Black History Month

Black History Month

This month we are spotlighting four strong African-American’s that make a difference.

– Sunday, February 4th we spotlight –

Tia MeltonDr. Tia Melton

Dr. Tia Melton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ob/Gyn at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. She joined the full-time faculty in 2005 and began supervising and giving lectures to medical students, teaching clinical and surgical skills to residents and attending patients at her Richmond Heights and Landerbrook offices.

She graduated from the University of Cincinnati, was named Outstanding Senior Woman in Arts and Sciences and appeared in Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, completed her residency and began work with underserved populations.

Tia has a passion for Global Health and works with underserved and those in low resource settings. She is committed to women’s health in the US and abroad. Melton has attended conferences in Argentina, Chile, China, Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa, Denmark, Vancouver and Spain. She has worked and lectured in South Africa, Swaziland, Guyana, Nicaragua, and Ghana. She currently serves as Assistant Director of Global Health for the WoNDOOR Program and the US Assistant Residency Director for the WoNDOOR OB/Gyn Residency Program in Georgetown, Guyana.

She is the recipient of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Excellence in Teaching Award and the Patients’ Choice Award. She was named the 2013 Henry Meyer III Key Bank Faculty Fellow – a $100,000 award. She has been recognized as one of the Top Doctors in the Cleveland Magazine for the last several years. She has been included in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. She has been recognized as a Top Obstetrician and Gynecologist by the International Society of Ob/Gyns.  

Tia has been a member of FBC since the 1980’s – singing and touring with the youth choir, performing with the handbell choir and serving as a leader in the youth group. She was selected and participated in Youth Leader Corp – a year-long American Baptist Association program with a small group of teens from CBA (the Cleveland Baptist Association) churches. She has traveled to Nicaragua on several occasions – first as a high school student, then as a college student and then on a few trips with Rev. Martin Rolfs-Massaglia. Tia has worked with the Day Care Center committee. She recently was able to observe the Boughs of Holly production and was honored to participate in the December 2017 Christmas Pageant as an assistant angel :).

Tia is an active member of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc where she serves as a committee co-chair. She enjoys reading, listening to music, travel and scuba diving. Her greatest joy is spending time with 3-year-old twins – Tia and Mia!

– Sunday, February 11th we spotlight –

Algo StandardAlgo Standard

Algo Standard is one of First Baptist Church’s oldest African Americans Members.

She is a proud  Mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Algo joined First Baptist Church in the fall of 1980, she has served on three commissions;  Christian Education, Deacons, and Evangelism.  She served on the East Side Ministry as a representative and class leader.  In 2001 Algo was a member of the First Stephen Ministry Class. After twenty-six weeks of classes Algo, along with the other class members became the first Stephen Ministers of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland on Easter Sunday, 2002. 

Algo at present is serving on the Nurture and Fellowship Cluster, she is FBC’s  Representative to Church Women United of Greater Cleveland and the American Baptist Women’s Ministers.

Algo has enjoyed traveling, both with and without a passport.  She says there is much in the states she would love to see but she is not anxious about what she hasn’t done.  She did have the pleasure of taking her six-year-old grandson and seven-year-old granddaughter on their first Amtrak and first airplane ride.  She says she has enjoyed years of gardening. She loves to see things growing, both food and flowers, but she is partial to the beauty of flowers.  Algo says “She is one our Lord loves very much.  He loves her so much He died so she could have eternal life…  She is blessed.”

– Sunday, February 18th we spotlight –

Carolyn NealCarolyn Neal

Carolyn Neal has been attending since 1999 and has been a member of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland since 2000. She has served on various commissions, committees, and covenant groups.

Following in the footsteps of her late mother, she embarked on an ambitious career with the U. S. Federal Government (Department of Treasury and then the U. S, Customs Service), in Law Enforcement where she has lived, worked and traveled on 3 of the 7 continents within the world and is fluent in French, Latin, and American Sign Language.

Upon her return to northeastern Ohio, she joined the Cleveland Public Library and shaped the landscape for the transformation of the digital services and non-book media as we now know it today at libraries. She has been a national presenter and award recipient in leading library advocates for Seniors and Older Adults services, she has received the distinguished honor as one of Library Journal Movers and Shakers and has served as a part of the Executive Council for the American Library Association.

She is a graduate of Villa Angela Academy and the Music Settlement and has studied at the Conservatory of Baldwin Wallace University. She is also a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College, Clark Atlanta University and the University of Maryland with an Associates/Bachelors degree in Speech Communications, Bachelors in History/Political Science and Masters in Library Sciences and Information Technology respectively.

Carolyn is considered the favorite aunt in the family, and a very proud American Field Service continuous host Mom to Elizabeth Sintoyia from Kenya and Nadege Flora of Cameroon.

She is currently the Director of the Wean Research Library of University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio.

– Sunday, February 25th we spotlight –

Kim Kidd CollinsKim L. Kidd Collins

Kim L. Kidd Collins is a compassionate leader who is devoted to acts of service and is a committed champion for social justice. She works tirelessly to support the needs of individuals in the community and bridge the opportunity gap for disadvantaged and marginalized youth.

An accomplished educator and administrator, Kim began her career in the East Cleveland School District as a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist and then principal supporting teachers in the development and implementation of engaging classroom experiences.

Kim is currently the Assistant Principal at Moreland Hills Elementary School in the Orange City School District. She stays focused on creating a welcoming and collaborative environment for all who attend and encourages families who may feel underrepresented in the somewhat affluent, yet diverse, community to find their voice and feel empowered. 

Inspired by Maya Angelou’s, quote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Kim gives her time willingly to her church, her family and her community. She is a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. and president of the local Gamma Rho chapter. She proudly serves as Moderator at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland and is the first African-American female to hold this honor in the church’s 185 year history. 

Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Ohio University. Kim furthered her education at Cleveland State University, earning a Master of Education degree and Principal and Superintendent Certificates. 

Kim has two sons, Frank and Kyle, a daughter-in-law, LaMeeka and three adorable grandchildren. She lives with her husband, LeShun “Ship” Collins in Solon, OH. In her free time, Kim enjoys travelling, reading a good book or enjoying one of Cleveland Metropark’s winding trails.


Happy Black History Month from “The Christian Education Department”

A World Without Black People

This is a story of a little boy named Jim, who asked his mother, “Mom, what if there were no Black people in the world?” Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, “Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world.” Mom said, “Go get dressed, and we will get started.”

Jim ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said, “Jim, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them.” However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.

You see Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lacing machine. “Oh well,” she said, “please go and do something to your hair.” Jim ran into his room, but the comb was not there. You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Jim decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone. You see Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush. Well, this was a sight: no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mom’s hair was a mess, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. Walker.

Mom told Jim, “Let’s do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store.” Jim swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there. You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan. So, he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone. You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop. 

Jim’s mom said, “Let me finish washing these clothes, and we will prepare a list for the grocery store.” When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there. You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Jim to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So, Jim ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.  As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press. Jim and his mother decided just to head out to the market.

Well, when Jim opened the door, he noticed the grass was high. John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower. They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go. Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines. They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals.  Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries, and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk and eggs, they noticed the refrigerator was gone. John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator. So, they just left the food on the counter. Jim could not call anyone for help because Henry Thomas Sampson, Jr. pioneered the technology that is used in modern cell phones. Jim was concerned about their safety, however, Marie Van Brittan Brown created a device in 1966 that would be the precursor to home surveillance as we know it, so the security system in the home no longer existed. 

By this time, Jim noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, however, Alice Parker, a black female, invented the heating furnace. Even in the summertime, they would have been out of luck because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner. It was almost time for Jim’s father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus, but there was no bus because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

Jim’s dad usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator. He also usually dropped off the office mail at a nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox, and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Jim and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked, “Why are you sitting in the dark?” Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Jim quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood. Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank. In addition, Jim’s grandmother would be in trouble, because, Patricia Bath is responsible for creating the laserphaco probe, a device used for laser cataract surgery.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery? This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery. Jim would not even be able to go to the moon to live, because of Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson brilliant black women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn. Jim understood on this day the role African Americans have played

Let’s Celebrate Diversity!