Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Pastor, bank manager, husband and father - Robert Foster does it all

Published:Saturday | December 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Robert Foster

Mandeville, Manchester:

He has been the manager for the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) Mandeville branch for quite some time, but more important, he has been faithfully leading the people of God for the past eight years.

"I didn't know I would be a pastor. I had the conviction, but after the excitement and looking at all the things that would be required of me, I started backing away because I thought I couldn't manage," Robert Foster stated.

Foster backed away to the point where he ended up in whole different area.

"I have always been in church. I preached as a teen and that is where I realised the real calling on my life to become a pastor. I even started my theological studies, but then I diverted to business administration," he revealed.

From camp visits when he found that people were drawn to his personality, and looked to him for advice, Foster took on the name 'Pastor', continuing to live an exemplary life, even after putting theological studies aside.

"I ended up finishing my business degree at the University of Technology (UTech), and shortly after, resuming my theological studies at the Bethel Bible College."

Now a bank manager, minister of religion, husband and father, Foster said it is important to schedule time and adequately give each of his roles the attention it desires.

"Every day is busy for me. Some mornings, I take the kids to school, then come to work. I schedule my church office hours in the evenings or on weekends. Mondays are strictly for family and when there are emergency situations, I fit them in as best I can."

Foster said he can't see himself renouncing any of his roles as he loves them equally.

"For me, doing ministry is seeing people fulfil their potential, develop and being champions for their lives."

The man with many hats said one of the greatest challenge he has seen in churches is that of teenage pregnancy. However, he will continue helping as many people as he can.

" ... There are also problems of broken homes, a lack of family structure and little to no qualifications for particular jobs. The social needs are enormous, but you try to make an impact with the resources you have."

Foster said some days can become overwhelming, with a congregation of needs and the demands of the financial sector, but he is thankful for his support system.

"That support system is critical. First, it is your relationship with God because it is the bedrock and anchor for everything you do. I have a very supportive wife, and I am guided by the philosophy that it is not finding the right partner, but being the right partner. I take care of my wife's needs and she takes care of mine."

He said he is grounded by his relationship with God and the fact that he can achieve all that God wishes for him to achieve.

"Wherever I see where I can help people, and help them develop on what they already possess, then that is what I will avail myself to doing. In the words of Miles Munroe ... I want to make sure I would have deposited in all the lives that come before me. I want the church to be an organisation that does what it ought to at all times," he ended.