|Rev. Joshua J. Black, Sr.
Pastor Joshua & Michaelia Black moved their family to assume the pastorate of Canton Community Church in July 2000. When they arrived to the church they were surprised to find only a handful of people left. The church that had been established in Canton in 1923, suffered the hardships that many churches do through splits over the years. This church under its denomination, the Church of God of Prophecy (Cleveland, TN) had brought the Black's to Canton from Utah to revive this church of 15 people.
On December 31, Pastor Black announced to the congregation a new theme for 2001 and that new goals had been set for 2001. One of the new goals being, 200 people in attendance by the end of the year. The people were surprised at this bold new goal, but not as surprised as what they were about to hear. Then Pastor Black went on to announce a 12 Sunday challenge for the congregation. Starting on Sunday, January 7, Pastor Black challenged the congregation to have 75 + in attendance on Sunday mornings. If the congregation succeeded by March 25, then they could shave his head and beard off during the service.
At the end of the service that morning, 90 people had come to church. The church, which had been averaging in the 40's throughout the challenge, was surprised to see 90 people that morning. As the moment of truth came, Pastor Black, Jim Jacobsen, and Dick Deitrich shaved their heads.
"The funniest things inspire people and the key is to find those things that inspire you to make the changes that need to be made in your life or church. We hope that many other churches will find the necessary inspirations to help them grow and better our society," said Pastor Black. As for the 200 people goal, the church is on its way to attaining that by the end of the year.