Thursday, May 8, 2003

Obituary: Rev. John Compton, 77,


Cincinnati NAACP president served Christian Church

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo]
Rev. Mr. Compton

The Rev. John R. Compton, former president of the Cincinnati NAACP and the first African-American to serve on the governing board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), died April 19. He was 77.

Active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Rev. Mr. Compton was part of the march on Washington led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and helped organize visits to Cleveland by King.

The Rev. Mr. Compton came to Cincinnati in 1948 to become pastor of the Wehrman Avenue Christian Church. Prior to that, he had served at a church in Palestine, Texas, after graduating from Jarvis Christian College there.

During his 30 years as pastor at the Wehrman Avenue church, the growth of the congregation necessitated a move to a larger building. With the move came a new name - the United Christian Church.

After he left that assignment, the Rev. Mr. Compton provided leadership in the regional and national offices of the Christian Church. He was the first African-American to serve as regional minister (for the church in Indiana) and as president for a unit (the division of homeland ministries). He was administrator of the National Convocation of the Christian Church, and administrator of the reconciliation mission, the church's race and poverty program.

He also served on the church's 16-member general cabinet, wrote numerous articles for the church's magazine and lectured at the Christian Theological Seminary.

After his retirement, the Rev. Mr. Compton served the Bond Hill Christian Church, overseeing the merger of that African-American church with the white Forest Park Christian Church. The resulting church is known as the Kemper Road Christian Church.

The Rev. Mr. Compton received awards from Jarvis Christian College, Cincinnati Community Action Now, the NAACP and honorary doctorates from Lynchburg College and the Christian Theological Seminary.

In 1988, he received the Liberation Award from the National Convocation of the Christian Church and was inducted into the Jarvis Christian College Hall of Fame in 1995.

The Rev. Mr. Compton was a member of the Walnut Hills Area Council board, Victory Neighborhood Services Agency and the Cincinnati Model Cities board.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley Mills Compton; two sons, John R. Compton Jr. of Cleveland and Rodney Mills of Atlanta; three daughters, Lenita "Jackie" Compton Bunch of Columbus, Angela Mills Spurling of Jacksonville, Fla., and Cheri L. Mills of Louisville; five brothers, Daniel and Howard Compton, both of Canton, Ohio, Raymond Brown of Indianapolis, Robert Brown of Little Rock, Ark., and John Brown of Maumelle, Ark.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Services have been held. Interment was at Walnut Hills Cemetery.

Memorials: Kemper Road Christian Church, 11609 Hanover Road, Cincinnati, OH 45240; Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242; or Star Supporter Fund, c/o National Convocation of the Christian Church, 130 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.




TOP STORIES
For CPS students, teachers, levy first step to better digs
Black vote called key for issue win
Grocer removes barriers
Clovernook marks 100th year of opportunities for the blind
Fiorini indicted in fraud
Fletcher's campaign given green light by high court

IN THE TRISTATE
Supreme Court delays Campbell's execution
Condon called fixture at morgue
Council halts student housing project
Four indicted in petition falsification
Norwood cinches up its belt
Man's death sentence overturned
Job applicant papers ruled not public record
Obituary: Rev. John Compton, 77, served Christian Church
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
PULFER: YWCA luncheon
HOWARD: Some Good News

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Danger lurks in Dick's Creek
King's rethinks as levy defeated
EPA to detail cleanup of lead in Liberty Township subdivision
Petition legality under question
Complaints delay housing decision
Council OKs outline for economic development
Victim's injuries reminder of crime
City's plan ruffles county's feathers
Police Advisory Committee created

OHIO
Laci's family backs DeWine bill to protect fetuses
Fire in historic building ruled deliberate
How to decide who lives, dies?
New law lets Amish opt out of paying into workers' comp
Portman declines budget director post
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Covington says thanks to Bill Cappel with new sports complex
Engineer joins Boone planners
Mother of all YMCAs coming to Boone Co.
Covington nuisance law used for first time
Pendery withdraws from 4th District campaign
WKU student dies of dorm fire injuries
Judge hears evidence in slaying of 13-year-old
Another union urges CBS to can 'Hillbillies'
Five inmates in court in attack on teen
Former NKU foundation head pleads guilty
Kentucky obituaries