Our mission is to live with Christ as the center of our lives and to lead other to do the same. As God’s people we are called to:
- Worship (Matthew 4:10)’
- Evangelism (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Discipleship (Colossians 2:6-7)
- Fellowship (Acts 2:42)
- Service (Galatians 6:10)
A Brief History of the Oakland Church of Christ
The Strathmoor Church of Christ began in March 1935 in the northwest section of Detroit and a daughter church in Southfield grew out of that church in October 1956. When Vernon Boyd came on as minister in 1971, the Strathmoor church was a white church undergoing a racial transition in the community. He had experience and interest in this kind of ministry. Strathmoor had inadequate parking spaces and the desire for a daycare outreach led to expansion plans. At the same time, the Southfield church, which was biracial, fell on hard times and invited a merger that took place in February 1985. At that time, less than twenty percent of the members continue to live in Detroit.
At present, we are a church family of 300 individuals and an average Sunday morning attendance of just under 250. The Oakland Church of Christ now sits on an 8-acre parcel located on a major artery at 23333 West 10 Mile Road between Telegraph and Lahser Road in Southfield. The building was designed by Midwest Construction and was completed by Gator Construction. This 23,573 square foot facility with a 400 seat sanctuary, 12 classrooms, and a family life/fellowship hall has been our home since August 2002.
R. Vernon Boyd served our Lord at Oakland until December 2001. June 2003, Jimmy Hurd from the state of Washington succeeded him and served until 2011. Between Vernon Boyd and Jimmy Hurd, Clarence Locke and George Hack served as interim ministers. Terrance McClain served at Oakland from 2011 until the fall of 2012. Beginning November 2013 to the present, Edward Cribbs is serving the congregation as minister.
Whereas all churches of Christ would be classified as theologically conservative, the Oakland church is not tradition-bound, but has expressed openness that has been appreciated among its members. Respecting traditions that serve a Biblical purpose, Oakland seeks to serve the needs of the 21st century. Oakland has a vision, not only to involve as many members as possible in a great Christian fellowship of work, but to serve in establishing links with area citizens with community service and activities. In addition to local service, the Oakland family has supported missions in Zimbabwe. This began when two Zimbabweans were in the membership at Strathmoor and returned to their native country. They encouraged our assisting the African church and specifically Nhowe Mission as that country was coming out of civil conflict in 1979. It has resulted in several visits back and forth between the two Christian communities.
The Big Picture
Southeast Michigan holds the largest population in Michigan and is located toward the center of the Great Lakes, the largest collection of fresh water in the world. This location means the climate is moderate because of the large bodies of water. The average rainfall is ample to bring abundant vegetation and trees. Michigan enjoys all four seasons each year and the state is known for its beautiful colors in the fall, and its water and winter sports. The state has one of the largest concentrations of golf courses in the country. Many like to hunt in the northern Lower or Upper Peninsulas where cottages abound.
The southeastern Michigan area has a population of approximately 5.5 million people. Detroit grew up as the center of a great lumbering industry when northern cities were developing, but is called Motown because of its being the center of automobile manufacturing. The city of Detroit (Wayne County) is located on the Detroit River and was established in 1701 as a fort by French explorers. As Detroit grew, so did the urban sprawl that spread into the northern county of Oakland, the area of the church. Across the river from Detroit is Windsor, Ontario, Canada, one of the major ports of entry between the two countries. The Ambassador Bridge and Windsor Tunnel connect the two cities. Since 9/11, passports or enhanced drivers licenses are required for crossing. Immigration laws are carefully enforced with the high traffic and U.S. citizens are subject to random checks for a variety of reasons.
The Detroit area has an outstanding cultural and artistic reputation. It is the home of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the most popular tourist attractions in Michigan. In addition, there is the Art Institute, Cranbrook Institute, Museum of African American History, Science Center, Orchestra Hall, Fisher Theatre, in addition to the sports arenas at Joe Louis (Red Wings), Comerica Park (Tigers), Palace (Pistons) and the Ford Field (Lions).
Rural Southfield has gradually been infiltrated by urban life, but homeowners in the western portion of the city have strenuously sought to retain some elements of the old days with large plots of land around homes, no businesses and even some horse farms that still exist. Southfield has several ravines that drain small streams into the Rouge River. This has preserved natural green belts among its housing developments. City fathers are proud to have been given the All-American City award due to the city’s ethnic mix and have worked to maintain high standards of living for its citizens, control industrial encroachment into residential areas, limit strip malls, and prevent the proliferation of storefront churches.
Parks and recreation services are plentiful and well maintained. Two major expressways serve to connect Southfield to the rest of the road way system. Southfield schools are typically rate among the best in the state with superior funding for its varied programs. Currently, Southfield schools has an 80% African-American and 20% Caucasian student population. In addition, there are northern sections of Southfield in the Birmingham school district. Furthermore, there are several private and parochial schools in Southfield.
Southfield has a blend of many ethnic and religious identities, Caucasian, African American, Jewish, Chaldean, and other Middle Eastern cultures, Korean, and other Asian populations. There are many churches representing this ethnic blend. All are made to feel welcome in the life of the city and into the Oakland family.