The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Dede Robertson
About Dede Robertson
Read about her life with Pat:
Pat Robertson's Biography

Dede Robertson: Her Life, Her Loves, Her Legacy

By Ken Hulme and Scott Ross
The 700 Club

CBN.comSCOTT ROSS (reporting): She was born Adelia "Dede" Elmer. She attended Ohio State University for nursing. She was both a fashion model and beauty queen in the Miss Ohio State contest. While studying for her masters’ in nursing at Yale, Dede met a dashing, young Yale law student named Pat Robertson, and in 1954 they married. Dede and Pat were on the path to economic success and social status in New York, when in 1957, Dede -- on her own spiritual journey -- prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. By 1959 Dede left New York with Pat to help buy a broken-down UHF station that would become the Christian Broadcasting network. In 1982 she was appointed as the U.S. delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women. Dede has authored two books, including My God Will Supply and The New You, a book about healthy living. She has served as secretary and member of the Board of Directors for CBN since 1960, and she serves on the Board of Trustees at Regent University. Dede is a gifted interior designer and antique expert and has designed all of the interiors of the buildings at CBN, Regent University, and the Founder’s Inn. Pat and Dede Robertson have four children and fourteen grandchildren and reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

SCOTT ROSS: Looking back, what was your greatest personal accomplishment or achievement?

DEDE ROBERTSON: Raising four children.

SCOTT ROSS: That's it? That is your No. 1?


SCOTT ROSS: Are you proud of your children?

DEDE ROBERTSON: I am very proud of all of my children. It is wonderful to know that my children are serving the Lord and doing what He wants them to do.

SCOTT ROSS: Pat is a pioneer in many ways, and you have to be a pioneer’s wife. And you are that, aren't you?

DEDE ROBERTSON: Maybe a little bit, yes.

SCOTT ROSS: Where was Christian television? Where was Regent University? Where was an Operation Blessing? There is a long list. You had to pioneer all of that stuff.

DEDE ROBERTSON: Well, I wanted to get it done, because I knew that the Lord wanted to get it done.

SCOTT ROSS: What was your most rewarding experience?

DEDE ROBERTSON: I think the most rewarding experience was when the CBN Headquarters building was built and we had the grand opening.

SCOTT ROSS: The one here [in Virginia Beach]?

DEDE ROBERTSON: The one here. Billy Graham was there. I remember vividly—it just came over me—that I had allowed the Lord to help me and to use me to decorate that building. My undergraduate degree was in Sociology, and my graduate degree was in Nursing. I don't know anything about interior design, but He does.

SCOTT ROSS: He meaning the Lord?

DEDE ROBERTSON: That's right. And He used me to get it done.

SCOTT ROSS: These buildings are gorgeous. They are rooted in the Colonial period. Was that your idea?

Pat and Dede DEDE ROBERTSON: I think Pat and I worked on that. He brought one design home and I looked at it and I said, 'Pat, do we have to build another ugly building?'

SCOTT ROSS: How much did he love that? [laughter]

DEDE ROBERTSON: [laughter]

SCOTT ROSS: There is an old saying that behind every successful man there is a good woman. Do you think Pat Robertson would have been as successful—if I can use that word—as he has been without you?

DEDE ROBERTSON: I don't know, because he is not dependent on me; he is dependent on the Lord.

SCOTT ROSS: Throughout the years as husband and wife, he has had to make some important decisions. Does he use you as a check and balance? Are you the first line of correction?

DEDE ROBERTSON: Sometimes he does, and sometimes he wished that he had! [laughter]

SCOTT ROSS: Now it is all coming out! [laughter] Can you tell us of some of the times that he blew it because he didn't check with you?

DEDE ROBERTSON: I don't think we need to go into that. On really big decisions he likes to get me involved.

SCOTT ROSS: He trusts your judgement.

DEDE ROBERTSON: He does. As he puts it, 'What does this little girl from the Midwest think about this?'

SCOTT ROSS: Presently, what excites you about CBN?

DEDE ROBERTSON: WorldReach.(CBN's International Efforts)


DEDE ROBERTSON: Yes, I am really excited about it. I have visited most of these countries and I have seen the ministry and seen them start from almost nothing. I am watching it grow. I have always had a real soft spot in my heart for China, and I am looking forward to the day that we have a big ministry in China.

SCOTT ROSS: It is under the direction of, of course, Pat but also under the direction of your youngest son, Gordon. When you see Gordon functioning this way, it has to do something good for your heart.

DEDE ROBERTSON: It does. Gordon will tell you that he is my favorite.

SCOTT ROSS: Yeah, he will tell you! [laughter] What do you want your legacy to be, Dede?

DEDE ROBERTSON: My biggest legacy is my four children and the hand that I have had in some of these buildings.

SCOTT ROSS: Your fingerprints are on it. There is a lake around here called Lake Dede.

DEDE ROBERTSON: That's a drainage ditch! [laughter]

Dede and ScottSCOTT ROSS: [laughter] A very pretty one, however, with the ducks floating on it. I never quite thought of Lake Dede as a drainage ditch. I don't know what that says about your legacy. Are you surprised at what God has accomplished here to the degree that this work and ministry has grown, proliferated, been successful, affected nations? Looking around, are you in awe at times?

DEDE ROBERTSON: I am in awe, but then I remember the promise that God made that if we are faithful in small things, He will entrust us with larger things.

SCOTT ROSS: And He has given you a lot.

DEDE ROBERTSON: He has given us so much that I can't even really think about all of it. It is overwhelming.


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