Dr. Hobbs was born the youngest of nine children, five girls and four boys. It was at the age of eleven years old that young Robert L. Hobbs realized God’s call upon his life to serve in the Gospel Ministry. For the next twelve years God’s call grew stronger in its appeal to him. Finally in June 1975, Dr. Hobbs preached his initial sermon and was licensed in the Gospel Ministry at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Suffolk, VA, under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Melvin R. Boone.
In 1977 Dr. Hobbs was elected by Metropolitan Baptist Church as Assistant Pastor. He was ordained in the position in 1979. Dr. Hobbs gained great experience in the position of assistant pastor, sometimes serving as acting pastor for extended periods of time during Dr. Boone’s absence.
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Hobbs was voted by the church as Pastor-elect in November 1999 and became the ninth pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church on January 1, 2000. Rev. Hobbs was installed Sunday, March 12, 2000, with the support of his wife and our First Lady, Susie E. Hobbs. Under Rev. Hobbs’ leadership, many accomplishments have been made including the installation of the video system and the founding of the Testament Bible Institute seven years ago, which offers studies leading to certificates and diplomas including Associate in Ministry, Bachelor in Ministry, and online and hybrid classes. Several of our Associate Ministers have been ordained by Rev. Hobbs and all of the Associate Ministers are under his leadership.
In 2015, Metropolitan became a member of the Southern Baptist Association, where we travel to Ridgecrest, NC to participate in the Black Church Leadership. In July 2017 Pastor Hobbs was a facilitator for a teaching session. On Saturday, October 24, 2015, Metropolitan Baptist Church celebrated our Pastor’s 16th Anniversary which took place at the Edmonds Center in Portsmouth, VA. Rev. Hobbs was honored for his leadership and accomplishments as pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church. In honor of Pastor Hobbs, the History Committee and Metropolitan’s members presented a framed picture of our Pastor and First Lady which is located in the vestibule of the church. Each year, Metropolitan celebrates our Pastor’s anniversary in a special way.
Having attended Norfolk State College, now Norfolk State University prior to entering the ministry, Dr. Hobbs continued his educational pursuit by traditional and non-traditional means, Matriculating at Union Christian Bible Institute School of Theology at Virginia Union University, Thomas Edison College, and Columbia Pacific University Leading to a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Religion, with minors in management, counseling, and history. He is also a graduate of the Chaplin School and Center of the United States Army, and the Chaplin Staff College sponsored by Air Force Reserve. Graduate Studies were done at Liberty University of Theology and Southern California Graduate School of Theology Culminating in Combined Master of Arts, and PH.D in Bible Studies. A Doctor of Ministry Degree was earned at Norfolk Seminary College, now Norfolk Theological Seminary. Dr. Hobbs has earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Breyer State University and a Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management from Old Dominion University.
In addition to his civilian career, Dr. Hobbs also found time to carve out a military career. He served in the United States Army Reserve for ten years as Assistant Chaplain and acting chaplain. He further served in the Virginia Defense Force Branch of the Virginia Army National Guard, serving as a Chaplin. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring with twenty five years of combined service.
Dr. Hobbs was Tri-Vocational and also had a career in the engineering field. He served in various positions with Virginia Department of Transportation, and the City of Chesapeake. God prospered Dr. Hobbs in that area of endeavor also, allowing him to retire from that career as the Traffic Operations Superintendent for the City of Chesapeake.
Dr. Hobbs has been a part of Suffolk Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance since its beginning in 1976 and served as president of that organization. The same year he also joined the Sharon Missionary Baptist Association and has served in several Vice-Moderator positions. At the Annual Session 2015, Dr. Hobbs was elected Moderator of the Association and served his term well. During the Annual Session of the Virginia Baptist State Convention in 2015, he was elected Historian for the body. In 2018, his 3-year tenure ended.
Family looms large in Dr. Hobbs’ life. The Lord God has blessed him to be married to Reverend Susie Eley Hobbs for the past forty-six years. They have two sons, Quincy Shawn Hobbs and Quantae Scott Hobbs, one daughter, Esterine Monique Hobbs Russell, son-in-law, James, daughter-in-law, Claudia, seven grandsons, and four great grandsons. Dr. Hobbs’ motto is “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand.”