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Pastor Melvin Barnes celebrates seventeenth Pastoral Anniversary

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The Toledo Journal Greater Faith Fellowship
From left are Pastor Melvin, and his wife, and co-Pastor, Jeanette Barnes, and Robin Wilson, fiancée to Pastor Floyd Smith Jr. of Calvary Baptist Church.

By Journal Staff Writer

Greater Faith Fellowship Church, 1544 S. Byrne Rd, celebrated the anniversary of their Pastor, Melvin Barnes, as their leader of 17 years. Held on Sunday, May 27th, the milestone event featured local leaders delivering the Word of God, and given testimony about the character of Pastor Barnes.

Patrice Poellnitz, lead trustee, told The Toledo Journal the anniversary celebration started on May 20 when some of the members of Friendship Baptist Church attended the service, while their Pastor, Bishop Dwayne Tisdale, delivered the Word.

May 27th featured two services. Elder Stephen Bufford of Greater Faith Fellowship delivered the morning’s keynote address, while the afternoon service was conducted by Pastor Floyd Smith, Jr. of Calvary Baptist Church.

“Our theme is ‘honoring the leader that watches over our soul,’ and the success of our destiny comes from our Pastor,” Ms. Poellnitz said.

During Pastor Barnes’ 17 year tenor, Ms. Poellnitz said she has seen a tremendous growth in her spiritual development.

“Trust in God, and put Him first in your life, and you will see changes in your life,” she said.

“I’m speechless, and impressed,” Pastor Barnes said, regarding the work put into the celebration. “They put a lot of work into this event, with very little assistance from me,” he said.

Pastor Barnes said that although the congregation is young, they were able to successfully plan and execute the anniversary that people from much more experienced congregations, would be able to do, and that he said, made him proud of his members.

Greater Faith Fellowship Church’s future plans include reestablishing themselves in the inner city in order to better serve the community.

“By having a church, within the inner city, we’ll be able to be a bigger blessing to the community,” Pastor Barnes said.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo

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AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

For 25 years, the Area Office on Aging, AOA, along with their community partners, have been hosting the Senior Safari at the Toledo Zoo. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, while re-visiting the zoo, all in an entertaining environment is the purpose of the event. But for 2018, participants received much more when the entertainment on Tuesday, September 18, was Motown’s The Vandellas.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, welcomes the seniors to the event, while Jerry Anderson, retired media personality, and the Master of Ceremony, looks on.

Before being entertained by the legends of Motown, Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, told The Toledo Journal that attendees were first, encouraged to participate in a one mile walk around the zoo. September is “Falls Prevention Month,” she said, and the walk is to bring awareness to falls, and ways to prevent them. Also, the walk encouraged exercising, as one of the ways to help build muscle, and bone, both of which, could help decrease the chances of falling.

“We’re hoping those who participate in the walk, each take at least 10,000 steps today,” Mrs. Johnson said. “One of our partners, Silver Sneakers, donated 100 pedometers, so seniors can keep track of their steps,” she said.

Sarah Vandevender, a pharmacist, said, various things can contribute to falls, such as dizziness. Some medications, as well as having low sodium, and potassium, could increase the chances of falling. Low magnesium, she said, could lead to muscle cramps, which could also increase the chances of falling.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Pete Peterson rolled the dice to see what exercise he had to do. Lunges weren’t a problem for him, being that he works out regularly.

“Always, speak to your pharmacist, or primary care physician, first, about taking preventive measures,” she said.

Following the one mile walk, Silver Sneakers, had four stations set up along the route to the Malawi Event Center, where vendors, lunch, and the performance by The Vandellas would take place. At each station, seniors would roll large dice that had six different exercises on each side. Jumping jacks, lunges, and leg lifts, were among some of the exercises that participants were encourage to do. Every senior that participated in an exercise, at each station, would receive a free gift.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
The Vandellas made their way through the crowd, people stood up and danced, including Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, seen on the left.

Once inside the Malawi Center, numerous vendors focusing on healthy lifestyle, or services offered to seniors, passed out information about what they offered, gave health screenings, or distributed free fruit.

After a healthy lunch, attendees were treated to 30 minute performance by The Vandellas, in which many seniors could be seen dancing to the group’s songs.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Lucy Mayer had to get a dance in with the Vandellas.

At the entrance into the zoo, seniors prepare for their one mile walk. The goal of the day was each walker tries to reach 10,000 steps.

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Receiving scholarships of $500 each, and standing with Woodward alumni are, standing center, JaRoya Ector, Shamar Williams, and Tayviauna Holmes.

By Journal Staff Writer

Woodward High School All-Class Reunion Committee and C.H. Barnett Construction awarded three scholarships to graduating high school seniors on Tuesday, May 8, at Woodward High School 701 E. Central Avenue. The awarding of the scholarships took place during the annual Senior Banquet.

The scholarships were awarded based on grades, and community, and school involvement, and valued at $500.00 each. The recipients were Tayviauna Holmes, Shamar Williams, and JaRoya Ecter.

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Sheila Daniels-Bell is co-chair of the committee and a 1978 graduate. She told The Toledo Journal they just wanted to give back to the students of Woodward.

“Having scholarships for college is so important,” she said. “The money can go to books, living expenses, or whatever, but the money will make a difference,” Mrs. Daniels-Bell said.

Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua is the owner of C.H. Barnett Construction, as well as serving as the co-chair for the Woodward High School All-Class Committee. She is a 1977 graduate of Woodward High School. Her mom, aunt, and cousins attended Woodward. Two of the three scholarships are being sponsored by her construction company, that’s named after her grandfather.

“It’s an honor to be sponsoring the scholarships in my grandfather’s name. Although he didn’t attend Woodward, he grew up in the area and sent my mom and aunt to the school,” she explained.

“I didn’t know I was getting this scholarship,” Shamar said. “I’m shocked, and grateful.” He will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in music.

Tayviauna said she was happy, and thankful to receive money to go to her college education. She will be majoring in social work at the University of Toledo.

“I’m just really excited,” said JaRoya. She, too, will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in engineering.

The Woodward High School All-Class Reunion committee members are Sheila Daniels-Bell, Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua, Yvonne Harper, Margaret Wiggins, Marion Bell, Burrow Alexander III, Sharon McAlister-Collier, and Kimberly Dixon.

Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper the $115,000+ woman

The Debs-In-Waiting will compete for Miss. Debutante 2019 in one calendar year.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

For 18 weeks, 27 young women participated in various workshops that would prepare them for womanhood, such as etiquette, college preparedness, fitness, and ballroom dancing.

They would attend an Etiquette and Health Luncheon, a Mother/Daughter Luncheon, and participate in a talent show the week leading into the Debutante Cotillion.

The Debutantes, and their fathers, share a dance before announcing Miss Debutante 2018.

There were a few back stories that occurred during those 18 weeks, as well as at the Fifty-third Annual Debutante Cotillion, held on Saturday May 26, in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.  Sponsored by The Toledo branch of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., a few of those stories had never occurred in the 53 years of the event.

Those back stories included four sets of twins participating in the event, 13 year old William Palmer Jr., escorted his sister Essence, and won the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort, and all of the debutantes had scholarships totaling seven million dollars.

But the highlight of the night was the crowning of Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper, who earned over $150,000 worth of scholarships.

Courtney Draper, and her escort, Jose Martinez perform the Waltz prior to being crowned Miss Debutante 2018.

When each of the contestants’ bios was read aloud, Ms. Draper, a recent graduate of Toledo School for the Arts, bio was extensive, as well as impressive. Besides being on the honor roll, since kindergarten, belonged to several organizations including National Honor Society, and the Toledo Excel Scholarship Program.

Tariq Hardiman presents LaTosha Forbes, mother to Centraya, with a gift; a recently added tradition done by the escorts.

Further, two of her 10 volunteer services included Flint Water Drive, and Toledo Children’s Hospital.

Ms. Draper was accepted at Bowling Green State University, Wright State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wittenberg University. She will be attending Wright State in the fall majoring in human resource management, and dance.

“I can’t believe they called my name,” she told The Toledo Journal. “I was like, oh my God, they called my name,” she said.

Miss Debutante 2017, Sara Taite Trail, crowns Courtney Draper, Miss Debutante 2018.

In addition to winning Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper also won first place in the Outstanding Talent competition by performing a contemporary dance. Ultimately, she said, “I want to be a professional dancer.”

To go along with the title of Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper won $3000. First runner-up, Nakiya White, won $2000, and second runner-up, Christa Parker won $1000.

Outstanding talent winners were, Courtney Draper, Keyara Edwards, who did an original spoken word piece, and Krista Parker, who performed a science experiment.

Ramona Stephenson won Miss Congeniality, and was awarded with a watch from Henry Triplett, owner of Henry’s Jewelry.

Mr. Escort was Justin Moore, who was awarded $300. And the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort was William Palmer Jr, who was awarded $100.

Receiving The President’s Community Scholarship Awards for $2000, were Simone Black, Marissa Dzotsi, Kennedy Harper, Essence Palmer, and Christa Parker.

The members of The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Franklin Park spreads holiday cheer, gives coats, groceries and more

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Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

By Sean Stewart

A drive through the streets of Northside Toledo on Friday’s mild evening would have usually been like any other, dark and quiet. Though at Word of Faith Ministries on Stickney Ave near Woodward High school, the scene was brought up by a more energetic and cheerful tone.

Cars parked along the street are packed with youth, eager to join in on the affair. Though before they opened the doors to the church, on the corner of Stickney and Russell, they are greeted by a man and a dolly hand truck, packed with items halfway to its top.

The man says with a welcoming yet weighty voice, “watch yourself now, careful”.

The children obey as the man carries past. Though when they enter into the building, the darkness of daylight’s fall resides and the kids embrace the warmth of festivity.They are greeted by smiles, laughs and warmth. Also, by gifts.

Over 120 families gathered to receive donations of coats, gloves, and food boxes December 19th. It is a tradition that has been going on for seven years in which Franklin Park Lincoln car dealership has moved to provide a holiday contribution effort to the community.

Foods like potatoes, apples, whole turkeys and canned goods, along with newly bought winter clothing, were donated to families in need of assistance.

“We try to give back to the community” says event organizer Mike Colbert, who also works with Franklin Park Lincoln.

Families were also welcomed to a hot meal dinner courtesy of community volunteers. On the menu was a generous selection of well prepared chicken breast, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and more served with hot chocolate and tea.

“I just love to cook” said Martin McCabe, who cooked and prepared the hot food. He has been with Mr. Colbert in the annual event’s organization since the beginning. “Unfortunately the world’s gonna keep having poor people”.

Aside from the food and winter wear, local barbers and nail stylists also donated their time and skills for good measure. To the tunes of cheerful music, children were able to get their hair cut and shaped up on the church’s stage and nails polished just off to the side.

Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

“Lots of people hurting” said Rodney Holmes, an elder at Word of Faith who volunteered to help. “This is a gift in and of itself, of giving back. They need help.” Mr. Holmes moves to serve his community in the way he can. As to the vision of Mr. Colbert of Franklin Park, he gives new winter coats to the families of the community, also food by the box.

He does it all with a hearty and welcoming, yet weighty voice. He also does with a dolly, packed halfway to its top.

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
LaTasha Poole and her son Marvell Curtis boogie on down the Soul Train line. Marvell began reminding his mother, regularly, one month prior to the event.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Heading into the week of the Third Annual Mother/Son Dance, with the theme, ”A King’s first Queen,” which was held on Friday, May 11, at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, 1300 Forest Avenue, the halls, and classrooms were filled with chatter about the upcoming dance. Overly excited boys constantly talked about what they and their mothers were going to wear, according to Sheila Cook, planner of the event, and community family resource coordinator, at the school.

Willie Ward, left, principal, and William White, assistant principal, show the boys they still know how to dance.

As the mothers were escorted in by their kings, both walked down a red carpet leading into the gymnasium, where the event was being held. And similar to red carpet events in Hollywood, both had the opportunity to pose for the paparazzi’s pictures.

The king, and his first queen, would do line and slow dances, as well as the always popular party favorite Soul Train line, before finally sitting down to a catered dinner by J’Maes Home Cooking.

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
Lanette Peacock, and her son William, show off their dance moves. Ms. Peacock said going into the event, her son wouldn’t stop talking about it.

Ms. Cook told The Toledo Journal that since the school was for boys, it would be a good idea to have a mother/son dance. And since it was two days before Mother’s Day, it would also be a good idea to serve dinner; a type of early Mother’s Day gift, Ms. Cook said.

Lanette Peacock was with her son William. She also has two girls, and doesn’t get to spend as much time as she would like with William.

“This is so awesome,” she said. I really love attending this event with him. All week, he was so excited about it, and kept constantly reminding me about the dance. As long as he’s attending, we will be coming,” Ms. Peacock said.

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
A total of 140 kings, and their first queens were in attendance; a number that grows yearly.

LaTasha Poole was with her son Marvell Curtis. She said he started talking about the dance a month ago, and didn’t stop reminding her about the event.

“I love it,” she said. “We come every year, and it gets better and better,” Ms. Poole said.

Willie Ward, principal, said, “The moms are always there for their sons to help with their education, and just to love them; so tonight is for both the moms and their sons. Here, at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, one of our objectives is to teach the boys how to treat, and respect a woman,” he said.

City of Toledo hosts Annual Pumpkin-A-Rama

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City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

By Michelle Martin, Journal Staff

Toledo citizens gathered together as parents, goblins, fairies, and  princesses at Ottawa Park on Saturday, October 20th, at the Liz Pierson Open Air Shelter in Ottawa Park from noon until 2 p.m. This was the 10th Annual Pumpkin-A-Rama sponsored by The City of Toledo’s Department of Recreation.

Phyllis Johnson, who has attended a few Pumpkin-A-Rama events in the past says, “I love when the time comes around for the Pumpkin-A-Rama. Its just an awesome, awesome  for the family. And I’m enjoying it!”

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

A mother who attended for the very first time, Kaitlynne Grey,  says “It’s nice. Really nice. The kid’s favorite part was the horse ride. They really enjoyed it.”

Children and even a few adults were dressed in Halloween costumes to take advantage of the FREE festivities provided by the City of Toledo. Families could ride in a horse carriage around the park. Free pumpkins and apples were given to the community and candy was collected as an early trick or treat! There was also a line for buttery popcorn, donuts of many tastes (including apple donuts!). Of course there was a line for the famous fall drink, apple cider.

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

DJ services were provided by Michael Baginski from Decorative Sound, which kept the Pumpkin-A-Rama fun and relaxed. Children and adults danced to many songs and DJ Michael Baginski’s voice over kept the crowd hype, happy, and involved.

Toledo’s FREE Pumpkin-A-Rama is planned and put together each year by The City of Toledo Department of Parks and Recreation. All food and drinks were purchased from various vendors.

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal
Rihanna_knighten, age 3, stands with her big brother, Romaile Knighten, age 7

Aaron Meyers, Division Supervisor of Department of Recreation explained, “The purpose of this event is to bring the community out and to enjoy the fall atmosphere. We just want to bring smiles to kids’ faces and have a family-fun event that all citizens of Toledo can enjoy together.”

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat

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Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Men of all ages participated in the retreat.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Men from three area churches, Calvary Missionary Baptist, United Missionary Baptist, and Shiloh Baptist participated in a two day retreat, and conference. The event was held on Friday and Saturday, October 5th and 6th, at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, in Perrysburg, Ohio.

With the theme, “Men standing up for Christ,” which was taken from Matthew 5: 13-16 of the Bible, attendees participated in interactive discussions on topics such as, “Let your light shine,” and “Make your calling and election sure.” Further, group prayer was held both days, there was entertainment by Darryl Earl, a comedian out of Detroit, Michigan, and Rev. Dr. Jerry Boose of Second Baptist Church, delivered the keynote address.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Darryl Earl, comedian from Detroit, Michigan, kept the men laughing with jokes about church life

Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, told The Toledo Journal the amount of men participating for the 2018 retreat had doubled from last year.

“This is an opportunity for men to come together to fellowship, and see how we can implement into the community, what we learn these two days.”

Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist Church shared, “This is our second year, as a church, participating in the retreat. The men were really excited about attending.”

Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church added that, the young men, who participated in the retreat, gave tear jerking testimonies on how they need Christ in their life.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Committee members for the retreat are, from left, Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist church, Deacon Troy Ogle of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Baptist Church.

When it came time for Rev. Boose to deliver the keynote address, he told the men that he wanted to give them information that not only tied into the retreat, but could be utilized once they returned to their individual church, and surrounding community.

He asked them, “Do you know who you are? What’s your purpose with Christ? If you understand your purpose, you’ll get in the right position to cause change.”

Rev. Boose continued, “Religion is only mentioned twice in the Bible, but the word kingdom is throughout the book. God rules Heaven. We rule ourselves; the kingdom. And if you notice, kings are never in need within their kingdom. They’ve been given authority in the land, and we, as men, need to recognize we’re kings of our land, granted that authority, by God. When we truly believe we’ve been given that authority, our lives will begin to change for the better.”

Dorr St. Live documenting, revitalizing the inner city

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Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
People brought their folding chairs, and just enjoyed the day’s festivities that carried on into the early evening.

By Journal Staff Writer

The fourth annual, Dorr St. Live was held on Saturday, August 25, at the corner of Dorr, and Collingwood. According to the sponsoring agent, the African American Legacy Project,  said it has a mission to document the history of the area, and help revitalize a once, financially lucrative community.

Local entertainment and some from out of town, kept a crowd that, brought their folding chairs to the event, and sat right in the grass, entertained throughout the day.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
Ronald Jacobs Bay, and Linda Johnson, didn’t know each other, but that didn’t stop them from sharing a dance together.

Food trucks, owned by African Americans, lined Dorr St. to satisfy the hunger needs of those in attendance.

Vendors selling products from fragrances, to unique purses were also on hand.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal

A large wooden board sat in the middle of the grass, and was decorated with African American newspapers from far back as the 1940s.

For Robert Smith, director of the African American Legacy Project, this is all just the beginning of a larger scheme he wants to see come into existence.

“This event is not just about having a good time, it’s about documenting our rich history, and helping to revitalize this community,” he told The Toledo Journal.

Partnering with Lucas County Metropolitan Housing, LMHA, the African American Legacy Project, is documenting the life stories of some of those people who grew up in the neighboring housing projects of the Port Lawrence, Brand Whitlocks, McClinton Nuns, and Albertus Browns, and were successful in life.

People such as Frank Goldie, who grew up in the Port Lawrence, and became NW Ohio’s first African American Post Master General, would later become the Post Master General of Chicago.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
Liz Watson, volunteer, officiates a game of Connect Four between Mesih Glover, right, and Aaun Scott.

Katie Bonds, senior vice president of operations at LMHA said, “It’s important for Toledo to know their history. It’s also important for those who are growing up in those projects to know the success stories of those who came before them; it serves as inspiration.”

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church hosts Annual Women’s Day celebration

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Members from People’s Baptist Church, and Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio, participated with Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church’s 66th Annual Women’s Day Celebration.

By Journal Staff Writer

“Women of God embracing our future,” was the theme of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 66th annual Women’s Day celebration, held on May 27th at the church, 2001 Ashland Ave.

Women’s Day services were held in the morning, and the afternoon. Morning services had Elder Teshuana Isaac of People’s Baptist Church as the keynote speaker. Afternoon service featured Lady Sharon Newsom of Greater Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, as the keynote speaker.

Vera Sanders, who co-chaired the event with Abby Lynn Levesque, told The Toledo Journal that the theme was taken from the Bible’s Philippians Chapter 3, verses 12-14, which also speaks on the importance of fellowshipping in order to be better women.

“As we organized, and got closer to the day of the event, all those involved were really excited to be a part of the organizing,” she said. “We prayed and asked God to take control of the service, and He did,” Ms. Sanders said.

She added that women’s involvement in the church is a powerful example to younger women.

“It’s crucial young women see activity in the church from Godly women. Activity shows involvement, and the importance of being a part of those activities. If everyone is involved, in some type of way, it increases their chances of staying in church,” Ms. Sanders said.

Although Women’s Day consists of women organizing the program, and speaking at the event, she said that doesn’t mean men aren’t invited to the church. Prior to the start of service, Ms. Sanders said women, and men visiting the church gave testimony about the greatness of Jesus.

“The message of Christ doesn’t allow you to stay the same; it forces you to change for the better,” she said.