bible1Summit Christian Church, Dayton, Ohio is associated with “the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),” the largest Protestant body founded on American soil. We began in 1804 in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, and in 1809 in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and Bethany, West Virginia, A dream that the Church of Jesus Christ could be one, lead Thomas and Alexander Campbell, ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, at Bethany, West Virginia and Barton W. Stone, a Presbyterian minister in Kentucky to reject all human creeds and names and to insist “The stream of Christianity has become muddy. We will go back to the New Testament where the waters were pure, and sit at the feet of the Great Teacher and his apostles.” This they did, formulating as their principal, “Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where they are silent, we are silent,” In 1832, Campbell’s “Disciples” united with Stone’s “Christians” to form what is now known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

When baptism by immersion was adopted by the Disciples, they practically joined the Baptists, but separated in 1830. Unlike most other American denominations, the Disciples suffered no separation over the question of slavery, but maintained their unity throughout the Civil War. While claiming for themselves the name “Christians” or “Disciples,” they do not deny that other churches are Christian, and they cooperate fully with all interdenominational agencies and practice “open communion.”

In Dayton, Ohio three men: Hayes Oltfliam, John D. Rice, and Henry L. France, rented a room on Calm Street, and started Sunday School. As the attendance and interest grew, they called Elder Jason C. Cowan who organized the church in 1912.
The church has moved from the following locations: Washington Street to Odd Fellows Hall at Fifth and Mound Streets. While there, the congregation purchased ground at Norwood and Sprague Streets and built the first home of the congregation. Norwood Christian Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Eli W. and Dorothy Wilbert, the Norwood mortgage was paid off and the congregation purchased the facilities at Summit (now Paul Laurence Dunbar Street) and Mercer Streets in May 1946 for $48,000.

At the 1926 National Christian Missionary Convention, the Sarah Wilson Scholarship Fund was launched by Mrs. Sarah Wilson and Miss Margaret Lee of Summit Christian Church. Also, the church hosted the National Christian Missionary Convention on two occasions: 1937 and 1955.

On Saturday, March 22, 1980, Pastor J. Thomas Johnson and members saw their church building destroyed by fire. That Sunday, we held our Worship Service at MacFarlane School. We moved into the building formerly occupied by Greater Alien AME Church on Monday and we held our services there until Sunday, December 29, 1981.

On Easter Sunday, 1980 our Chancel Choir sang at the Sunrise Service at Carillon Park. For the first time in the 35-year history of the service, an offering was taken and given to Summit. We also received $6,082.64 in contributions plus offering and communion trays, robes, and hymnals from area churches and organizations. Miracle fund – in one month $28,548.31 was raised surpassing our $25,000 dollar goal for the Building Fund, which was required by Bank One.

On Sunday, March 22, 1981, the First Anniversary of our church loss, Pastor Johnson and President Percy Reed led the congregation to purchase the Denlinger Road property for $525,000 which included a 14,022 square foot Sanctuary and Educational Unit, Parsonage and Garage located on 9 acres of land.

New Home Celebration. On Sunday, November 8, 1981, Light of the World Christian Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, came to help us celebrate. Pastor T. Garrett Benjamin, Jr. and approximately 200 members joined in the celebration.

Victory Parade. Under the direction of Elder William Guy, a police escort and limousine of the Smith Funeral Home, led a caravan to our new church home on Sunday morning. January 3,1982.

Anniversary Speakers. In 1987, the Reverend Doctor John R. Compton, President of the Division of Homeland Ministries, brought the 75th Anniversary Sermon. Also, in 1975 he preached the installation Sermon for Pastor and Sister Johnson.

1992 – the Reverend Cornelius Brown, Senior Pastor of the Stuyvesant Heights Christian Church of Brooklyn, New York, preached the 80th Church Anniversary Sermon. While a student at United Theological Seminary, he served as a Student Pastor at Summit for two years.

1997 – the Reverend Howard M. Ratclift Regional Pastor and President of the Christian Church in Ohio, preached the 85th Church Anniversary Sermon. When Summit moved into the Denlinger Road property in 1982, he delivered the Dedication Sermon for our new church home.

On Sunday, June 29, 1997, the church’s 85th Anniversary was celebrated with Pastor Johnson and President Fredonia Redman burning the $295,000 mortgage from the Board of Church Extension before the members of the congregation.
1998 1. We hired a United Theological Seminary Student Alyson Abram. 2. Attended the Lay Ministry Workshop: ‘Spiritual Gifts, Equipping your Team for Ministry’ by Dr. John C. Maxwell. Joined the Christian Ecumenical Covenant fellowship founded by Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin 3. Began a tape ministry and purchased a VCR.

1999 Received the gift of a Kurzwell State-of-the-Art Electronic Keyboard from Lenna Ross. A complete set of Sunlite drums was a gift from James and Virginia Taylor.

Christian Women’s Fellowship celebrated the 50th Anniversary of CWF at Summit Christian Church. Wanda M. Anderson was District 8 Consultant for the state of Ohio 1999-2002.

1999 The Congregation approved three phases of Beautification and Renovation Projects. PHASE I: Renovation of the sanctuary (installed hand rails in 2000) and foyer. Hired William Guther, ADECO, Inc. to draw the plans for these projects. PHASE II: New roof installed. Phase III: Parking lot. Accepted from the State of Ohio $26,800.00 offered for a partial of the land right of way used for the Turner Road Project.

The Teaching Church Committee was named to spiritually assist Willie Barnes Jackson hired as Student Associate. He began his studies in October 1999 at the Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce Ohio and graduated on May 10, 2002.

2000 Merged the Sarah Wilson Endowment Fund with the Christian Church foundation. Jarvis Christian College and the Star Supporter Fund will share equally the interest produced each year. As of April 3, the fund had reached its goal of $10,000.00 invested with the Christian Church Foundation. The late Sarah Wilson was a member of Summit who responded by standing up, giving a quarter and asking others to join her in raising money for Cal Crawford who said “He felt a call into the Ministry” after hearing a sermon at the 1937 National Christian Missionary Convention hosted by Norwood (now known as Summit) Christian Church in Dayton, Ohio. Sister Margurerite McLemore Jackson is the chairperson of the Sarah Wilson Endowment Fund.

2000 **Celebrated Elva Tanner Ramey’s 100th birthday, our oldest living member. “Participated in the ordination of Rev. Valerie Sissie-Williams. “Celebrated the Twenty-fifth Pastoral Anniversary of Rev. Dr. J. Thomas and Wanda Johnson. **The History Room was established by Helene Reed. ** Completed paperwork for the Turner Road Project and **reinstated the Summit Christian Church Disciple of Christ Charter #106458 February. 1.

Elder Verdell Dawson, chairperson of The Senior Network Committee, recognized 80 and above members at the Christmas Dinner, December 1, 2000. The program consisted of a welcome by Elder Helene Reed, prayer by Elder Lorenzo Harris, Sr., “Children, Go Where I Send Thee,” done in Rap by Elder Sanford Lockhart, a poetry reading by Curtis “Bingo” Lloyd, a duet by Kenneth and Charlotte Merriweather, and remarks by Pastor Johnson. Twenty members were presented with a poinsettia and a certificate.

The Christian Education Department had their First Chili Cook-off in the Eli Wilbert Hall December 23. The judges for the chili contest were Pastor J. Thomas and Wanda W. Johnson, and Elder Sanford Lockhart. First place went to Pamela Guy Barnes-Jackson for her delicious chili with spaghetti.

2001 Summit along with four other Ohio churches and five churches in Kentucky reinstated their involvement in an evangelism project to design a system to help increase church membership. PPV involves Praying to the Lord of the Harvest, Presenting the gospel of Christ, the love of God and celebrating the Victory whenever a person accepts Christ and becomes a member of his Body.

Seven persons from Summit attended an Anti-Racism/Pro Reconciliation Workshop at Camp Christian March 27, 2001. The workshop training consisted of three phases: AWARENESS: Theological Perspective, ASSESSMENT: Anti-Racism Grid and
ACTION: Personal Reflection. Roberta Parker is the CASA chairperson.

Summit had a special offering on October 21, 2001 during Morning Worship Service for the victims and families of the World Trade Center and Pentagon disaster of September 11, 2001.

Reviewed the historic film produced by National Benevolent Association. The title was: “Historic Tributes to African-Americans Disciples of Christ,” and discussed President Richard Hamm’s book “20/20 Vision.” Helene Reed and Ruby Kavanaugh were selected to chair the 2002 Ninetieth Church Anniversary Celebration.

**Goals were set for 2002 i.e., Computer Literacy, Racism Workshop, Moderate Income Housing and the 9th Grade Proficiency Test. **Hosted the State of Ohio George T. Grier School of Ushering Commencement Exercises. **Set goals for “Keep the Fires Burning,” Campaign for the preservation and building of Camp Christian. The monies will be used for a new dining Hall, Cabin Clusters (2), and furnishings. Summit pledged approximately $3500.00.

March 3. 2002 at the District 8 Disciples Men’s Fellowship in Wilmington, Ohio. Summit DMF won the Second Place Attendance Trophy.

The Church voted on a quilt square designed by Carolyn Joyner to represent Summit’s part of a quilt project for the 2002 Quadrennial Assembly held in Louisville, KY on June 19-23, 2002. Summit’s quilt square has been reassembled into an Ohio quilt that was presented for display September 6 – 8 at the Women’s Fall Retreat at Camp Christian. Elder Dorothy Wilbert also designed a quilt square that is framed and hangs in the Eli Wilbert Hall.

Every Wednesday evening during May and June 2002 there was for the first time Computer Classes offered for beginners in the Elder James R. Anderson Room (206). The fee was $1.00 per week. Instructors were: William Kavanaugh, Veronica and Erica Ford, Demetius Williams and Rev. Willie Barnes-Jackson. Bobby Dawson, Allen Hamilton and William Kavanaugh donated over thirty computers.

Summit had eight to participate for the first time in Junior Jam at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio April 20, 2002. The event was designed for 3rd-6th grade students. Junior Jam is an action-packed event filled with exciting drama, crazy games, and challenging activity stations. The theme “Faith Factor: Take It to the Extreme” helped students learn the importance of Truth and Faith in conquering fear.

United Christian Church and Summit are part of The Vineyard Project. This is a ministry of the Greater Dayton Christian Connection, which pairs a white and black congregation for the purpose of building community understanding. The DMF of Summit participated with United in the Annual Pancake Breakfast Supper. United and Summit had a combined Worship in the Park and Church Picnic at the Brookville’s Golden Gate Park on July 20, 2002.

The Ninetieth Anniversary Committee co-chaired by Helene Reed and Ruby Kavanaugh was a five-day event. Beginning Wednesday, October 9, 2002 with the Christian Education Department, Thursday, October 10, Christian Women’s Fellowship, and Friday, October 11 Disciple Men’s Fellowship each held a nightly program in celebration of our Ninetieth Anniversary. A Banquet was held at the Hara Arena Conference and Exhibition Center in Trotwood on Saturday, October 12. The guest speaker was Reverend Dr. Jerrie L. Bascome McGill, Ph.D. Mayor Donald McLaurin of Trotwood and Mayor Rhine McLin of Dayton made special presentations. Interim Regional Pastor and President of the Christian Church in Ohio, Reverend Dr. Suzanne Webb had special remarks. The celebration concluded on Sunday, October 13 with the Morning Worship Service. Rev. Willie J. Barnes-Jackson was our guest speaker and his message was “A Church of Faithful Service.”

Announcements & Events

Sunday Services

Sunday School 9:30 A.M
Morning Worship 11:00 A.M.

Bible Study

Friday 3:00 P.M.

Prayer Meeting
Wednesday 6:00 P.M.