Brother Hayden Roberts is a native of Suffolk, Virginia. He is the son of the late Hayden and Luester Roberts and the oldest of three children. In 1968, he and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island. Hayden joined Allen AME Church in 1972, where he has been an active, committed and faithful member ever since.
Mr. Roberts held full-time supervisory positions at Bulova Watch company, and Eastern Wire Company until he became ill. After his illness he began working part time at the Cranston Post Office. Except for a brief period, Brother Hayden has served as Church Sexton since 1978, maintaining the buildings and grounds of Allen Church until his death. He was exceptionally committed and devoted to his duties as “custodian of sacred objects” (meaning of sacristan, Medieval Latin, from which the words sexton derives) Routinely Brother Hayden showed up at the church multiple times a day, often just to ascertain that all is well with the church property. His conscientiousness and faithfulness is proof that this was his ministry, anointed from on High. With each pastor under whom Hayden served, he gave the same commitment to executing his duties. Not only did Brother Hayden demonstrate his love of God by serving as the Church Sexton, but he also served on the pastor’s aid committee, the Lay organization, the men’s chorus, the senior choir and the Evangelism Ministry. Church members voted him Trustee of the Church; at the time of his passing he had served for over 46 years. He was honored by the Lay Organization at the New England Annual Conference Lay Luncheon in 2014.
Brother Roberts created his own “ministry of helps” to elderly members, from picking up their prescriptions, driving the grocery shopping, or taking them to their various appointments. He extended himself to help others not expecting anything in return. On one occasion, the pastor received a two-page letter from an incarcerated woman, indication that she simply wanted to make him aware of the Christian character that was Brother Roberts. She stated that since her incarceration, Brother Hayden never failed to either visit her weekly or send her a church bulletin. The extent of Hayden’s love for God and ministry can never be underestimated.
Brother Hayden’s favorite scripture is Psalm 23, and his favorite gospel song is “Rough Side of the Mountain”
Brother Roberts is preceded in death by his brother John. He leaves to mourn in his passing his sister, Mrs. Bessie Johnson, brother in law Eric Johnson of Baltimore Maryland, beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. And of course, his beloved Allen Church Family.
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