ELD. BURTON DELANO CLEMONS
FOUNDER OF CHRIST THE KING COGIC
Elder Burton D. Clemons
Founder of Christ The King COGIC
Elder Burton Delano Clemons was born in Lovejoy, Illinois to Nina (Craig) and Arland Clemons on April 3, 1933. He was the youngest brother of Arland Jr. (Pete), Arthur, and Jewel. He was a graduate of Cleveland’s Glenville High School. Elder Clemons received a BA in Psychology from the Cleveland State University. He later earned his MA in Pastoral Counseling and Psychology from the Ashland Theological Seminary. He was honored with a Bachelor of Humane Letters from John Carroll University in 2012. Elder Clemons married his teenage sweetheart, Marion Gene Huie on July 25, 1953 and together they have seven children. Linda (Terrance) Curtain, of Shaker Heights, OH; Karin (Gregory) Jordan, of Cleveland, OH; Toni (Curtis) Porter, of Manassas, VA; Lori (Courtney) Rainer of Silver Springs, MD; Terri (Dr. Walter) Clark of Pittsburgh, PA; Kelly (Brian) Robinson of Severn, MD; and David Clemons of Xenia, OH. They are the grandparents of 15 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Over his professional career, Elder Clemons led several successful entrepreneurial endeavors. In his early career, he owned two service stations and an auto repair business. He was the first African American to own a franchised Chrysler Plymouth dealership in Ohio. Elder Clemons was honored in the Black Enterprise Magazine and by the Church of God In Christ, Inc. as the Businessman of the Year. He later served as the Bailiff for the Honorable Judge Carl Character, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Elder Clemons is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Life Member of the NAACP.
In 1957, the Lord saved Elder and Sister Clemons and they both were filled with the Holy Ghost during a revival conducted by National Evangelist Elsie Shaw. Elder Clemons accepted his call into the ministry that same year. Elder Clemons was licensed in 1958 and was ordained in 1965 under Bishop U.E. Miller. As a member of Williams Temple COGIC, he served on the Trustee Board, was Youth Sunday School Superintendent, and was the District Y.P.W.W. President.
In 1968, Elder Clemons was appointed pastor of Prayer Tower COGIC in Akron, Ohio by Bishop Robert S. Fields. His spirit and positive determination to uplift the work of the Lord was a catalyst for the church, now named Tower of Prayer Worship Center. In 1998, the Lord blessed the congregation to purchase a new worship center at 1334 Diagonal Road. The multi-purpose wing of the new edifice enabled them to expand the outreach ministries. The church paid off its mortgage in 2014. In 1985, Pastor Clemons founded the Koinonia Youth Retreat, and for twenty-two years it was a positive impact in the lives of many young people. The Tower of Prayer missions program has fed thousands of people and continues to be a lifeline to those in crisis in the Akron community. For over 40 years Pastor and Mother Clemons provided chartered bus transportation and lodging to many saints traveling to the Holy Convocation of the Churches of God in Christ.
In 1986, the Lord gave Elder Clemons to establish Christ the King Church of God in Christ in Cleveland, Ohio. The Lord blessed the church to purchase a building to worship and praise God in 1997. In 2008, Christ the King merged with Tree of Life Church of God In Christ, under the leadership of his son-in-law Elder Terry Curtain. Now named Generation Church, the saints continue to grow and serve the Lord under the leadership of his grandson, Elder Terrance M. Curtain Jr.
Elder Clemons was appointed District Superintendent in the Central Jurisdiction in 1983 and in February 2006, the members unanimously voted to join The Ohio North Jurisdiction under the leadership of the late Bishop Walter E. Jordan. Elder Clemons established the Judah First District in the Ohio North First Jurisdiction and served as the Superintendent for five churches. While in this role, Elder Clemons served under Bishop Edward T. Cook as Superintendent and as a member of the Jurisdictional Board of Trustees.
After 46 years of faithful service, Elder and Mother Clemons retired as Pastor and First Lady of the Tower of Prayer in October 2014. This inspired duo joined the Calvary COGIC under the leadership of his son-in-law Superintendent Gregory E. Jordan. They continued to enrich souls by holding monthly bible studies, educational seminars, planning field trips, and holding conference calls through the Seasoned with Grace ministry for seniors.
Elder Clemons consistently engaged and encouraged young people to fulfill their educational aspirations and use their talents to do the Lord’s work. He and Mother Clemons delighted in being volunteer story hour readers at the Trinity Outreach Ministries COGIC’s Little Scholars Enrichment Center.
At 5:58 am on Wednesday May 3, 2017, Elder Clemons departed this life peacefully at University Hospital surrounded by his loving family. We are heartbroken, yet strengthened to continue to serve the Lord, fortified by his legacy.