Black Church Alliance Hosts Pastors Luncheon

Bishop Marjorie Holt and Keynote Speaker Angela Dawson, MS, MRC, PC Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Minority Health

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

On Friday morning, December 8, over 50 area pastors attended a Pastor’s Luncheon at Reynold’s Reception Hall hosted by UMADAOP of Lucas County (Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program) reviving the Black Church Alliance for Healthy Communities and serving as a clarion call to create and support programs to combat Toledo’s health disparities.

The Black Church Alliance for Healthy Communities is a coalition that seeks the active participation of Black churches in a collective effort to uplift and transform the communities they reside in. Recognizing the deep-rooted social and health disparities in disadvantaged neighborhoods, The Black Church Alliance for Healthy Communities calls upon churches to bring their unique strengths and resources to this crucial mission.

The Black Church Alliance for Healthy Communities is poised to work hand-in-hand with neighborhood organizations, harnessing their local expertise and community connections. These organizations are ready and eager to collaborate, bringing a wealth of practical resources, training, and education that may be shared with church members.The vision is to unite the collective power of the Black church towards healing broken communities in order to promote unity and prosperity. The Black Church Alliance for Healthy Communities can build a legacy of health, wellness, and enduring strength for generations to come.

The welcome was given by Bishop Marjorie Holt, DMin, of Bethesda Christian Center, the invocation by Rev. Jerome Graham of Indiana Baptist Church and a greeting by Bro. Larry Jones UMADAOP Board Member.

Remarks were given by Executive Director of UMADAOP, John L. Edwards, Sr.

“We are hosting this event to revive a program we started years ago,” stated Edwards, who has served as the executive director since UMADAOP’s inception 43 years ago. He noted that the organization had created this initiative working with the church as a collaborative some 25 years ago.

“[When we first started] we focused mainly on substance abuse disorders and violence. But we realize that as the years have moved on that our communities are grappling with numerous kinds of other health problems… where are community is not a healthy place in many cases.” he said.

“The issues in our community are many including mental health issues, substance abuse, diabetes, infant mortality, and respiratory illnesses from COVID.”

“I don’t think our communities can do much of anything, in way of attaining wellness, without the church. The church is our best hope and perhaps our last best help to turn the corner on some of the problems we’re seeing.” addd Edwards. “We can’t do it as an organization operating as a silo. We really need the help of the churches to do these things.”

“This gathering is Real, Relative, Relevant, and Rewarding for the mission and purpose of remembering the commission of the church,” said Bisho Holt. “We have been commanded as men and women of God to unite, align and propagate the gospel… we have always been the foundation for greatness in our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities, this nation.”

“We believe that everything that was good for us sprang from the basement of our churches, the Sunday School room down the hallway, or the parking lot meeting that took place after service,” she continued. “The church was, is, and will always be ‘our destination place,’ the genuine location where the real village was born. Pastors have always been the glue that brought us together and will simply be the glue that keeps us together. Recovery is a family affair and you have been and become part of the UMADAOP family that has helped us help those families recover and recover well. Thank you, Village, LET’S DO IT AGAIN! Acts 2:44”

Special guest speaker, Angela Dawson, MS, MRC, PC executive director, Ohio Commission on Minority Health, spoke about the African American churches’ historic, current and future roles in addressing youth violence and how the church and its ministries and programs can be funded and supported to do the work in this increasing issue.

Acknowledgments and recognitions were given by Bishop Marjorie Holt; Pastor Emeritus Robert A. Culp, First Church of God; Pastor Cedric Brock, IMA of Toledo President & Mt. Nebo Baptist Church; Pastor Willie Perryman, NAACP President & Jerusalem Baptist Church. The benediction was given by Pastor Robert Bass of United Missionary Baptist Church.

To learn more about UMADAOP visit