ABOUT IMANI UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Imani, which means faith in Swahili, a language
spoken throughout Eastern Africa (and the official language of Kenya and Tanzania), was chosen
because it was symbolic of both the congregation’s racial, ethnic and spiritual heritages. Early in its
existence, there was a strong sense within the congregation of pride in both who they were and
“Whose” they were. They clearly recognized themselves as children of Mother Africa and more
importantly as “Children of the most high God!”
In December of 1992, Imani Church officially opened its Church Charter. More than 70 adults and children signed as charter members. The charter was closed and the congregation was received into the
Western Reserve Association on May 8, 1993. Around the same time Church Constitution & Bylaws were adopted by the congregation and accepted by the Western Reserve Association acknowledging the
senior pastor as both the administrative and spiritual head of the congregation.
Among the church's ministries and outreach programs is its founding of the Imani Scholars, Incorporated, a 501C3 non-profit corporation, which is the parent organization to the Imani Scholars
Preschool, and Day Care. To God Be The Glory!
In 2002, the congregation officially called and hired its first Associate Pastor—a female from the congregation in the person of Minister Michele Teague.
Minister Teague, a gifted preacher and
minister, served as a general pastoral assistant to the pastor and congregation. Additionally, she served as Dean of the Imani Bible Institute and founded the LEAH (Love Encouragement, Acceptance & Hope) Ministry.
PASSING THE BATON
In November 2005, Minister Michele Teague became Senior Pastor of Imani Church by congregational vote after Pastor Norwood, founding Pastor, answered a call by God to serve in his father’s ministry in
Atlanta, Georgia. The following year Pastor Michele Teague married Deacon Sylvester Humphrey who became the First Man of Imani Church.
Pastor Michele Teague- Humphrey had a heart for outreach ministry believing that the church is responsible for the spiritual and physical needs of not only its members, but also to the surrounding
community. As a result, in November 2005, Imani Church held its first Thanksgiving Community Meal which was a free meal open to the community and continues to provide this meal annually.
Due to a troubling economy Pastor Humphrey realized that more and more families were in need of food assistance which led to the opening of the Harvest Fellowship Food Pantry which feeds hundreds of families twice a month.
However, our outreach efforts were not limited to just providing food. Imani
Church started the Clothed in His Love Clothing Ministry that collects and provides clothing to the community. Other outreach endeavors include going into homeless shelters and prisons to save souls
and meet needs.
As Imani Church became a beacon of light in its community, the congregation underwent rapid growth that resulted in a need to add a third worship service and an overflow room. Due to continued growth, in 2014 Imani Church launched the In God We Build Capital Campaign to raise funds to construct a new sanctuary to house the growing congregation.
God has brought Imani Church this far by faith, and we are excited to see where God is now leading us!
OUR FAITH STATEMENT
We believe that God the Father, Creator, Provider, and Sustainer of all, who in love created the world and all that is. (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 24) We believe in the sufficiency and saving work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God’s only Son and the Savior of the world. We believe that Jesus hung, bled, and died, was buried, but on the third day, rose triumphantly from the grave, with victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave that we might be saved. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; 1 Corinthians 15) We believe that as followers of Christ, we must follow his example in baptism as a sign of our commitment and identification with the risen Christ.
We believe in the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of comforting, guiding, renewing, filling, gift giving, empowering, and keeping the believer. (John 14-16; Acts 2; Ephesians 5). We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We believe the Bible to be the divinely inspired revelation of God to humankind. We believe in the Bible as the ultimate source of authority for faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3) We believe that each believer is a part of the body of Christ and that collectively we make up the church, which was born on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2; 2 Peter 2:1-9).
We believe in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We believe, according to Scripture, that to
be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We believe in the hope of Christ’s second
coming, and his promise: “….I go to prepare a place for you….and if I go….I will come again…” (John 3:16, 14:1-14; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
We believe that the Lord has called us and saved us from a life of sin to make a difference in this
world, while living for the world to come. We believe that faith without works is dead. We believe that
we must pray, vote, petition, strive, and act for peace and justice. We believe in the promise: “….If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Matthew 22:34-40; Ephesians 5; James 2)