We've Come This Far By Faith.

- Since 1906 -

In August of 2022 the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs & Related Families celebrated their 117th consecutive family reunion virtually online for the third year in a row. The event was an unqualified success as it rekindled old acquaintences and sparked new ones on an epic level. As the family members parted on Saturday, hopes were high with the expectation that we can plan to meet in person in 2023 to add another link to the still unbroken chain of amazing Family Reunions.
We are proud to announce that the Reunion Committee is deep into planning the 118th Family Reunion as an IN PERSON EVENT! We look forward to seeing you there!

From the President's Desk

Greetings Family!

Rev. Vincent Howell
To God be the glory for all that He has done for this family!

Among his many blessings was the gift of a great 2022 Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and Related Families Virtual Reunion where we were able to enjoy each other and reconnect. How blessed we are to experience His grace and mercy in turbulent times like we have seen through these past three years.

I trust your 2023 thus far has been uneventful and that it continues to be filled with hope and rejuvenation. I hope also that you are making plans to attend our 118th annual family reunion, for which the Planning Committee is already working diligently to provide entertaining and enriching activities. We will be in person! We look forward to your engaging new family members, reconnecting with familiar ones, bringing our youth closer into the fold, and honoring our seniors as they so rightly deserve.

Please pay careful attention to the registration information in the Events Section of this web page. The location of our picnic is the same as when we met in 2019, Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church, Family Life Center, 5125 Mt. Olive Church Road, Charlotte, NC 28278.

We respectfully request that you adhere strictly to the deadlines indicated because registration delays (or failure to register) make good planning impossible and, in some cases, cause increases in costs.

Finally, Family, please be in prayer that we have a warm and loving fellowship in August 2023. And May God continue to bless the ties that bind us, one to another.

Rev. Vincent W. Howell, Reunion Committee President

Next Up: the 118th Reunion

The Reunion Committee is well on the way with planning for the 2023 Reunion. Hyped up by the great success of the 2022 online reunion, they are promising an exuberant and pleasant return to in-person gathering this coming August. Until then, enjoy the new connections you made, and let everyone you know who didn't join us online know what a truly amazing event they missed. Then invite them to register and join us in Charlotte this year.

See You Again Next August!

A Brief Family History

As retold each year in the Family Reunion program (photo from the 100th Reunion Souvenir Journal).
1953 Reunion
The ancestors of the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and Related Families were not all kin, but were fellow slaves from various plantations in Cleveland County, North Carolina. We are the descendants of these former slaves and former slave owners. Our history records include the slave owner family names of Roberts, Borders, Fulenwider, Magness, Weir, Mauney, Beam, and Briggs.

The matriarch of our family was a slave woman named Phebe Magness Roberts (owned by William Magness, slave owner) who had seven daughters (known as the "Seven Sisters") and one son, born between the late 1790's and the early 1800's. The "Seven Sisters" were named Sylvia Roberts, Delilah Dillingham Beam (b.1799), Fannie Briggs (b.1803), Kitty Bird Roberts (b.1804), Betsy Forney (b.1806), Priscilla Mauney (b.1814), and Martha Roberts Howell (b.1819).

The patriarchs of our family were the male slaves named Emanuel Roberts, Big George Roberts, Isaac Roberts (b.1794), Big Bob Roberts (b.1815), Aaron Roberts, Simpson Roberts, and Little Bob Roberts. Big George and Simpson married two of Phebe's daughters, Kitty Bird and Martha. Martha's second husband was Solomon Howell.

The descendants of these seven sisters and seven male slaves toiled together as family and developed a kinship for one another so much so that Wesley Mauney (b.1846), John Wesley Roberts (b.1862), and Eli Borders Roberts (b.1840), all descendants of related slaves, organized a family reunion to include as one family all descendants of the "Seven Sisters" and "Great Slave Fathers". Wesley Mauney was the son of Priscilla Mauney, Eli was the son of Martha Roberts, and J.W. Roberts was the grandson of Big George and Kitty Bird Roberts. The wife of J.W. Roberts (Ida Roberts) was the granddaughter of Emanuel Roberts.

The first reunion was held at the home of Wesley and Naomi Mauney in 1906. For many years, the reunion was held at the homestead of Mason and China Roberts - son of Eli and Sarah Roberts - in Cleveland county (pictured above). The accomplishments of this great family are numerous. Wesley Mauney is credited for building numerous schools and churches, and dedicating his life to improving the quality of life for his people. John Wesley Roberts was an elder in the CME Zion Church and founded Roberts Tabernacle CME church in Shelby, NC. Eli Roberts was a great land owner who donated land for the Borders School and Holly Oak Park in Shelby.

Members of our family have become preachers, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, legislators, engineers, pilots, artists, writers, and in general, outstanding American citizens.

The Family Roots

"The Amazing Beginnings of a Wonderful Family"

Phebe Magness Roberts - Matriarch of Our family

Seven Sisters - Daughters of Phebe:

Sylvia Roberts, Delilah Dillingham Beam, Fannie Briggs, Kitty Bird Roberts, Betsy Forney, Priscilla Mauney, and Martha Roberts Howell

Male Patriarchs - Male Slaves on the Plantation:

Emanuel Roberts, Big George Roberts, Isaac Roberts, Big Bob Roberts, Aaron Roberts, Simpson Roberts, and Little Bob Roberts

The seven daughters of Phebe, and the male slaves on the plantation formed strong family units that comprised the roots of our amazing family. In the year 1906, three descendants of those early unions - Wesley Mauney, John Wesley Roberts, and Eli Borders Roberts, and their wives organized the first family reunion. Descendants of those early founders have gathered to strengthen those bonds each year continuously since then.

Founders of the Family Reunion

The three couples who got together and decided to start this amazing family tradition.




Family colors

The colors shown here were adopted as the official colors of the various family branches. Family members often wear their family colors proudly when attending reunion events. Many often wear purple, the color of our matriarch, which is always appropriate at any event.


Growing Participation from Year to Year

72nd Reunion Re-enactment

112th Reunion Fellowship Gathering

Youth 1 Youth 2

"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessings."

(From the 2020 reunion newsletter by Reunion Past President Graham Watt.)

". . . We are blessed to come from a strong people. Our ancestors withstood the trauma of kidnapping and transport from the homeland; the brutality of slavery and attendant family separations; Jim Crow; the ongoing struggle for civil rights; and the challenges of surviving and thriving in today's world. Yet, here we are! In the words of Maya Angelou, "…Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave; I rise, I rise, I rise." We are fortunate to have family members who continue to seek more detailed answers about our ancestors and their experiences. I am pleased to tell you that their research efforts have yielded more information about our history, and we look forward to sharing their findings with you at the 115th Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs, and Related Families Reunion in August 2020.

Reunion Day Activities

Planning for the 118th Family Reunion is well underway!

The Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs & Related Families Reunion Committee would like to thank all of you who attended the 117th reunion and made it the special event that it was. We have done our due diligence in planning, and anticipate a great return to in-person gathering for the following 118th reunion events.
(All times shown are Eastern Standard Time (EST))

Friday, August 4th, 2023

- 8:30AM - 5:50PM - Leaving from Sheraton Hotel
- Noon - 6:00PM - Sheraton Hotel small ballroom

TOUR - An informative and enjoyable tour of historic family sites. Leaving from the Sheraton Hotel with a stop in Kings Mountain to pick up other guests, the tour includes a stop for lunch at an historic family church - Ebenezer Baptist Church in Kings Mountain.
MUSEUM - Family photographs, memorabilia, and other historic items on display at the Sheraton Hotel. Find out how you can add yours to the collection by contacting museum curator Mrs. Ina Biggers.

Saturday, August 5th, 2023

- 10:00AM - 4:00PM - Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church
- 2:00PM
- 7:30PM - 10:00PM - Sheraton Hotel small ballroom
PICNIC - Food, fun, and games for all to enjoy. The Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church is only a few miles from the host hotel and their Family Life Center has ample room to enjoy it all. There will also be a Video Game Truck on site for kids of all ages to experience.
SEMINAR on BUILDING FINANCIAL WEALTH - A special seminar on Zoom will be led by Angela Moore, a Certified Financial Planner. A link to join the Zoom session is included in the latest edition of the Family Reunion Newsletter. If you did not receive a newsletter, send an email to Reunion President Rev. Vincent Howell, and request a link.
TALENT NIGHT - Amazing talent on display by enthusiastic family members. Some planned, some ad hoc, but all in the spirit of fun!

Sunday, August 6th, 2023

- 11:OOAM - Sheraton Hotel ballroom
- 1:OOPM - Sheraton Hotel ballroom
WORSHIP - The families gather in a Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel ballroom for the annual service and keynote address by our very own cousin Rev. Dr. Tori Butler.
DINNER - Enjoy a sumptous dinner prepared by the host hotel staff as a fitting end to the weekend.
ZOOM SESSIONS - The Morning Worship and the after-dinner program will be broadcast on Zoom for the benefit of those who can not attend in person. A link to join the sessions is included in the latest edition of the Family Reunion Newsletter. If you did not receive a newsletter, send an email to Reunion President Rev. Vincent Howell, and request a link.


Rev. Tori Butler

Rev. Dr. Tori Butler
Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Rev. Dr. Tori Butler received a BA in History and International Relations from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD and is a graduate of the Divinity School at Duke University where she received her Master of Divinity degree. She was ordained by Bishop Janice Riggle Huie in 2014. By God’s amazing grace and through tremendous perseverance on May 13, 2019 she received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Emory University.

RBMHB & RF Reunion Registration

"Looking Forward to Seeing You again in 2023"

While the Reunion Committee is putting the final touches on the 118th Reunion activities, you can register your family now using one of the three following methods:

  1. Click on the yellow "REGISTRATION FORM (for download)" button to get to a document you can fill out online (it's a fillable PDF document form that will calculate totals automatically) then download and mail to us.

  2. Or . . .

  3. Click on the same yellow "REGISTRATION FORM (for download)" button, download the form, fill it out manually (calculate totals yourself), and then mail it to us.

  4. Or . . .

  5. Click on the green "REGISTER ONLINE REGISTRATION" button to order registration tickets online using Ticketleap.
We are using a new online registration system this year. You will be taken to an online registration page where you can select and pay for the registrations you need (click on the "GET TICKETS" button to make your selections).

Please Donate to a Reunion Fund!

Please consider donating to either the General Fund or the Scholarship Fund this year to allow us to continue our efforts to advance the family's values and providing much needed scholarship help for recipients still pursuing their education.

General or Scholarship Fund

If you would like to donate to the Family Reunion General Fund - to help cover operating costs - or the Family Reunion Scholarship Fund - which provides monetary assistance to our deserving scholarship recipients - you can do so by clicking the button below to download a copy of the donation form and send it to the address indicated on the form. You can also send donations using the "Zelle" mobile app on your phone to "".

Scholarship Application

Each year the RBMHB offers financial assistance in the form of scholarships to members of the RBMHB Family Reunion who are continuing their education in an accredited institution of higher learning. To apply for a scholarship, Use the button below to open a Scholarship Application Form, complete it and mail it to: Brenda Ford, 5122 Casino Dr., Charlotte, NC 28216.

Buy A Set Of Note Cards to Show Your Family Pride

(Note Card packages are undergoing a revision. Please check back later to order yours.

RBMHB Founders

Founders card

Family Art

Family Art card

Contact Us

Written communications can be sent to the Reunion Committee at the address shown in the footer of each page on this site. For questions or concerns about this site, please contact Arnold Sanders by email at

2023 - 2025 Reunion Committee

Executive Committee

Rev. Vincent Howell
1st Vice President:
Myron McNeil
2nd Vice President:
(Nomination this fall)
Recording Secretary:
Sandra Harris
Brenda Ford
Jean Humphrey

At-Large Committee Members

Patricia Bates
Ina Biggers
Winnie Keaton
Cossette Padgett
Clayton S. Reid
Kessa Reid
Cenaa Roberts
Chad Roberts
Edgar Roberts
Howard B. Roberts, Jr.
Jalen Roberts
Zahra Roberts
Gwendolyn Robinson
Tiffany Robinson
Arnold Sanders
Dr. Graham Watt
Josie B. Wilson

Making It Happen Year After Year

Reunion Committee Planning and Operations

Reunion Committee

If you are curious about how the reunion planning and execution gets done year after year, and want to become a part of the Family Reunion Planning Committee, this section will help. The reunion committee is always eager to welcome fresh perspectives and young talents to its already energetic, experienced, and resourceful group of organizers. We expect to face many new challenges in the coming years, and hope that your contributions will make the outcome of our efforts to face those challenges even more successful and rewarding.

Meeting Venues

When the Reunion Committee was first established in meetings are held on the second or third Saturday of each month – except the months of September and December. A schedule of actual dates and locations is created during the October meeting. Meetings have traditionally been held at the home of committee members who volunteer to host them on a rotating basis. However, the recent social distancing and other restrictions placed on municipalities because of COVID-19 have made it necessary to meet online rather in person. Regular meetings began being scheduled on Zoom Video Conferencing in April of 2019.

Committee Officers and Their Duties

President - serves a 2-year term and is succeeded by the First Vice President at the end of the term. The duties of the office include:
  • Organizing and presiding over all regular monthly committee meetings.
  • Securing venues for the family reunion activities.
  • Delegating responsibilities to other committee members.
  • Presiding over reunion operations.
  • Coordinating sub-committee operations.
  • Ensuring all committee members are in good standing.
  • Regularly communicating with other officers.
  • Mentoring the First Vice President.
First Vice President - serves a 2-year term and is succeeded by the Second Vice President at the end of the term.
  • Performing all duties of the President in his or her absence.
  • Succeeds the President at the end of his or her term, or if that office is vacated for any reason.
Second Vice President - serves a 2-year term. At the end of the term, a new Second Vice President is elected by the membership at the reunion meeting.
  • Performing all duties of the First Vice President in his or her absence.
  • Succeeds the First Vice President at the end of his or her term, or if that office is vacated for any reason.

Secretary - No defined term. Elected by the committee members when the office is vacated for any reason.
  • Record the meeting minutes and log attendance at each committee meeting.
  • Communicate notice of upcoming meetings to each committee member in a timely manner.
Treasurer - No defined term. Elected by the committee members when the office is vacated for any reason.
  • Maintain the family reunion bank account by depositing money collected and issuing payments as necessary.
  • Report expense payments, collections, and fund allocations at each regular committee meeting.
At Large Members - No defined term. Voluntary positions open to all family members who desire to serve.
  • Serve on standing and ad-hoc committees as directed by the President.
  • Represent the family members as advocates during committee meetings.

Reunion Weekend at a Glance

NOTE: The following descriptions are not in effect while we conduct online virtual reunions.)


  • Credentials and Late Registration - Credentials are given to pre-registered family members and late registrations are collected ($5.00 late fee for each person registered) at the host hotel.
  • Opening of the Family Museum - Family photographs, memorabilia, heritage documentation, and other artifacts commemorating the families' rich and continuing history are on display. The museum is open to the family as well as the public throughout the weekend. Family members are encouraged to contribute their own photos and artifacts for display.


  • Credentials and Late Registration - Credentials are given to pre-registered family members and late registrations are collected ($5.00 late fee for each person registered) at the picnic site.
  • Family Picnic - This is the traditional gathering of food and fun where cousins rub shoulders and consume homemade delicacies as they renew old acquaintances, introduce new and old family members to each other and generally have a good time.
  • Family Talent Show - Family members showcase their talents and gather afterwards to hob-knob and get to know each other better.


  • Family Worship - Our family motto – "We've Come This Far by Faith" – is exemplified and strengthened at this morning worship, which features a keynote address by an esteemed family clergy member or other personality.
  • Fellowship Dinner/Meeting - Immediately following the worship, a catered dinner is enjoyed by the family, accompanied by special presentations that include family member memorials, special presentations and remarks by family members, and a recounting of the family history.
Our goal each year is to fill each day with enough interesting family oriented activities to keep reunion participants engaged while giving ample opportunities for building strong family bonds.

Reunion Logistics

In order to ensure that all the reunion activities happen smoothly, the following logistical items must be handled by the reunion committee during the months leading up to the actual reunion weekend. The planning and execution begins in October and culminates with a final host hotel walk-through in July one week before the event.

Pre-Reunion Weekend Tasks

  • Complete host hotel arrangements (acquire signed contract).
  • Acquire Worship Leader and Keynote Speaker for Sunday Fellowship
  • Process registration forms – print and mail paper forms.
  • Verify membership list, recruitment, etc.
  • Complete reunion program design and printing.
  • Secure picnic venue and hire caterer.
  • Hire DJ for talent show.
  • Establish menus for picnic and fellowship dinner.
  • Process newsletter (creation, printing and mailing).
  • Update web site, online registration, etc.
  • Complete weekend Itinerary.
  • Process scholarship applications and disburse funds.

Friday Operations

  • Setup Family Museum.
  • Pass out credentials and process late registrations.
  • Conduct Historic Family Tour.
  • Ensure hotel signage is in place and accurate.

Saturday Operations

  • Setup picnic venue on-site.
  • Provide transportation from hotel to picnic site and back.
  • Monitor and lead activities (adult and youth).
  • Host the Talent Show.

Sunday Operations

  • Host Worship Service and Fellowship Dinner.
  • Conduct Business Meeting.
  • Announce recognitions and adjourn.

See You Again Next August!