Making a difference

When it comes to improving community relationships in Columbus, he’s a jack of all trades.

Whether it’s working with children or adults, colleagues say Columbus native Dennis Roberts can find a way to connect with anyone and make them feel loved and supported.

That ability to overlook differences and find common ground with all residents earned Roberts the Martin Luther King Junior Beloved Community Award, which was presented by the African American Pastors Alliance for the first time on Monday during the community breakfast held each year on the King holiday.

“He has done a lot of good things to support this community,” said Mike Harris, pastor of Faith, Hope and Love Church of God in Christ in Elizabethtown, who presented the award to Roberts.

The Beloved Community Award was created to recognize an individual who has made a significant and enduring impact on Columbus residents, said David Bosley, pastor of Dayspring Church in Columbus.

It is the highest award the alliance gives out.

A graduate of Columbus High School, Roberts built his career as an administrator, account manager and in other various positions at Cummins Inc. for 30 years.

Outside of work, Roberts served with several organizations and boards, including the Columbus chapter of the NAACP, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. and the William R. Laws Foundation Board.

In addition to community service, the award was designed to recognize someone who had given much of their time to the alliance.

Roberts has mentored adults and children “to make sure they’re staying on track,” he said.

Roberts said he was honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Beloved Community Award.

As long as he is able, Roberts said he hopes to continue working in the community to build positive relationships throughout the city.

About the African American Pastors Alliance

The African American Pastors Alliance is comprised of the pastors of Calvary Community Church, Columbus; Dayspring Church of God Apostolic, Columbus; Faith, Hope and Love Church of God in Christ, Elizabethtown; God’s House Missionary Baptist, Columbus; and Thy Kingdom Come Ministries, Greenwood. The group is led by Rev. Mike Harris. The pastors can be reached by contacting their respective churches at:

  • Bishop Charles Sims, Calvary Community Church
  • Rev. David Bosley, Dayspring Church of God Apostolic
  • Rev. Mike Harris, Faith, Hope and Love Church of God in Christ
  • Rev. Steve Millon, God’s House Missionary Baptist
  • Rev. Frank Griffin, Thy Kingdom Come Ministries
Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.