FOUNDER OF TREE OF LIFE COGIC
ELD. TERRANCE CURTAIN SR.
The Legacy of Pastor Emeritus Terrance M. Curtain Sr.
Founder of The Tree of Life Ministries COGIC
Elder Terrance Michael Curtain Sr. was born October 23,1953 to Eva Mae (Foster) and Eugene Edward Curtain Sr. at University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “Terry” as he was lovingly called, was a kind, caring, respectful and gentle person. Terry who along with his brothers Eugene Jr. (Linda) and Kevin Sr., loved to eat the baked goods prepared by his sister Sandra (Larry). Unfortunately those baked goods were intended for sale, but never seemed to make it out of the house in one piece. To say Terry had a “sweet tooth” would be an understatement.Terry loved to create things with his hands. He would create boats out of balsa wood and sell them at Shaker Lakes to park patrons. This is something that he continued to do throughout his life. One summer Terry won a General Motors car prototype competition held at the Fisher Body company in East Cleveland. Legend has it that the new body styles of the Chevy Corvettes that came out in the subsequent years, looked strikingly similar to Terry’s award winning prototype model.
Terry was an amazing athlete. He was often the first choice of neighborhood pick-up games. Terry's athletic abilities were evident at Shaker Hts High School, as he continuously outperformed the competition, earning the nickname “Touchdown Terry Curtain”. Terry won Team MVP that year. One fall day in 1970, in the hallways of Shaker Heights High School, Terry just happened to catch the eye of a certain Linda Jean Clemons, who mentioned to her friend that he was “cute”. Word got back to Terry and he made his move, and the rest…is history. Terry and Linda were not alone in making a love connection, as their life-long best friends Walter and Veronica Tresville also were pierced by Cupid’s arrow. Terry and Linda graduated from Shaker Hts. High School in 1972 and decided then that they wanted to be together.
They chose Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where Terry earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1976. While at OU, Terry aligned with the ideas of “Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service” and became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in 1973. Terry succeeded in nearly anything he tried. Kickboxing was no different, he eventually became ranked #2 in the nation, until…”the ropes went up.”
On August 28th 1976 Terry and Linda took their love to the next level and were united in holy matrimony. To this union were born four sons. Terrance Jr. (June), Brian (Stephanie), Brandon, and Tyler (Tai). He was Godly proud of all of their accomplishments. Not only was he there for good times, but…sometimes was right there with cash in hand, with some bags of groceries, holding up a football sign in the crowd, or waiting with keys to a car. He loved his entire family. He was absolutely adored by his 12 grandchildren (TaTyanna, Taylor, Tori, Tristen, Nia, Tinley-Anne, McKenzie, Brandon Jr., Clover, Adaleigh, Harper, and Kacie). He loved spending time with them, and often could be seen tossing a ball, playing chase, or napping on the couch.
He was treasured by his “in-love” mother Marion (Mom) Clemons and the best big brother to Karin and Greg Jordan, Toni and Curtis Porter, Lori and Courtney Rainer, Terri and Walter Clark, Kelly and Brian Robinson, and David and Carole Clemons. He loved to tout the talents of his 22 nieces and nephews.
Terry was an amazing provider for his family, and had an impeccable professional work ethic. As an Engineer, he used his amazing mind and creativity, for the Caterpillar Tractor Company and later for the Cleveland Pneumatic (BF Goodrich Aerospace), where he inspected commercial airline landing gear. He took very seriously that “people’s lives were in his hands.”
Terry was a devout believer, who accepted Christ at an early age. He was baptized at East Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Cleveland Ohio under the Rev. William Downs. He had the gift of helps, and a passion for people. Oftentimes Terry was on-site early to open the doors of the church before service started and would often stay late to make sure the building was secured, even though he lived 50 minutes away.
Terry accepted his call in ministry while serving at the Tower of Prayer COGIC in Akron, Ohio under the leadership of his father-in-law the late Elder Burton D. Clemons, where he assisted in multiple ministries including the bus ministry to the National COGIC Holy Convocation. Terry was ordained as an Elder in the Church of God in Christ. In 1994, Terry was installed as the Pastor of the Tree of Life Ministries COGIC by the late Bishop Warren Elijah Miller. Many lives were impacted by his gospel preaching, revelatory teachings, wise words, and loving care. This ministry was located at the corner of 59th and Quincy Ave (in the former Eugene’s Cleaners). Terry was well-known for his compassion for those in need and provided weekly loaves of bread through his ministry.
Toward the end of his life, Terry became ill and had to be hospitalized, but through the determination of his devout wife, he received loving care at home. Pastor Terrance M. Curtain Sr. transitioned at 4:45pm on Monday April 4, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. We are heartbroken, yet joyous that he is at rest in the Lord. We are encouraged to continue to serve the Lord, love people, and fight "yet another round."