By Leah Williams
When Pastor Michael Prince and his wife Lady Sabrina Prince moved to Toledo from Mississippi with their three children in 2012, the couple says they only had a word from God and each other. The first service of The Cross Church was held in 2015 at the old Ramada Hotel during a level 3 snow emergency. Now, five years later, the church celebrated its 5th year anniversary on March 8 in the Airport Highway building they own.
Pastor Prince who will graduate from the University of Toledo in May with a Master of Social Work said the anniversary celebration theme – moving forward with 20/20 vision – was in line with the church’s strategy and mission for ministry. Their past community outreach projects including partnering with a local homeless shelter over the holidays, giving away hundreds of food bags, and providing local youth with book bags filled with school supplies is just the beginning according to Pastor Prince.
“This year our strategy is impacting the community, and our mission is to learn, love, and lead. But we definitely want to [have] more impact on the community. I really want to partner with local organizations and do more in terms of education and job assistance opportunities,” he said. “I’ve learned about opioids, drug addiction, and criminal justice. I’m from Mississippi, and we always say ‘we’re in a place where they kill the hog and share the meat’ so we really want to do a lot more here in the community.”
The afternoon anniversary celebration service was preceded by a dinner served in the church fellowship hall. The guest speaker for the service was Bishop William C. Brown, senior pastor of Fifth Street and New Vision Baptist Churches in Meridian, Mississippi. The celebration service also included musical selections from The Cross Youth Choir and a dance expression from Latasha Diggs.
When asked to reflect on the past five years of ministry, Lady Sabrina Prince said that God deserved the credit for what they have been able to build in such a short time.
“Give God all the glory – to be from a small town in Mississippi [and] for God to bring us to a place [where] we don’t know anyone to bring us here at this time starting a ministry from the ground up. [It] has been two things – challenging and amazing all at the same time,” she said. “I thank God for this milestone. He has connected us with some wonderful, loving people here in Toledo, and that has been a joy.”