About Summit Christian Church

At the 1926 National Christian Missionary Convention, the Sarah Wilson Scholarship Fund was launched by Mrs. Sarah Wilson and Miss Margaret Lee of Norwood Christian Church.  Sarah Wilson Scholarship was established at the National Christian Missionary Convention at the Monroe Avenue Christian Church in Columbus Ohio.  It has been told that Mrs. Wilson strutted down to the offering table and gave 25 cents to establish the fund for young men and women to help with their education.  Also, we hosted the National Christian Missionary Convention on two occasions: 1937 and 1955.  We have had nine called ministers and in February 1975 we called Rev. J. Thomas and Wanda Wilson Johnson as our leader; Rev. Dr. John R. Compton preached the installation sermon. January 4, 1959 the Summit Christian Credit Union – #883 was established.  During the 12 year life of the credit union, the cumulative total membership was approximately 75 Summit members.  The credit union was liquidated by November 16, 1970.  Thomas E. Joyner was the Treasurer. Rev. R. H. People was Interim pastor from 1969-1970.  Rev. Peoples introduced Summit to the functional church plan and helped us to write our first constitution. Rev. Dr. William Fox was interim pastor from 1970-1972.  Rev. Fox organized the Fifth Sunday Songfest to help increase funds for the Sarah Wilson Scholarship and introduced Summit to the Shepherd Plan. Elders Annie L. Harris and Lillian Smith were the first women Elders. 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 Allen AME Church on Monday, and we held our services there until Sunday, December 29, 1981. On Easter Sunday, March 23, 1980 our Chancel Choir sang at the Sunrise Service at Carillon Park in Dayton.  For the first time in the 35-year history of the service, an offering was taken and given to Summit.  We also received $6,682.62 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 (J.P. Morgan Chase). On Sunday, March 22, 1981, the first Anniversary of our church loss, a Victory Parade under the direction of Elder William Guy with a police escort, and Smith Funeral Home Limousine was led by Pastor J. T. Johnson and President of the Congregation Elder Percy Reed. The parade led the members to 4021 Denlinger Road our present church.  Purchase cost of $525,000 for the Denlinger Road property included a 14,022 square foot sanctuary and educational unit, parsonage and garage located on nine 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. Anniversary Speakers: In 1987, the Reverend Dr. John R. Compton, President of the Division of Homeland Ministries, brought the 75th Anniversary Sermon. 1991, the children of William E. and Lucy J. Guy established a Scholarship Fund for high school graduates in June of every year with monetary gifts in memory of their parents. 1992, the Reverend Cornelius Brown, Senior Pastor of the Stuyvesant Heights Christian Church of Brooklyn NY, preached the 80th Church Anniversary sermon.  While a student at the United Theological Seminary, he served as a Student Pastor at Summit for two years. 1997, The Reverend Howard M. Ratcliff, 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 Abrams.  (2.)Attended the Lay Ministry Workshop: ‘Spiritual Gifts, Equipping Your Team for Ministry’ by Dr. John C. Maxwell.  (3.)Joined the Christian Ecumenical Covenant Fellowship founded by Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin.  (4.)Began a tape ministry and purchased a VCR.  1999 Received the gift of a Kurzwell State of the Art Electronic Keyboard from Lena 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 W. Johnson was the State President of C.W.F./O.W.M for two terms.  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 handrails 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 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, 2000, the fund had reached its goal of $10,000 invested with the Christian Church Foundation under the leadership of Marguerite McLemore Jackson.  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 a scholarship fund.  It was to help with education of young men and women in studying for Christian Education.  Cal Crawford, a young man present said “He felt a call into the Ministry” after hearing a sermon at the 1926 National Christian Missionary Convention hosted by Monroe Avenue Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio.  Sister Margurerite McLemore Jackson was the chairperson of the Sarah Wilson Endowment Fund. 2000 (1.) Celebrated Elva Tanner Ramey’s 100th birthday our oldest living member.  (2.) Participated in the ordination of Rev. Valerie Sissle-Williams. (3.) Celebrated the Twenty-fifth Pastoral Anniversary of Rev. Dr. J. Thomas and Wanda Johnson.  (4.) The History Room was established by Helene Reed.  (5.) Completed paperwork for the Turner Road Project and (6.)reinstated the Summit Christian Church Disciple of Christ Charter #106458. February 1, 2000 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.  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. 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 90th Church Anniversary Celebration. Goals were set for 2002 i.e., Computer Literacy, Racism Workshop, Moderate Income Housing and the 9th Grade Proficiency Test.  (1.) Hosted the State of Ohio George T. Grier School of Ushering Commencement Exercises.  (2.) 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 $3,500.00. The Christian Women Fellowship voted on a quilt square designed by Carolyn Joyner to represent Summits 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. The 90th 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 90th 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.” The C.W.F./O.W.M. Ohio Women’s Ministry observe Women’s Day the second Sunday of March with a guest speaker and a Women’s Day Choir.  Some of our speakers are Nationally known – Yvonne Delk, Mary Ann Glover, Cynthia Hale, Dolores Carpenter, Patricia Russell and Rosa Page Welch just to name a few. The Disciples Men Fellowship (D.M.F.) observed Men’s Day the first Sunday in May with a guest speaker – afternoon songfest with male choruses from the local area. Christian Education Church School – Florence Smith has Vacation Bible School every June.  Kathy Bagley and Russell Florence, Jr. have the Children Choir.  Three Bible Classes: Monday Young Adults; Tuesday Teacher Julia Hunt and Thursday Pastor Johnson, and Youth Groups Kathy Guy Bagley and Signoria McClure.  Children’s sermon is every Sunday during morning service by Signoria McClure. September 24, 2004 the C.W.F. hosted the Church Women United Area C Meeting to kick-off the year.  Florence Margaret Lewis was the Key Woman and Denominational Secretary. December 14, 2004 purchased 10 Dell computers for classroom and lunched Summit web site. March 14, 2005 purchased a Ford 12 passenger van from Bobby H. Dawson – Freedom Ford in Wise, VA. August 13-14, 2005 Rev. Dr. J. Thomas and First Lady Wanda W. Johnson celebrated their 30th Pastoral Anniversary with a Saturday banquet dinner in the Eli Wilbert Hall.  Speaker for the banquet dinner was the Rev. Dr. William Edwards Regional Pastor and President of the Disciples of Christ Churches of Ohio.  Pastor William K. Garr delivered Sunday morning and afternoon worship services. The theme was “The Faithful Servant.” May 2005 Florence Margaret Lewis was honored with the Valiant Woman Award given by the Church Women United of Greater Dayton for outstanding service and leadership. September 2005 the Summit Benevolence Committee gave financial aid to Katrina victims Michael and Cindy Venerable.  The C.W.F/O.W.M. Deborah Group gave a baby shower and the entire church membership participated.  The Gospel Choir gave a donation to the Red Cross. “Mix in 06” Christian Women’s Fellowship Event was held in Indianapolis on June 21-25, 2006 and the theme was “Dream On, Sisters!”  For the first time the United Church of Christ National Women’s Meeting and the Disciples Women’s Quadrennial Assembly fellowshipped together in a joint meeting.  Those in attendance were Ina Green, Loretta Johnson, Wanda Johnson and Carolyn Joyner.  2006 Twenty-five members were honored for 50 years or more of service with a certificate and a carnation. June 2007 celebrated with Mary Davis (mother of Joyce Willis and Carol Raiford) her 100th Birthday Party. August 25-26, 2007 weekend was celebrated with a Pastor’s Appreciation Banquet and Worship Service for 32 Years of faithful service in honor of Pastor J. Thomas and First Lady Wanda Wilson Johnson.  Their son the Rev. Joseph T. Johnson, II spoke at this celebration.  The Seventh Street Christian Church Choir of Paris Kentucky and Rev. William Garr participated in the Sunday Afternoon Appreciation Service. October 2007 Summit celebrated our 95th Anniversary.  Theme: Our Rich Heritage.  It was a three day celebration.  Each member was asked to donate a gift of $95.  Rev. Darrell S. Hayden, High Street Christian Church of Mount Sterling Kentucky was guest speaker for Sunday morning worship.  Sunday, December 29, 2007 the Committee presented a gift of $3,477.18 to the church.  Revival held November 19-21, 2008.  Guest speakers: Rev. Wanda Martin, Associate Pastor, King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky; Rev. Kenneth Coleman, Youth Pastor, Canaan Missionary Baptist Church Dayton; Rev. Dr. J. Foulkes, Sr., Retired Associate General Minister and Secretary of the National Convocation, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Indianapolis. Chairperson Rev. Crystal D. Jackson. June 2010 at the request of Betty Adams Frist United Christian Church Xenia for the history of the Sarah Wilson Scholarship Fund written by Miss Margaret Lee, for a session on Black History at the Adult Conference Columbus, Ohio. February 2011 after 36 years of faithful service to our congregation Reverend Dr. J. Thomas Johnson and wife Wanda Wilson Johnson retired. February 12, 2011 Disciple Men’s Fellowship chartered a bus for members of Summit and Friends to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. May 2011, we extended a call for our 10th minister – Reverend Dr. Susan Street-Beavers as Interim Minister; she served until February 2012. The 100th Church Anniversary Committee planned a bus trip to Cane Ridge Day on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Paris, KY.  This is a once a year historic meeting and churches from all over the USA come to celebrate this event of where the Disciples of Christ were started in a 1791 Log Church.  There was (2) speakers, music, storytelling, a sack lunch (included with the cost), and gift shop. At the present time, we are Blessed to have two associate ministers. Reverend Valerie Sissle-Simpson and Reverend Crystal D. Jackson. October 2011 Summit Mime Ministry started by Signoria McClure. On April 8, 2012, Reverend Dr. J. Thomas Johnson now Emeritus Minister at Summit delivered the message for the Easter Sunrise Service at the Carillon Park, 32 years after the burning of our church on Summit & Mercer Streets. Many members of Summit’s congregation attended and our Youth Silent Mine Praise Team performed. August 12, 2012, Reverend Crystal D. Jackson held prayer vigil for Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting. On Sunday, September 2, 2012 our church extend the call to Reverend Shelby Walker to become our Pastor of Summit Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Reverend Shelby Walker and Reverend Crystal D. Moore were joined in holy matrimony on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Summit.  Reverend Dr. J. Thomas performed the ceremony.

Summit celebrated our 105th Year Anniversary October 2017.  The celebration The Summit Christian Church has been blessed by our Heavenly Father in “Proclaiming The Good News of Christ Through Faith, Hope, and Unity”


Wanda Anderson

Mary Jane Brown

Thyra Foster

Ruby Kavanaugh

William Kavanaugh