We've Come This Far By Faith.

- Since 1906 -


In August of 2023 the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs & Related Families continued their unbroken string of family reunions by resuming in-person gatherings at their usual venues. So now, once again, the Reunion Committee is deep into planning the 119th Family Reunion to add another amazing event to that chain. We look forward to seeing you there!

Click Here to view a carousel of photos from that amazing reunion.

From the President's Desk

Greetings Family!

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

It is my prayer that everyone is doing well as we move toward Easter and spring. We have recently moved out of February where we celebrated Black History Month. This is always an exciting time for me because I always learn more about our history as a people and our family. The last newsletter helped us learn more about the important contributions of our family members to African American history. I am so proud of this family! The reunion committee is diligently preparing for our 2024 Family Reunion in August. I am thankful for such a dedicated group of family volunteers who do the planning and execution to allow us to have great reunions over the years. Thank you everyone! There are a lot of details that go into the reunion. So over the next months as we get closer to the reunion, you will be receiving communication about the need for additional financial support needed from each family member. Stay tuned. Lastly, let's continue to pray for our RBMHB&RF family. We have had some sickness and some family members have been called from labor to reward. And yet in the midst of all we experience, God is our refuge and ever present help. Stay well and take care of each other.

Rev. Vincent W. Howell, Reunion Committee President

Next Up: the 119th Reunion

The Reunion Committee is well on the way with planning for the 2024 Reunion. Hyped up by the great success of the 2023 reunion, they are promising an exuberant and pleasant gathering this coming August. Until then, enjoy the new connections you made, and let everyone you know who didn't join us together again last year know what a truly amazing event they missed. Then invite them to register and join us this year.

See You Again In 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 119th 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 119th reunion events.
(All times shown are Eastern Standard Time (EST))

Friday, August 2th, 2024

- 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 3th, 2024

- 10:00AM - 4:00PM - Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church
- 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.
TALENT NIGHT - Amazing talent on display by enthusiastic family members. Some planned, some ad hoc, but all in the spirit of fun!

Sunday, August 4th, 2024

- 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 one of 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

- TBD -
The keynote speaker for this year's reunion . . .

RBMHB & RF Reunion Registration

"Looking Forward to Seeing You again in August 2024"

While the Reunion Committee is putting the final touches on the 119th Reunion activities, you can register your family now by clicking on the YELLOW button below to get a Reunion Registration Form which you can download, fill in, and then print out and mail to the Reunion Committee . . .

REGISTRATION FORM (for download)

. . . Or click on the GREEN button to register online. You will be taken to a seperate registration page. Click the black Register button when you get there to order your registrations. Processing fees will be added to each registration.

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:
Sabryya Roberts
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


  • 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!