Jesus Dome pastor Fred Roberts dies at age 85

Pastor Fred Roberts and his wife, Nellie celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in 2014. (PHOTO: Highway Mail)

Pastor Fred Roberts passed away on Monday night, November 13, at his home in Hillcrest. Surrounded by his family he went peacefully into the arms of his Saviour. He was 85.

His ministry began in 1954 with his newly-wed wife Nellie. They were married for 63 years and been in the ministry for almost the same number of years.

During his ministry Fred Roberts pioneered churches and inspired many, many young men and women to accept the call of God to go into fulltime ministry.

Fred Roberts founded Durban Christian Centre in 1979 and built the iconic Jesus Dome on a hill overlooking the city.

On June 7, 2016 the Jesus Dome was destroyed by fire, but it could not rub out the legacy of a true general and gentleman of the faith.

Tens of thousands of lives in Africa and overseas have been touched by Fred and his darling wife who died to self to become servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving grace.

The following is tribute by Ron Steele:

Tears of Gold
Many tears were shed when the sad news was received of Pastor Fred’s passing to glory.

But each tear was more precious than the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London

These tears brought grateful memories to the thousands of people around the world who encountered Jesus Christ after hearing Pastor Fred’s impassionate proclamation of the gospel.

Other precious tears recalled to thousands the healing power of God when Pastor Fred laid hands or anointed them with oil and said a simple prayer of faith.

And many wet eyes remind the many widows of the words of comfort they received from Pastor Fred when they stood in despair at the bedside of a departed loved one.

Many are the tears of joy for the many babies blessed and dedicated to the Lord by a beaming Pastor Fred.

Yes, the tears that stain our cheeks are precious because they speak of the love and passion of Pastor Fred. They are like a waterfall of grace for the multitudes whose lives were touched by a man dearly loved.

And don’t forget the many tears that Pastor Fred shed when confronted with the challenges of life and the responsibility of the ministry.

But those tears were wiped away when he was welcomed into the splendour of Heaven and beheld the matchless beauty of his Saviour Jesus.


  1. His heavenly kingdom.

  2. Precious man of God. Used by the Lord to touch so many lives. Has been an encouragement in my life in serving the Lord so many times. I am praying for you dear Nellie in this difficult time. I know that Father God will comfort you but I also know to be seperated from your life partner is very painful. To know that Fred no longer needs faith but all that he has believed in has become a reality to him now as he worships his God and Saviour Christ Jesus, will be the greatest comfort for you at this time. Soon we will all have that same privilege to know Him,our Lord in His heavenly kingdom.

  3. Dennis Bjorgan

    Had the honor of ministering in Pastor Fred’s church in the early ’60. as the “Gospel Sons”

  4. Timothy sneddon

    A giant of the faith.
    Pastor Fred and Nellie were an inspiration to our family.
    Through his ministry 50 years ago my Dad and Mom were taught the word and this inspired my Dad and mom to go full time into ministry.
    I today too am an offspring of his ministry and faithfulness to God. Preaching the good news of Jesus.

    Thank you Pastor Fred and Nellie.

    My prays are with you Sister Nellie and family

  5. Lungakazi Poswa

    Rest in peace man of God. You have done what God has called you on earth for.Thank God for using you to touch people’s lives.I’m hurt but happy at the same time because I know you are in Gods hands

  6. Phumzile Dlamini

    I have known Pastor Fred from a young age,since I started school at Durban Christian Centre and used to go to Xtreme kids …It breaks my heart to hear such terrible news but then we know he is with the lord… May his soul rest in peace