Saturday’s banquet included tributes from Rev. Cedric Brock,
pastor of Mt. Nebo and leader of Interdenominational
Ministerial Alliance; Ray Woods of Toledo NAACP; and Elder
Florie Huntley, the church’s oldest member. Proclamations
were presented by Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Toledo Public
Schools and the Lucas County Commissioners.
“I am reminded that we Christians are charged to go in the
highways and byways and uplift those who are down. Let us
never forget that mission. First Church of God has done that
for 100 years,” shared Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.
“I’m honored to be here. First Church of God has and
continues to work in the community. I’ve known Bishop Culp
as a leader who speaks his mind. I admire him, as a past
president of Toledo NAACP, but also as a community leader,
mentor and friend,” explained Ray Woods.
Sunday’s service was held at the historic structure located
at the corner of Collingwood and Central in Toledo and
opened with a homecoming mass choir, comprised of church
members. The service continued with selections, praise
dancing and a guest speaker.
“Thank you everyone for your love and support,” said Bishop
Robert Culp, pastor of First Church of God.
The church’s history began in 1917 when three sisters Sallie
Foster, A.V. Burns, and Janis Barber began preaching,
conducting meetings, and organizing Bible study classes in
Toledo. By 1929 the church became the first “colored”
congregation of The Church of God in Toledo, Sunday school
classes and the choir were organized, the church relocated
to Collingwood and Avondale then Erie and Tecumseh, built a
structure on Vance street, and received their first woman
pastor, Sister Lucinda Vines. In 1932 the deacon board and
mission society was organized.
The church continued to move to different locations between
1936-1979, but welcomed current pastor, Rev. Robert Culp,
who preached his first sermon as pastor on May 21, 1961. In
the past 10 years the church dedicated their nursery
ministry, and celebrated the consecration of Rev. Robert
Culp to the office of Bishop in 2014.