Young ladies from Huckaby Heart Youth Developed and Mentoring.
The Urban Initiative Ohio North First Jurisdiction (UIONFJ) Church of God In Christ (COGIC) celebrated 100 years in ministry with a kick-off, held at Luke Easter Park, July 17, which initiated the weeklong festivities. Its mission to empower local churches to implement programs that address education, economic development, crime, family and financial literacy, penetrated the day’s events.
“The church has to have a pulse in the community. There are a lot of needs in this community that the church has to address. We let the community know we are here and we’re in touch with resources. We have believers in the professional sectors that can assist,” said Elder Carlton Yarboro, Calvary COGIC
The morning kick-off session featured; a job fair, employers from NEON Health, Dave’s Supermarket and Dollar Bank accepted applications, health screenings including, blood pressure, mammograms and HIV, social service agencies like Fatherhood Initiatives, MomsFirst and the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland and educational centers including Cuyahoga Community College and Broadway Academy elementary school. UIONFJ developed a resource guide titled, Strengthening Ohio Families, sponsored by the Federation of Network Ministries, that lists contacts for Cuyahoga county and Cleveland services.
“It was our hope and mission to provide our residents with a user friendly access guide to various social service agencies. These programs will result in measurable improvement in the quality of life for individuals, families and the community,” said Dr. Andrew D. Clark, Sr., UI coordinator ONF-J.
Parishioners distributed shoes, clothing, bibles and school supplies during the children’s festival where the young ones competed in field games and enjoyed the free food.
A Gospel Fest ended the first day of celebrations that continued throughout the week, ended with Friday’s live recording that featured the Ohio North Mass Choirdaily church services, performances by the Youth department and various choirs.
In 1917, Bishop Mack E. Jonas organized the first COGIC in Ohio, Mt. Zion, a storefront at 2830 Scovill Ave. in Cleveland, which led to currently 120 churches under the helm of Bishop Edward T. Cook, Prelate of New Life COGIC, Toledo, Ohio.