Rhema History

In 1989, with the support of his pastor and father, (Supt. Elder E.T. Parker, Jr.), Elder E.T. Parker III established a mission which he called Parker Ministries West. This ministry began as a satellite of his father’s church, Parker Memorial Church of God in Christ, and was birthed through Monday evening prayer meetings in Pastor Parker’s home located at 11812 Leeila Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. As followers were added, God gave Elder Parker the name “The Word Church,” which became the name of this ministry that was now a church on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio.
For over two years, “The Word Church” worshipped in several locations including: BellaireGardens (Bellaire Avenue), West 25th Street YMCA, and the Franklin Avenue YMCA (3200 Franklin Avenue). Then, in the spring of 1992, God led Pastor Parker to merge “The Word Church” with Christ Memorial Church of Jesus, which was located at 7344 Free Avenue, Oakwood Village, Ohio. This was a special union as Pastor Parker’s father once served as Pastor of Christ Memorial when it was known as Free Avenue Church of God in Christ. The church that was formed as a result of this merger was Christ Memorial “The Word Church.”
Christ Memorial “The Word Church” experienced six wonderful years of spiritual success and growth, and as a result, the church building on Free Avenue was paid off in just a short time after the merger. However, in 1998, it became obvious that God had destined Pastor Parker to be a visionary and church planter, as God led him out of OakwoodVillage and he began the process of forming a new ministry on the Southeast side of Cleveland, Ohio.
Pastor Parker appointed the following individuals to serve as members of the Board of Directors: Anthony T. Parker, Martin Lee Parker, Cedric D. T. Jackson, Sr., and Kenneth Bradley Dobbins, Sr. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, “The Word Church” of God in Christ of Greater Cleveland, Ohio was established in the summer of 1998.
One of the first services was held in the home of Elder Martin and Sis Paula Parker, who at that time resided on Raymond Avenue, Maple Hts., Ohio. Thereafter, for several months services were held at the MediterraneanPartyCenter located at 25021 Rockside Road, BedfordHts, Ohio.
In November 1998, while attending the Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee, Pastor Parker received word that Pastor Emmett Harrison and the East Side Christian Reform Church agreed to enter into a lease which would allow ‘The Word Church” to hold services at their facility, located at 23600 Emery Road, Warrensville Hts., Ohio. Sunday services were held at 3 p.m., and Bible Class (The Word Institute) was held on Tuesday evenings.
In 1999, God led Pastor to relocate to Columbus, Ohio, where he would later establish “The Word Church” of God in Christ of Columbus, Ohio. In March 2000, Pastor E. T. Parker, III asked his brother, Elder Anthony T. Parker, Esq., to assume the position of Senior Pastor of the Cleveland church.
After assuming the pastorate, Pastor Anthony T. Parker, Esq., was inspired by God to rename the church, Rhema Fellowship Church.
Today Rhema continues to have a positive impact in the community as the church follows the steps ordered by God.