September 1985 to September 2018
Canaan Christian Covenant Missionary Baptist Church was organized Monday, September 30, 1985 at the Holiday Inn in Emeryville, California. 66 former members of the Star Bethel Missionary Baptist Church along with Pastor C. Cedric Claiborne teamed together to organize a New Testament Church.
The first service was held Sunday, October 6, 1985 at the Palmer D. Whitted Funeral Chapel, Oakland, California, where weekly services were held for eight consecutive months. 18 additional members united with Canaan at the very first service. At a special afternoon service, the Rev. M.T. Thompson, President of the Baptist Ministers Alliance and Pastor of the Mount ZionMissionary Baptist Church, Berkeley, gave the charges and declaration.
Beginning with the first candidate for baptismal on November 17th, Canaan’s membership continued to grow at a steady pace. Baptismal services for the first eight months were held at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Oakland, Rev. Robert T. George, Pastor.
November 24,1985, the Canaanite church family participated in the Reading and Acceptance of the By-Laws.
Weekly Prayer Meetings were held at 939 MacArthur Blvd., in Oakland, until September 3, 1986, and weekly Friday night Church School Teacher’s meetings were held in various members’ homes from October 25, 1985 until August 29, 1986.
Sunday, May 4, 1986, the Canaanite congregation moved their meeting place to the East Oakland Seventh Day Adventist Church, at 55thand Foothill Boulevard, Oakland, Rev. G. E. Huggins, Pastor.
Canaan, from the start, was filled with love for one another, a loyalty to leadership and an eagerness and desire to have a church home. During the month of May 1986, Pastor Claiborne was informed of the availability of the Bank of America property located at 5782 Foothill Boulevard, Oakland, California. May 29, 1986, the Canaanite church family went to view the site. With the aid of prayer, hard work, sacrifice and dedication, coupled with numerous conferences and the contributing of funds by means of tithes, offerings and pledges - August 22, 1986, escrow closed. August 23, 1986, the Bank of America property site became the Canaan Christian Community Center and the future home of the Canaan Christian Covenant Missionary Baptist Church. Canaan celebrated with a grand march from the Seventh Day Adventist Church to the new property site on October 5, 1986, where a day of celebration and honor was given to God.
On January 23, 1989, the first phase of the building project - the construction of the New Church complex began and on July 16th, Canaan held its Dedicatory Services for the new church edifice.
On July 22, 1990, Canaan celebrated in the cornerstone laying worship service, and the dedicatorial of the church robes donated by the late Brother Edward Chew in memory of Brother Charles Ricks.
In the month of December 1994, Canaan’s Trustees began negotiations for the adjacent property and future home of Canaan’s Community Center. July 1995, escrow closed on the community center. In 1998 construction began on the breeze way - the connection between our church sanctuary and our community center, with the dedicatory service held on July 18, 1998. In 1999, Canaan launched the stained glass window project for our sanctuary and celebrated the April 2000 completion with the dedicatorial service on July 9, 2000.
Still another great blessing was in store for us by way of the late Brother Edward C. Chew, a long-time trustee and chartered member. Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church was named beneficiary to his estate. Through his generous gift, in May 2000, Canaan was able to secure an 8-passenger Dodge Ram van and February 2001 Canaan was able to pay off the balance for the church edifice. On Sunday, July 15, 2001, just short of 16 years in existence, Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church rejoiced with a day of praise and thanksgiving at the mortgage burning celebration on the church edifice.
During the month of December 2001, the Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church family once again rejoiced in the payoff of the community center mortgage, the office copier, the church van. With these payoffs, Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church, under the leadership and direction of Rev. C. Cedric Claiborne, became real property debt-free.
Sadly, on Sunday, December 9, 2001, Pastor Claiborne submitted his letter of retirement to the Canaanite church family, effective Sunday, February 10, 2002. On Sunday, March 10, 2002 the Canaanite church family unanimously voted to appoint Pastor Claiborne, Pastor Emeritus, in honor and recognition of his 16 years of leadership as Pastor/Teacher/Organizer. Beginning the first Sunday in February 2002 the Rev. L.P. Lewis, of Allen Temple Baptist Church accepted the call and challenge to lead the Canaanite Church Family services as interim minister.
During this transitional time, Canaan appointed its first women trustees. After several months struggling to adjust to its changing identity, Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church found itself in the midst of a wilderness experience. In unfamiliar surroundings and the membership physically displaced, the spirit of Canaan was unwavering and the spiritual foundation unbroken. Canaan Christian Covenant had proven to be a church rooted in the teaching of the New Testament and secure in God’s love. As a remnant of faithful servants united each week in song, meditation, prayer and fasting, combined with the return of Pastor Claiborne, Emeritus this great church put to the test all the years of its solid Biblical teachings. August 21, 2005 their spirit of perseverance was rewarded, Canaan’s warriors remained standing, the battle had been won and once again Canaan’s doors were opened to the congregation without constraints.
In 2007, Canaan launched into rebuilding mode, as we geared up for combat, ready to tackle the many challenges as we once again worked to be what God has commissioned Canaan to be, a valuable resource to the East Oakland Community.
In May 2007, Canaan rejoiced in the addition of Deacon Richard Herbert to our ministers’ roster. With the December 2007 retirement of Pastor Claiborne, Canaan with the support and shared resources of the Allen Temple Baptist Church, Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor, resolved to move forward to rebuild the bridge that links family, community and church. With a stronger zeal and a determined commitment Canaan is empowered with sincerity of heart, enthusiasm of mind, all under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
On Sunday, July 20, 2008, Canaan was blessed with its first Ministerial Ordination Service when Minister Herbert was ordained with the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Senior Pastor of the historic Allen Temple Baptist Church presiding.
On October 12, 2008, Canaan called her own Son of the House, Rev. Richard E. Herbert as her next Pastor. Pastor Herbert was officially installed on Sunday, November 23, 2009 in a ceremony officiated by the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Senior Pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, California.
Today, Canaan with a new mission statement – “Seeking to Save the Lost and Making Committed Followers of Christ" endeavors to meet the challenge of rebuilding and to once more become an active and contributing asset in the community, Canaan Christian Covenant Baptist Church will remember the past, acknowledge the journey, celebrate the healing and humbly embark on its recovery efforts.
The facts of our faith journey have been read and our history reflects a remarkable 24 year history of impossible ventures, bittersweet disappointments, and unspeakable joys. We know now what has been the outcome of our faith in God and our obedience to His call. Smaller in size, stronger in heart and wiser in spirit, we accept the challenge. As we look to the future, we remember that God promises us His continued presence. It is this promise that compels us to lift our eyes to heaven and say "To God be the Glory."