Durban Living Legend – Dr Fred Roberts

Dr. Fred Roberts was born in Durban in 1932. He established one of the first Inter-denominational non-racial charismatic Churches in South Africa, called the Durban Christian Centre. In 1952 he sailed from Durban to Britain where he studied at the Assemblies of God College. In 1956 he moved to Estcourt where he built up a strong congregation and was given land on which to establish a church, a school and an orphanage. In 1958 he accepted a call to be a pastor at a church in Malvern, one of the southern suburbs of Durban.

In 1979, Dr Roberts and his wife, Nellie, set up a the trans-denominational, non-sectarian church, the Durban Christian Centre. It began after the success of a Sunday afternoon service in the Durban Playhouse Theatre.

In the early 1980s the church expanded to KwaMashu and a building was purchased for this congregation. In December 1983, Fred was awarded Doctorate of Divinity from the Christian International Seminary, Phoenix, USA. The church continued to grow throughout the 80s.

In 1992, the Durban Christian Centre again expanded and purchased ground in Mayville to build on.  The Jesus Dome was built. The 5,500 seater auditorium has become a feature of the city of Durban and has been rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in June 2016.

In 2007 the church expanded again and opened a campus in Phoenix. Dr Roberts was awarded eThekwini Living Legends status in 2009.  He passed away at the age of 85 in November 2017.

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