During the month of August, two quietly significant giants that impacted the ministry of the Michigan Region made their transition. Dr. Alex Cade, a member of First Christian Church, Lansing, and Rev. Howard Ratcliff, retired Regional Minister of the Christian Church in Ohio.
Dr. Alex Cade was a trail-blazing African American Disciple in a unique way. He and his wife Juanita integrated First Christian Church, Lansing, with quiet determination as he pursued his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. His persistence was rewarded as he became a member of the faculty at Michigan State and achieved full professorship within eight years. He and his family became an integral part of First Christian Church, where he shared his gifts as a leader and as an advisor. Dr. Cade served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of Board of Church Extension, now known as Disciples Church Extension Fund and Hope Partnership. He also served as the chair of the Search Committee that recommended the call be extended to Rev. Morris Finch to serve as Regional Minister.
Rev. Howard Ratcliff served twenty-two years as Regional Pastor and President of the Christian Church in Ohio. He served the Michigan Region as Interim Regional Minister in 2002 while Rev. Morris Finch was on sabbatical. We were blessed by his grace and wisdom during his time with us.
We remember Alex and Howard not only for their work, but for their love and commitment to the wider church and Kingdom Building.
Your regional minister,
Eugene W. James, Jr.