When I arrived in Toledo in 1959, I was moved by the words and work of Reverend Robert Culp, who has since become ( and rightly so) Bishop Dr. Robert Culp. Bob, as we affectionately called him was "The Man." He was president of the NAACP, Christian Brothers, PEP, and other civil and human rights organizations, in addition to his ministry at the First Church of God, which was located, at the time, on Collingwood Blvd.
I sat at his feet and learned so much about civil and human rights from him. On one of the marches that he was leading through the Polish community, on the way to a rally at Woodward High School, as we were about to cross Lagrange Street in Polish Village, a white man who was standing on the side walk said, "Where is that Nigger going now? When I returned home, I remembered all of the things that Bob Culp, blacks of greatness and other African-Americans achieved through the years, and I said, "I'd like to tell him where that Nigger is going."
Floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, Cassius Marcellus Clay is going to become the greatest in Muhammad Ali. With "Georgia on his mind," Ray Charles, though blind, is going to become America's favorite blues singer. With the courage of a bird that stares in the eye of an angry storm, Rosa Louis Parks is going to sit on a Montgomery, Alabama bus seat, refusing to give up her seat to a white man, and thereby rewrite American history, and reorder the priorities of a whole nation. With his none-violent army, in Martin Luther King Jr., is on his way to winning the Nobel Peace Prize and marching through the streets of America until the walls of segregation in public accommodations come tumbling down.
The First Church of God is celebrating its 100 years as a beacon of light and hope to its parishioners and for the black community, and Bishop Culp, as he is now known, and his lovely wife, Maggie, will be observing fifty years of ministry in Toledo at the same church. We offer our fondest congratulations to the church and join hundreds more in congratulating Bishop Culp and his wife, Maggie, for the contributions that they have made to First Church and to the broader community.
Toledo's African American Community must forever be grateful to Bishop Culp for his leadership in defying the odds, and forcing a reluctant city council and a Republican Mayor in passing a sweeping open housing ordinance. So, we join its many friends in congratulating The First Church of God, "A Loving Community of Committed Christians," for its 100 years of service to Toledo, and its Senior pastor, Bishop Dr. Robert Culp and his wife, Maggie, for their spiritual, moral, and political leadership.
1619 North Lee Street