1-MINISTER DEWRY BRADFORD: There's a Devil for every Level! Taking on such a great position as Archbishop comes with greater challenges. What type of responsibilities and challenges do you believe you will encounter as Archbishop?
BISHOP ROBERT J. ROCHFORD: “I believe on this new level I must fulfill my Apostolic mandate to nurture and birth leaders within the Body of Christ. I travel a great deal doing ministry and I anticipate that that will continue as the demand for integrious spiritual leadership grows stronger. I know that this position will require even more intense spiritual warfare but I believe that God is equipping us for the challenges that lie ahead.”
2-MINISTER DEWRY BRADFORD: Who do you get your leadership inspiration from?
BISHOP ROBERT J. ROCHFORD: “First and foremost my inspiration comes from the Holy Scriptures. Biblical figures such as Joshua, King David and the Apostle Paul teach us a great deal about the promises and pitfalls of leadership. In terms of my own personal life, there have been quite a few leaders who have inspired me. My oldest brother the late Apostle Norman Rochford was my first great influence. I learned about ministry by watching him and also my other brothers and sisters, Rev. Dr. Milton Rochford, Dr. Lavonne Burno and the late Pastor Marilyn Havens. Archbishop Roy E. Brown has been a great influence and inspiration to me as well. His leadership and example over the last four decades has given me a template for my role as a pastor, a bishop and now as an archbishop.”
3-MINISTER DEWRY BRADFORD: What is your view of the Black Lives Matter Movement in America?
BISHOP ROBERT J. ROCHFORD: “As a black man in America, I have experienced racism and seen how it impacts our families and communities. I think the Black Live Matters Movement is a serious cry for help. I am personally grieved to see so many of our black men and women being gunned down, incarcerated and uneducated. Our lives are not valued at same level as others and it is a shame and a disgrace. We must hold accountable the systems; people and procedures that oppress black people. We must value ourselves enough to speak up when we see injustice, even if it is within our own communities. If our lives don’t matter in the black community, how will they ever matter elsewhere? I’d like to see the church become more active in the fight for justice.”
4-MINISTER DEWRY BRADFORD: What will you do to bridge the gap between the millennial generation (born 1980 to about 2000) and baby boomers (those born between 1946 to 1964) in Pilgrim Assemblies?
BISHOP ROBERT J. ROCHFORD: “I’m grateful that my ministry has always been intergenerational from my days as a young evangelist to my present role as a bishop and pastor. The mission statement of our church, New Life Cathedral, is “Reaching and Transforming Our Generation Through The Power of God.” Our congregation is filled with Millennials who love the Lord and I endeavor to help them grow spiritually and their presence challenges me to remember that God is the God of every generation. The church in the United States today is waning in social influence. If we want to remain a vibrant force we must continue to find innovative ways to engage every generation. We must seek to embrace the next generation for their skills in technology, marketing, business and also their cultural awareness. And we must connect their energy with the experience and wisdom of the older generation to create a synergy in ministry that advances the Kingdom of Christ.”
5-MINISTER DEWRY BRADFORD: What do you want the world to know about the newly appointed Archbishop Robert Joel Rochford?
BISHOP ROBERT J. ROCHFORD: “I never would have thought as a young troubled teen in Bedford Stuyvesant that God would choose me to be used for His glory. I stand in awe of His mercy toward me. I want the world to know that your history is not as important as your destiny. Don’t give up on God because He won’t give up on you!”