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United Christian Church
19510 West Chicago Rd
Detroit, Michigan 48228
Office: (313) 273-3200
Fax: (313) 273-3201
Hours of Services
Sunday Worship Service
11:00 AM and 7:00 PM
All are Welcome,
Come Join Us!
UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF REVEREND DR. ROBERT JORDAN
On Sunday October 4, 1936, a dedicated young minister gathered together a group of several persons, baptized in the Christian faith, to explore the possibility of establishing a Christian Disciples Church in Detroit. Inspired by the enthusiasm of the youthful minister and their own, strong desire for the extension of the Christian faith in Michigan those who were in attendance, namely Mrs. Mamie Curtis, Mr. and Mrs. Georege Saunders, Mr. and Mrs. Owen Burbridge, and Mr.and Mrs. Herman Turner, pledged their full co-operation.
During the next four months, thirty-five new members were added to the roll by baptism or statement, to bring the Charter Roll membership to forty-two.
On Sunday, Febraury 26th, 1937, in a rented building located at 5358 Lovett Street, this group, to be known as the Lovett Street Christian Church was organized as a permanent church body.
In February 1938, the first anniversary celebration was held. Now that the church was well established, the congregation felt the need of a church building. In Janaury, 1939, with the help of the Christian Church Co-operative Council and sympathizing friends, a dwelling house located at 5631 Thirtieth was purchased. With suitable alterations, the structure became a cozy church with a warm and friendly atmosphere, which seemed to bind in Christian love and fellowship the hearts of those who worshipped there. Now the Negro disciples had a permanent church home in Detroit.
Before moving into the building, the congregation changed its name to the one by which it is known today, the United Christian Church. As new members came into the church, new organizations were formed to provide greater opportunity for participation in Christian activities.
By the fall of 1946, it was evident that the little "house" church was no longer adequate for the growing congregation. Mrs. Esther Barksdale brought to the attention of the congregation the building which it then occupied. After careful examination and appraisal, the Thirtieth Street Church was sold and the congregation purchased a new worship facility on 16th and Forest.
In an impressive ceremony, on Sunday, Janaury 19th, 1947, the pastor and officers received the keys to their new church home.
Reverend Jordan encouraged his congregation to broaden its areas of Christian service to include cooperative ventures with other churches, evangelism, and educational and social action. As a result much emphasis was placed upon union worship services, evangelistic campaigns, revival meetings and educational and civic programs.
In 1973, the property next to the church on 16th and Forest was purchased. The two-family dwelling was turned into a Recreation Building, where Church School was held, it also housed a nursery for younger children during church service. The building was used as a meeting place both for church and Community Organization.
The membership had grown until it exceeded six hundred members.
The future looked bright.
REVEREND LAMAR CLARK 1974 - 1992
BrotherLamar Clark was called to Detroit in 1974 where he accepted the leadership role as Senior Minister. During his first couple of years he initiated an extensive building renovation program, to the 16th Street Property - these included twenty-three thousand dollars worth of improvements.
In May 1984 the congregation voted to relocate, and purchased the building in which we now worship. United marched into the new church on September 16, 1984. The mortgage was paid in full on March 23, 1994. The mortgage burning ceremony was held on September 18, 1994.
Brother Clark was responsible for starting a summer path-finder program geared to the youth of the church and the neighborhood. He took this opportunity to give the youth the fundamentals for developing Bible-centered lives. This summer enrichment program included a camp experience that many kids would not ordinarily have had achance to share in.
He was instrumental in organizing a neighborhood watch program. The name of the special organization was called Pastor on Patrol (P.O.P.).
United was without a Senior Pastor for three years. We owe a debt of gratitude to the officers of the congregation and the Elders' Board for keeping the congregation focused and on target. The word of God continued to flow from the pulpit as we continued on our Christian Journey. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Messiah Baptist Church of Detroit, who helped by lending us their associate ministers to being the word of god on Sunday mornings.
THE REVEREND DR. JACK SULLIVAN, JR.
The Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. began his ministry with United Christian Church on November 1st, 1995. A former Disciples of Christ Associate Regional Minister and international staff minister, Dr. Sullivan's work with the congregation led to an increase in membership of thirty-one new members in 1996, and the selection of the first women elders in the history of the congregation. In addition, the congregation formed the new ministries and/or committees: Youth Minsitry, Outreach, Worship, Children's Church, Evangelism, Pastoral Relations, Revival Task Force, Stewardship, Membership and Christian Education. Members of United participated in many community organizations as well as functions of the International Offices and the Michigan Region of the Christian Church (Disicples of Christ).
In the area of ministerial enlistment and support, United affirmed the call to ministry of Minister Michele Hardwick, the congregation's student minister. Other members who accepted the call to ministry under Dr. Sullivan's tenure were: The Reverend Alexander Fletcher, now serving as pastor of Unity Christian Church, Fort Meyers, Florida; the Reverend Ruthie Sharpe-Rupert, pastor of The Word Christian Church, Detroit; the Reverend James Smedley, former pastor of Mills Grove Christian Church, Oakland, California; and the Reverend Eugene James, pastor of Northwestern Christian Church, Detroit and current Co-Regional Minister of the Michigan Region.
REVEREND ROBERT L. BROWN
Sixteen months of Interim Ministry
Reverend Brown came to United Christian Church, the last of September, 1998. He immediately began to lift our spirits and he helped us to look forward to God's future. He let us know that even though we had lost our previous minister, the Lord was still with us, and He is the one we serve.
Reverend Brown gave training to the officers and the functional Church Committees and the Church Board. He taught the Bible-Study Classes and initiated the workshop on "Our History and Heritage."
During this interim period, there were forty-five additions to the church: Twenty-six by baptism and nineteen by transfer of membership or re-dedication. Four elders were ordained and ten were ordained to the Diaconate. One baby was dedicated and officers were installed.
REVEREND RUFUS LEWIS, JR.
Reverend Rufus Lewis, Jr. of Birmingham Alabama answered the call for a new pastor. He joined our congregation on April 16, 2000. His able leadership enabled our congregation to continue to grow, new choirs and activities were the hallmark of his plan to bring more people to Christ. Reverend Lewis was involved in helping to better the community through his association with the Cody Rouge Alliance Churches. Reverend Lewis also increased the participation of lay leaders in our morning worship services. He and his lovely wife Rhonda served the Congregation as a unit blesssed by the Lord. Reverend Lewis served until May, 2010.
REVEREND GREGORY EMANUEL BRYANT
Reverend Bryant was called as United Christian Church's Interim Pastor on Sunday, July 3rd, 2011. In this capacity his ministerial focus centered on building BRIDGES. This is an acronym which describes an effort to help congregations to prayerfully discern their Beliefs, Relationships, Ideas, while Developing Gifts to Engage in Christian ministry. Through several leadership retreats, Reverend Bryant implemented a strategic planning initiative for the congregation's leaders. During his tenure as Interim, the congregation did much planning, praying and preparation in efforts to discern a new vision for ministry which would center on Five New Testament Pillars - Worship, Evangelism, Outreach, Fellowship, and Discipleship. Along with studying various biblical texts, Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Church, and Jeremiah Wright's book, A Sankofa Moment, were also important tools in giving shape to United's new focus. Helping the church's leaders work through processes of conflict-resolution, increasing our footprint on the internet (a new website, and Facebook page) were a critical part of Reverend Bryant's work as Interim.
On August 12, 2012, United Christian Church extended the call to Reverend Bryant to become the fifth Senior Minister of the congregation. As the congregation lives into a new vision of Exalting Jesus Christ, Teaching the Word, Serving our Community, and Remembering the best of our African American heritage, Pastor Bryant's conviction is that, by God's grace and anointing, United will be one of those key places in Detroit, where people truly encounter God and their brothers and sisters in Christ, in God's "village".