Saturday evening, October 21st in West Toledo , 2127 Sylvania Ave. was being stacked up with dignitaries from all walks of life who found their way to a celebration on Sylvania Ave., yet the impact reaches far beyond this busy street.
One might inquire what actually prompted the celebration that flanked dual BIRTHDAYS, a date of a NATURAL birth and a SPIRITUAL birth. Superintendent Johnny M. Hobbs, Jr. celebrated his 70th birthday but it was topped off with a 40 year spiritual birthday. You see the two became one in a grand affair at 2127 Sylvania Ave. the home of Greater St. John's C. O. G. I. C. where this great MOG has pastored for 40 plus years, along with his wife, Lady Eleanore Hobbs.
Elder Hobbs started out as a young man who found his dream coming true through his willingness to serve the people of God in the most profound, prudent manner. And 40 years later he continues to impact lives in the best way possible says the Chairman of the Celebration Banquet, Evangelist Beverly Lyles. She stated that "it is an honor to recognize those who labor among you. She believes that appreciation should be shown while people are able to hear, see, and experience the love. In fact Evangelist Lyles strongly believes that Greater St. John's C. O. G. I. C. has the number one Pastor in the world, as he often goes beyond just assisting those whom he serves at Greater St. John; he reaches out and does "real outreach" to those who are non members and may be in need of help". Superintendent and Lady Hobbs have been devout Believers who have shared a great portion of their lives "aiding others" expecting nothing in return. And strong partnerships and collaborations were evidenced in the surprise of Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson who showed up with a Proclamation for Superintendent Hobbs; Surprised he was. Rev. Dr. John Roberts of the Indiana Missionary Baptist Church was the guest speaker for the evening. The evening also included the following people: Evangelist Yvette Stephens conducted the Praise and Worship, Ms. Corrine Moore of Mahogany Photography, and 4 Sister's Catering provided the delicious meal for the event.
It was the efforts of a committed Celebration Committee who left no stones unturned. Their far reaching efforts paid off and the evening was a great success at every level. Those serving on the Committee were Mother Helen Johnson, Mother Doris Harmon, Sis. Martha Ramey-DeWalt, Sis. Tania Lyles, Sis. Vallory Cannon, Missionary Tashia Malone, Sis. Kelly Williams-McMullen, Bro. Sidney Rowser, and Bro. Reggie Waters. Great and encouraging "words of reflection" came via Assistant Pastor, Elder Louis Davis who spoke on the evolving and present years of ministry with Superintendent Hobbs and Lady Eleanore. His words raised the bar for those coming after his Pastor to continue to empower the people of God to do real ministry.
When speaking with Superintendent Hobbs, he has given much of his success in ministry to those who have supported him down through the years. He has a strong biological family who has strengthened his walk and supported the work of his hands. In fact one who was present to speak on behalf of the family was his sister Mrs. Willa Tillman, whose words brought about laughter and an austere perspective about who her brother really is. Superintendent Hobbs is an humble giant about doing the work of the Lord. As he grew in the Lord and stature, his purpose as a Pastor became more pronounced. He was ordained in 1971. He speaks affectionately about his foundation as a young man in the First Baptist church in Swanton. From there he moved into his living room, along with his wife and sister in law, Frenchie Davis. And from there they moved to 735 Hawley St for a year and then on to 402 No. Detroit until 1993 and on to his present location. He joined the C. O. G. I. C. In 1966 and was ordained with them in 1968. He sees the business of ministry to embrace people and love them, teach and train them. He also has a Barber Shop where he started in 1975 that has been used as a place of ministry as well. He believes that it just has to be about more than just church. He states that the year of fire and brimstone" is over. He is reaching people who may never set their feet in the church. He counsels to those who are not affiliated with a church. He has been neighborhood friendly. That is why ministry has to be done where God opens the door for you.
We want to celebrate Superintendent Johnny M. Hobbs, Jr. on reaching a milestone on his 70th year birthday. His commitment to ministry and as a Pastor certainly deserves honor and respect for his 40 plus years. We pray God's continued blessings upon you as you impact and empower the lives of God's people. A laborer is worthy of his hire. We are glad that the Lord called you to this work!