One Sunday in the early spring of 1947, two teenage girls by the names of Evelyn and Martha
Harper decided that they no longer wanted to attend any of several denominational churches in
their neighborhood. They had moved to Flint nine months earlier from Lebanon, Tennessee,
where their family had been active members of the East Market Street Church of Christ. They
missed serving God and worshiping Him in spirit and truth.
With their mother Mary at work, Evelyn, the older daughter – a newly-licensed driver –
borrowed a friend’s car and with her sister Martha in tow, traveled over ice-slicked roads to
attend the “old” Bristol Road Church of Christ. They went there because it was on the most
direct route and shortest distance from their house on 13th Street near Clifford. As African
Americans, they felt shy and out of place at the all-white congregation, but were made to feel
sincerely welcomed from the moment they arrived. Afterward, they began taking the bus to
Sunday services and weekday activities, thus becoming a part of the congregation.
Soon afterward it was learned that another black couple, Brother and Sister Lunsey, had visited
the Bristol Road congregation. They stated that they were interested in fellowshipping with
other Christians in their own neighborhood. They first met at the home of Mary and Emmett
Harper on 13th Street. Although Mr. Harper was not a member of the church, he was most
supportive of their meetings at his home and their worship endeavors in every way from the
Brother Sandifer and Brother Husky from the Bristol Road Church were instrumental in leading
and conducting services at Mr. Harper’s home each Sunday morning. They met, sang, prayed,
preached, communed, and gave, just like they did in the early church. Through these two
brothers, the Lunseys met Brother and Sister Berry and their son from the Mt. Clemens-Pontiac
area. They all began to worship together. Brother Berry became their first black minister.
Driving in with them on Sundays were Earl and Laverne Crocker, as well as Sister Brown and
her two children. Other visitors came with them from time to time.
Soon the newly-formed congregation began alternating Sunday worship services between the
Harper’s and the Lunsey’s homes. The group began to grow. Brother and Sister Bee Lucado,
Sister Velma Johnson and her husband, Sister Edna Turner, Sister Tolliver and her mother,
Sister Davis, and Sister Gertrude Cabine (Harden) began worshiping with them. In the fall of
1948, under the auspices of the Bristol Road Church, they were able to move into a corner
storefront building on Industrial Avenue across from the Buick factory.
The noise from the factory soon became a disruption during their newly-begun evening
services, so in 1949 they moved to a quieter, more settled neighborhood on Nevada Avenue
near St. John Street. With their own brethren becoming more active and with Bristol Road still
supporting them, they continued to grow. They were led and taught by the following men who
served as ministers: Roscoe Moore, Robert Wiggins, Charlie Moore, Sr., and I.P. Jones. Other
dedicated men and their families came to serve God along with them. Among them were the
families of Brothers Herman Bond, James Isom, Oscar Johnson, Jake Lee, and Upton Moore.
Others coming to worship were Brothers Charles Greer and Samuel Harden.
It was at the Nevada Avenue location where the congregation officially became the first black
Church of Christ in Flint; in September of 1961, the first articles of incorporation were filed.
Brothers Herman Bond, Ben Elder, Charles Greer, Samuel Harden, and Bee Lucado were
instrumental in reaching this milestone. During this period of service, Brother I.P. Jones, along
with his wife and three daughters, commuted every Sunday from Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He
continued to labor with the new congregation even though the journey was hard on his family
and demanding on his health and job.
In 1963, new construction on the first church building, located on East Carpenter Road at
Horton, was completed. The building became the meeting place for what was called “The North
Central Church of Christ” because of its location within the city of Flint. Brother I.P. Jones
continued to serve the congregation on a part-time basis. When he left in 1964, the church
family was ready for its first full-time local minister. Brother Robert Burke from Elyria, Ohio,
came with his wife and children and labored with the congregation for 13 years, from 1965 to
Four years after the building had been erected, the city of Flint made plans to build the I-475
expressway through the area. The congregation learned that the beautiful new edifice needed
to be torn down, so they purchased a building on West Flint Park Boulevard near Dupont
Street, redesigning the interior and making improvements to the parking lot. Several ministries
were organized. The Youth Group, which had been formed earlier with 10 original members,
began to grow rapidly. The Gospel Chorus, which was formed in 1977 with Roscoe Bond as its
director, also flourished.
In 1979, Brother Jessie Hooper began serving as North Central’s minister and labored in that
capacity for 5 years. Brother Paul Hubbard, Sr. succeeded him and also served for 5 years until
1989. Brother Charlie Moore, the Associate Minister, along with others continued to lead the
flock during the periods of vacancy. Aspiring young ministers such as Brothers Lamar Black,
Roscoe Bond, Jake Lee, and Larry Lee filled in during this time as well.
In April, 1990, the reins of spiritual leadership were passed to Brother Terrance McClain, who
came to Flint from Jacksonville, Florida. He brought with him his wife and four children. One of
the major highlights in the history of the North Central Church of Christ occurred under Brother
McClain’s leadership: the merging of the North Cornell Church of Christ with the North Central
congregation in December, 1990. This collective effort was successful, due in part to the
dedicated worshipers who were members of the North Cornell congregation. Their spirit,
energy, and enthusiasm for Jesus Christ created a harmonious blend between the two groups.
Another milestone in the history of the North Central Church of Christ was reached on June 28,
1992. In accordance with the New Testament teaching relative to church organization, three
elders and four deacons were ordained by Brother McClain. Brothers Herman Bond, Andrew
Green, and Charlie Moore were installed as elders. Brothers Roscoe Bond, Larry Lee, Robert
McDaniel, and Terry Powell were installed as deacons.
On March 31, 1996, Bro. Darrell Holt began his tenure as minister to the North Central Church of
Christ. He and the Building Committee, led by Elders Herman Bond and Charlie Moore, wasted
no time in locating a larger facility for a fast-growing, dedicated family of God’s people, which
had exceeded 250 souls. In August of 1996, by the grace and providence of Almighty God, the
North Central Church of Christ was blessed to purchase the current edifice located at 2001
North Saginaw Street.
Three years later in 1999, Brother Larry Lee was installed as co-minister to Brother Holt. In
alignment with the church’s mission statement at that time, the church continued to believe that
they were planted by God for three basic reasons: to reach lost souls (Matthew 28:19), to edify
the saved (Ephesians 4:12), and to meet the needs of the community by feeding the hungry,
praying for and visiting the sick and imprisoned, and clothing the naked (Matthew 25:34-39).
Brother Lee and family left North Central in November, 1999, to minister to the Line Street
Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana. Brother Holt served until May 13, 2001. After his
resignation, the congregation continued to fight for the cause of Christ.
Brother John Dansby, Jr. served North Central from July 2001 to July 2002. Under his
leadership, the congregation continued to grow and prosper. In April of 2002, Brother Dansby,
Sr., minister of the Russell Road Church of Christ in Shreveport, Louisiana, ministered to North
Central at their annual spring revival meeting and conducted a leadership workshop. In May of
2002, Brother Dansby, Jr. ordained three elders: Brothers Herman Bond, Roscoe Bond, and
Charles Johnson. Many of the congregation’s ministries continued to grow while others were
added. Brother Dansby, Jr. labored diligently and faithfully with the congregation until he left
to pursue other occupational opportunities.
Prior to Brother Dansby’s departure, a Minister Search Committee had been formed to find his
replacement. Brother Dansby, the committee’s chairman, enlisted the help of Herman Bond,
Roscoe Bond, Paul Greer, Delphia Fisher, Charles Johnson, Nate Smith, Dave Willis, and
Charles Woods to assist with this task. With dedication and prayer, the committee began to
interview ministers to labor with the North Central Church of Christ. The elders and committee
worked together, taking into consideration the needs of the church family, and selected Brother
Darron Fantroy, along with his family, to minister to the congregation. During the period of
vacancy after Brother Dansby's departure, the church was blessed to enjoy the services of
several visiting minister's: Brothers Robert Burke, Paul Hubbard, Lamar Black, Anthony
Norwood, and Allie Merriweather.
Brother Fantroy became the minister on November 10, 2002, and on February 10, 2003, he was
officially installed during a ceremony officiated by Dr. James Thompson, minister to the North
Broadway Church of Christ in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.
The elders and Brother Fantroy began to quickly make plans for the coming year. One of the
goals was to set a date for payoff of the mortgage on the building. The brethren of North
Central started this plan in January of 2002, with the payoff date set as April of 2003. On May
4, 2003, the mortgage-burning service was held.
In July of 2003, the elders asked the congregation to select brothers to serve as deacons.
Under biblical instruction, four brothers were chosen: James Greer, Sr., Robert McDaniel, David
Willis, and Johnny Young.
In August, 2007, Brother Fantroy resigned from the position of minister to the North Central
Church of Christ to be closer to his mother. He relocated to Huntsville, Alabama, where he
became minister to the Farriss Drive Church of Christ. North Central was blessed to have
several ministers and other brothers within the congregation to preach and teach God’s word
during our search for a full-time minister. This list included such men as Brothers Adrian
Harris, James Isenberg, LeAndre Johnson, Amir Brackens, Jerry Miles, James Abrams, Jay
McDaniel, Cleon Anderson, Ahmad Brown, Javaris Burks, and Earl Baskfield.
In September, 2007, another Minister Search Committee was formed. Its members included
Elders Herman Bond, Roscoe Bond, and Charles Johnson; Deacons James Greer, Robert
McDaniel, and David Willis; Brothers Leonard Johnson, Booker Johnson, Charles Woods,
William Stewart, Paul Greer, and Johnny Young. After fifteen months of praying, searching,
and interviewing several candidates, God blessed the congregation with Brother Rigel J.
Dawson. He and his wife, Qiana, relocated to Flint from Detroit, Michigan. On January 1, 2009,
Brother Dawson began his tenure as minister to the North Central Church of Christ. On March
1, 2009, installation services were held and officiated by Brother Terrance McClain. On
November 12, 2018, Brother Dawson ended his tenure as minister to the North Central Church
The North Central Church of Christ is thankful to God for the countless ways in which God has
blessed us over the years.
CHURCH of CHRIST