Extending the message of Christ beyond the church walls, was the motivating factor of Calvary Baptist Church, 702 Collingwood Blvd, for hosting their second book bag, and school supply give-a-way. Held on Saturday, August 11, the event featured more than school supply give-a-way.
Free food, and clothes, as well as games, and horse rides, rounded off the day’s events.
Willie Tucker, chairman of the Deacon Board, told The Toledo Journal that the members of the church wanted to bless the kids who lived in the area of Jones leadership Academy, Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls and Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, by giving away supplies to help with their education.
Last year, the church gave away 150 book bags, and supplies, and Deacon Tucker said they would like to continue to increase that number.
“Jesus asked us to witness to others, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.
“Many of the kids, who received the supplies, don’t attend Calvary Baptist Church, which is fine with us,” said Deacon Troy Ogle. “So, under the leadership of Floyd Smith Jr., pastor, what we want to do is bridge a gap between the community, and our church,” he said.
“This event is very beneficial,” said Wardell Adams, who brought five of his children to the event. “Events like this are really good for those parents who have more than one child,” he said.
Co-sponsoring the event was businessman, and member of Calvary Baptist Church, Bryan Williams Jr.
On Monday, March 25th the Art Tatum Center presented a special program at the Kent Branch Library Auditorium entitled, “The Soul of a Queen”, a free concert to celebrate the 77th birthday of Aretha Franklin.
Ms. Franklin who was born on March 25, 1942, and passed away in August of 2018, she left behind a legacy of music and civil right activism that will never be forgotten. Even though many have followed behind her, there will never be another one like Aretha Franklin. She was the undisputed, “Queen of Soul” who surpassed all generations and cultural boundaries with her music.
To pay tribute to her in a style only fitting for a queen the center chose a former Toledo musician and his band the Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio with guest vocalist Theresa Harris to perform for the program. Mr. Hughes who is a big fan of Aretha Franklin and an extraordinary musician himself in his own right had a personal story to tell the audience about Aretha Franklin’s Toledo connection.
After working as the musician at Warren AME Church here in Toledo he accepted a job as minister of music at Aretha Franklin’s father’s Church, New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. ‘My whole objective in taking the job was to one day meet the Queen of Soul and let her hear me play, he said. ‘Every year she puts on a gospel concert at the church and she is there in person.’
Sure enough, the time for the concert and sure enough the Queen of Soul was there and heard Mr. Hughes play, ‘Evidently she liked what she heard,’ he said. ‘because later when her regular organist took ill, she called me and asked me to accompany her to Philadelphia’ when she performed for the Pope. Following that, I became her organist and went with her on tour. ”When I applied for the job at New Bethel, I had no idea that one day I’d be playing for Aretha Franklin, I mostly just wanted to meet her, said Mr. Hughes. ‘Aretha Franklin is special to me because she opened up so many doors for me that I never thought would happen, and she took me to higher heights. I never would have gotten those opportunities if had not been for the Queen of Soul’, he said. ‘Working with her was phenomenal.’
After telling his story of his life with Aretha, Mr. Hughes and his Trio played a little lite jazz to warm the audience up. Then he invited guest vocalist Theresa Harris to join them and they tore into Aretha Franklin’s hits and standards. This was the moment the audience had been waiting for and everyone was thrilled.
The evening program began with an introduction from Brett Collins the Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center. He reminded everyone of the importance of Aretha Franklin’s music and her work in the community saying, ‘ it’s never too late to honor someone like Aretha Franklin who’s done so much for our souls, it’s important to honor legends because they are the ones who lay the footprints down for us to follow’.
He also informed everyone of the upcoming documentary Amazing Grace, the story of the making of Aretha Franklin’s largest selling album by the same name.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church congregation hosted the 25th Pastoral Anniversary for their Pastor, Lewis Savage, on Saturday, June 10, 2018, held at Bethlehem Fellowship Center, 1430 Bancroft. The celebration featured a variety of performances, as well as the presence of local religious leaders.
There was a dinner, praise dancing, a gospel comedy show, and the siblings of Pastor Savage sang to him.
In attendance for the celebration was Minister Chris Bryd, and Bishops MC McGee, and Randal Parker.
Arnisha Bush, president of the Pastor’s Aid Committee, told The Toledo Journal why the recognition and celebration was important.
“We have a God fearing man who stepped up to the challenge of leading the church when his father, and our late Pastor, Harvey Savage Sr. passed,” she said. “I’ve been a member all my life, and I follow a man, who loves God, and is always available to the members of the church,” Ms. Bush said.
Judy Savage, member of the Pastor’s Aid Committee, and sister to Pastor Savage said, “He has done so much for the church, me, and my children; that’s just a few reasons why he deserve this celebration.”
First Lady Norma Savage has also diligently served God in the leadership for 25 years, as well as the members of Lo Salem. Although being the wife of Pastor Savage, she has worked in number of capacities around the church, including Sunday school teacher, fundraiser, and janitor.
“I feel great, and honored by the celebration today,” Pastor Savage said. “One of the greatest things that I or anyone can do is spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the world; there’s no work greater.”
Future plans at Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church include expanding the church facility, opening a center for senior citizens, and youth, and expanding the Martin Luther King Jr. Kitchen for the Poor, Pastor Savage said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For two Sundays in a row, February 17 and 24th, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 73rd Anniversary with an afternoon service at the church. On the 17th, Rev. Dr. Jerry Boose from Second Baptist church was the main speaker. On the 24th, Rev. Dr. Willie Perryman from Jerusalem Baptist Church did the honors. Both ministers brought members of their congregations, as well as, their church choirs to join in on the celebration.
The theme of this year’s program was from Philippians 4:6, “Don’t
worry about anything, Instead Pray about everything,” This theme was most
appropriate because it reaches back to Indiana Missionary Baptist Churches humble
It was in the mid-forties when Rev. W. J. Stephenson, the pastor
of Central Baptist Church in north Toledo realized that his church was going to
lose its property due to an upcoming freeway project that was going to slice
through the heart of north Toledo. He became worried that many of his
parishioners that lived in the central city would have a difficult time getting
to church after the expressway was built.
Faced with this dilemma, Rev. Stephenson did what a man of God
should do! He turned to his Heavenly Father for help, and his help came.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he decided to resign his position as pastor of
Central Baptist and open a new church in the central city where the majority of
African Americans lived during that time period. He then contacted a fellow
pastor, the Rev. E. J. Benton along with some established church Deacons,
Trustee, pastors, church Mothers and other church-going people for a meeting.
At this meeting which took place on February 20, 1946, at 819
Ewing Street in the central city, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church was
officially organized and Rev. W. J.
Stephenson became the church’s first pastor. This was a position he would
maintain until he passed away in July of 1959. Also present at this meeting
were a group of teenagers, and unbeknownst to everyone at the time in this
group, was one who was the new church’s hope of the future. A young man by the
name of John E. Roberts who was there that night, would grow up, and one day
become one of Indiana’s most influential and beloved ministers.
As the new church progressed it quickly began to grow and it
wasn’t too long before everyone became aware that they were going need a larger
space to properly worship the Lord. Now they had a mission fulfill. So, they
started a building fund to build a new church building. Soon enough money was
raised to purchase a property at 640 Indiana Ave.
Missionary Baptist Church celebrated a mission fulfilled as they
marched singing God’s praises all the way from the old building on Ewing Street
to the new one on Indiana Avenue. Since that time the congregation has
continued to grow and so has the original structure. In time came the addition
of a ground level sanctuary, the upper-level sanctuary, the Stephenson-Roberts
Hall and a spacious parking lot to accommodate its large growing congregation.
Since the passing of the founder, Rev. W. J. Stephenson in 1959,
the church has had several pastors including the Rev. T. Wiggins in 1960, and
the Rev. F. H. Alexander 1961 through 1963.
On January 21, 1965, the young teenager, who attended that first organizational meeting in 1946, the Rev. John E. Roberts became Indiana’s fourth pastor. He later elevated his status in ministry by graduating from the Toledo Bible College in 1975 and was Valedictorian of his class. From this point on he became known as Rev. Dr. John E. Roberts.
Under his leadership, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church has become one of the most influential churches in the city. They are known for their community involvement for reaching out and helping others.
As for Pastor Roberts, he is a minister who lives his ministry, 24
hours a day, in and out of the pulpit. If you meet him out in the world, he’s
probably going to ask you two questions. One, ‘your name,’ and two, “are you
saved’? He’s a man who understands that his main purpose in life is to help us
ordinary folks find out way into God’s grace and into his heaven.
At his church, he is a continual inspiration to others and has also mentored dozens of young men in the field of ministry, many who have gone on to have their own churches.
As the church celebrates its 73rd anniversary, he had these words
of divine wisdom for his congregation, he said, “Truly God has blessed us and
smiled upon us, and I thank Him for it. We must never forget that Central
Baptist gave birth to Indiana. Thank God for Rev. W. J. Stephenson and the
pioneers like him that were with him paving the way. We must constantly pray
for our church and its ministry of redemption in a lost world as we constantly
live our lives in a way that honors Christ and his teaching.”
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.
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.
Taylor is seen here with Ms. Billie Johnson, President/CEO of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio,
was at their Senior Holiday Party on December 14 at Premier Banquet Center .
And, they welcomed over 750 individuals age 60 or better.
Taylor retired in April, 2018, after 40 plus years, as a Nutrition Site Manager
for The Area Office on Aging, and Spencer Valley Senior Nutrition Program. Mattie Taylor states that, she enjoyed the Christmas Party, and she will continue to
attend all the events that the Area Office on Aging will have for the seniors.
Everyone enjoyed a formal
sit-down lunch, entertainment from singer Marcia Bowen, DJ One TyMe, the
Anthony Wayne High School Choir, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus.
For 35 years, the members of United Missionary Baptist Church, 2705 Monroe St, have been worshipping God, and inviting others to that worship. On Sunday, October 14, they celebrated their 35th anniversary by recognizing how far they’ve advanced as a congregation, and where they still, have yet to go.
Participating in the celebration were some of the members of Second Baptist Church in Akron, Ohio. Their Pastor, Roderick Pounds served as the keynote speaker.
Spearheading that celebration was Julia Holt, chairperson of the Trustee Board, and charter member of United Missionary Baptist Church. She told The Toledo Journal what keeps her actively involved at her church. “The members are very loving, and we work well together, plus, they have a genuine love for God,” she said.
As an extension to their anniversary celebration, the members hosted an afternoon fundraiser to further continue church renovations, as well as add to their scholarship fund, and continue their community outreach programs.
Entitled, “A Taste of Culture,” the fundraiser consisted of members of the church dividing up in four groups, with each group taking one of four regions, of the United States. The group then, preparde dishes that are indigenous to that particular region. Attendees would have the opportunity to taste those particular dishes. Further, each group would highlight the history of African Americans from that particular region of the country.
Rev. Robert Bass has been the head Pastor for 15 years. He said the anniversary celebration gives the members the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the past 35 years, which helps them better map out, their future endeavors.
“One of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome is paying off a 30 year mortgage, in 16 years, with less people than we originally had,” he said. Rev. Bass said that being free of a mortgage, frees up the minds of the congregation, and puts them in a better position to focus on outreach programs, for example.
Rev. Bass further stated that, one of his short term objectives is having the church serve as a technological, and community focal point. “I want this church to be the center piece of the community, where people can come turn to, and get any kind of help they need,” he said.
One in eight women are affected by breast cancer and five of these affected women will pass away each week. African American women are also 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
While these numbers may be frightening, there is still hope. Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio has donated over $17 million to breast cancer research and local services, providing for thousands of local women. Twenty five percent of the collected donations are donated to cancer research, while 75 percent supports breast cancer awareness and preparedness in Northwest Ohio.
This year, thousands gathered at the 25th annual Toledo Race for the Cure Sept. 30 in downtown Toledo. The event is held to raise breast cancer awareness and to celebrate survivors.
The 2018 race specifically honored survivor Rena Raga and the memory of Kelli Andres, wife and mother, who passed away this year.
The day’s events included a Kid Zone at Fifth Third Field, a Survivor Parade, and a survivor ribbon photo taken with a flying drone. New this year was a survivor’s trolley that transported those who could not participate in the race.
About 20,000 people came to walk, run, volunteer, or watch the race which continues to support the foundation’s $1 million fundraising goal each year.
That goal is well on its way to being reached, considering the 10,000 paid participants as well as a $55,000 donation from Ford Motor Company towards the continued research for the cure.
The Toledo Journal is Northwest Ohio's oldest African American owned weekly newspaper. We represent the voices of our local community, Northwest Ohio, and under served populations with an unapologetic vigor.