes I say, 'Lord, you’ve been so good to me, because had I jumped, this never would have happened.'

“He restores you to where you ought to be. He allowed me to be a pillar in the community -- someone of worth and purpose. God is love and peace. He’s purpose; He’s my all and all; there’s no way I can survive without Him. God to me is everything."

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