Director of the Center for Vitality
Rev. Dede Roberts has served as the Director of the Center for Vitality since July 2014. In addition to initiating a new ministry plan, she launched the Center for Vitality in July of 2015. Dede is committed to the Center for Vitality being a resource for congregations, clergy, and laity of the Arkansas Conference to create vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities, and the world.
Before leading the launch of the Center for Vitality, Dede served the Arkansas Conference as a pastor, clergy recruitment specialist, and district superintendent. As a pastor her congregations were recognized as district and conference “Church of the Year” in small, medium and large church categories. As a DS, Dede steered the Central District through reorganization and the new work of superintendents as District Mission Strategists.
Dede’s love for Christ and passion for the United Methodist Church began in middle school when a friend invited her to UMYF. She committed her life to Christ and was confirmed and baptized through the ministry of High Street United Methodist Church in Muncie, Indiana. She has experienced for herself the power of the church to transform lives in Jesus’ name, since her life was changed by Sunday School, worship, Bible study, youth ministry, church camps, and the love of both clergy and laity who were disciples committed to making disciples. In addition to shepherding her faith, the United Methodist Church provided for her education at the University of Indianapolis (B.A.) and Duke Divinity School (M.Div.). Dede’s ministry has been shaped by gratitude for the church and a deep desire that all could experience the grace of God that United Methodists communicate in word and deed.
Dede’s motto as the Director of the Center for Vitality is, “Take the Next Step.” In addition to developing new programs like the Ministry Toolbox, Vital Congregations Initiative, Leadership Coaching, and Congregational Guides to help churches step out in faith, she offers expertise in spiritual formation, worship planning, coaching for individuals and teams, and strategic planning.
Dede and her husband, Rev. Michael Roberts, currently live in Conway where Michael is the Senior Pastor of First UMC. In addition to striving to be a faithful disciple and leader, Dede is a wife, mom, friend, and colleague. She loves to cook, read cozy mysteries, and be GrandD to the most beautiful grandbaby in her world.
Learn more about the Center for Vitality