BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
For 52 years, Rev. Dr. John, and Mother Bernice Roberts have served the members of Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, 640 Indiana Avenue. But their service extended beyond the walls of their church, and branched out into the community, earning them the, unofficial title of, “Everybody’s Pastor and Mother.”
On Sunday, April 2, at Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, the members, as well as those from Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, honored their leaders that, many have known their entire life.
Local political leaders, including Toledo Mayor, Paula Hicks-Hudson were also in attendance.
During the day long celebration, there was a morning service, as well as an afternoon one. Various ministries from both churches, sang, and performed Praise Dances, and Mimes. Rev. Dr. John Williams, pastor at Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, delivered the Word at the afternoon service.
Yvonne Johnson, committee member for the Pastoral and Birthday Appreciation, has been a member of the church since she was a child.
“I never left because I love it here. Rev. Roberts married many of us, and christened our children; this is truly a family church,” she told The Toledo Journal.
“Plus, he makes the Bible come to life, and he practices what he preaches. So today, we wanted to show both, Rev. and Mother Roberts our appreciation for all that they have done,” Ms. Johnson said.
Deb Hill has been a member of the church for 25 years. She began attending when she was seeing a young man who belonged to Indiana.
“Rev. Roberts used to tell me, ‘You better make that boy marry you.’ Ultimately, I did marry him, and Rev. Roberts performed the ceremony; I’ve been here ever since,” she said.
“And the thing about Rev. and Mother Roberts’ leadership skills that I really like is, when it comes to solving a problem, or trying to get over a challenge, they tell you what the Bible says, and not what you want to hear,” Ms. Hill said.