Campus Pastor at City Impact Church Invercargill
Growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father, Roberta Watson never dreamed she would one day lead one of the larger churches in Southland. But as Campus Pastor of City Impact Church Invercargill with her husband Daryl Watson she is doing just that.
These days Roberta is passionate about helping people find their way through life’s struggles and grow in their walk with God.
“I hate to see people just surviving, and being robbed by their past. The Bible says that Jesus came to give us abundant life – that means not living in captivity or being trapped by things from the past. My whole focus is to help people live the awesome life that God has for them.”
The guy on the bus
“He was the guy on the school bus who always looked so confident. I was not a Christian but I can remember saying, ‘Lord, I’d like to marry a man like that.’ God answers your prayers even if you don’t think He’s interested!”
‘The room filled with a bright light’
One day, Roberta came home thinking about everything Daryl had said about God.
“I remember asking the question, ‘God are you real? What is this?’ Suddenly the room filled with such a bright light that I couldn’t even open my eyes. I heard a voice saying, ‘I am right, I am the one.’ I felt an overwhelming peace. That night I had the best sleep of my life!”
The next Sunday she gave her life to Jesus Christ.
After Roberta and Daryl were married, they volunteered at their church in Orepuki, doing whatever was asked of them from worship leading to leading the youth group. Then one day, their pastor asked them to plant a church in Te Anau, while he started one in Invercargill.
“We were so young when we started at Te Anau – only 24 and 25!”
Daryl and Roberta pastored in Te Anau for 13 years before moving their family to Melbourne to pastor there. But when their Orepuki pastor approached Pastor Peter Mortlock about working together, Daryl and Roberta answered the call to come home.
“Our pastor and Pastor Peter were looking for new leaders for what was to become City Impact Church Invercargill. So we came back to New Zealand to take over the church that our Orepuki pastor had planted. He was the pastor who had originally led me to Christ.”
As born and bred Southlanders, coming back to Southland was an easy decision for Daryl and Roberta.
“Our time pastoring in Melbourne had grown us and prepared us for this next step. It’s amazing how God brings people into your life at the right moments. He positions everything before you need it. I was especially exciting about connecting with Pastor Bev Mortlock. She is a great role model of a female pastor. She’s not just the pastor’s wife – she and Pastor Peter are very much co-workers, building the church together.”
For a few years, Daryl and Roberta pastored City Impact Church Queenstown as well. They would have a Saturday night service in Invercargill, and then one of them would drive up to Queenstown on Saturday night to take the Sunday morning service. Then they’d make sure they were both in the same place for Sunday night.
“This meant taking separate cars and doing a lot of driving. Those were intense days but I believe it’s all about your perspective. I saw the two hour drive as a chance to worship, pray and think about the service I was about to take!”
Today, Roberta loves helping to build the church in the Deep South. For her, it’s all about people – introducing them to Jesus and seeing their lives touched and changed. The biggest buzz for her is leading people into a closer walk with God as they experience His love.
John 10:10 NLT
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
With our prime location on the main street, you can’t miss City Impact Church Invercargill.
Launched in 2003, City Impact Invercargill is now well-known throughout the city, making a difference to the lives of many through community outreach and powerful Sunday Services.
All are welcome to join us for one or both of our Sunday services:
- 10:30am: Family Service
- 6:30pm: Evening Service