By Gwendolyn Gaines and Sylvia Orduño
Central United Methodist Church is located in the heart of Detroit, MI, at the north end of downtown and adjacent to the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and the Lions’ Ford Field. The church itself has been designated a historical building and its membership includes some of the most active members of the community. It is also the building that houses the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, National Welfare Rights Union, and Westside Mothers offices.
In recent years, the church has been led by Rev. Edwin Rowe, and is well-known through the state for its progressive mission and activist congregation. Members of the church regularly participate in and outreach with groups on issues such as: anti-war/peace and justice, poverty, homelessness, hunger, and more.
Last week, Central United Methodist Church held its fourth annual Peace and Justice Banquet, a fundraiser for the many social services operated by the church. The keynote speaker and winner of the night’s Dr. Henry Hitt Crane Award was Julian Bond, Chair of the NAACP.
Among other events of the night: Cheryl Chodun was Mistress of Ceremony, Mr. Herman Dooha presented the Maryann Mahaffey Award to Councilwoman JoAnn Watson; Ms. Chodun presented Mr. Rory Gamble and Mr. Philip Schloop the Labor Award; Reverend Edwin Rowe presented the Pastor’s Award to Mr. Rudy Simons; and Reverend Wendell Anthony introduced Mr. Julian Bond. There were over 200 people in attendance for the dinner and awards. (We had chicken in creamy sauce, potatoes, mixed vegetables, rolls, butter, lemonade, coffee, cheesecake, and cake).