Sometimes, what seems like a small fun thing to do leads to something that helps change of the lives of so many.
In 1996, Bob Roberts was invited to play in a pro-am of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. Little did he know that the PCCC would become part of his life over the next 26 years.
Or, better put, that the PCCC – which benefits more than 50 Ozark children’s charities annually – would be boosted by Roberts over the past 26 years.
In essence, he became one of the tournament’s go-to volunteers and constants, and it’s why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly honored Roberts with the 2023 Ace Award during the Spring Sports Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company.
The Ace Award is bestowed on those who make an impact on sports-related charity work in Missouri. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame manages the Price Cutter tournament, which has gifted more than $19.4 million to charities since 1990.
Roberts has been involved through Second Baptist Church of Springfield. He has worked among the tournament’s 1,000-person Volunteer Army since 1996, on site each tournament day. He also oversees the Pro Links Dinner on the Tuesday evening of tournament week and coordinates the sunrise worship service on Championship Sunday at Highland Springs Country Club.
“I sincerely believe each of us are put on earth for a purpose,” Roberts said. “Serving others and helping meet their needs is indeed rewarding. I never serve for individual award, but to share my faith. Galatians 2:20 says, ‘It is not I that live, but Christ that lives within me.’”
Born seven miles from the Current River in southeast Missouri and having grown up in West Plains, Roberts was influenced by the sport of baseball. The town produced big-leaguers Preacher Roe and Bill Virdon and both shared their stories with him.
Years later, after college – he finished at Harvard University, by the way – Roberts set on a road that would lead to his involvement with the PCCC.
He started a 40-year career in the U.S. Postal Service and was Postmaster in Springfield from 1996 to 2001. He got involved in faith-based organizations and served eight states and internationally. In 2023, he retired after 22 years with Second Baptist Church.
He has held numerous roles, including Coordinator of Community Services and Minister of Missions. In the latter role, he helped coordinate 61 church plants, missionaries and Second Baptist partners around the globe.
Roberts serves on several community boards, including the Good Community Committee and the Mayor’s Commission for Human Rights and Community Relations. He is now in the role of Community Engagement Minister.
“My goodness, to be able to do what you love and engage Community and congregation is a dream come true,” Roberts said. “Using talents provided by the Lord for the Church is extremely rewarding. If you genuinely love people, love Jesus, opportunities are provided beyond your wildest imagination, doors are opened miraculously.”
The PCCC is rewarding. Second Baptist Church became involved in the Tuesday night dinners for the players, through Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a PCCC charity. That’s hours after Game Day with FCA allows for local youths to walk inside the ropes with the pros during their practice round. Coordinating the Sunday Sunrise service is a challenge, especially if it’s questionable weather.
His father, a former minor league baseball manager, used to tell him, “If you work for a man always give him your best.” Father-in-law Loyd Johnson taught him golf.
Roberts also remembers his first boss in the postal service, Alan Howard, who encouraged him to tithe 10 percent. And Dr. John Marshall and Dr. John Edie of Second Baptist Church taught him how to, “Bless others first, so they could be a blessing to others, and that you cannot outgive God.”
His success is because of so many, especially his parents and eight siblings. The Ace Award is meaningful.
“I am overwhelmed by the recognition. It is my prayer that through this process, I will thank those that have poured into my life so I could pour into others,” Roberts said. “I want to thank Second Baptist Church, Jerald Andrews, Byron Shive, the employees of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the Community of Springfield, the communities of Houston and West Plains and many others, but especially my Lord, that has allowed me a platform that could be used to bless others. I would like to thank my family and Second Baptist Church.”