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Wrong Franklin Florence?

Franklin D. Florence

Minister, President

Central Church of Christ

HQ Phone:  (585) 325-6041

Direct Phone: (585) ***-****direct phone


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Central Church of Christ

101 South Plymouth Avenue

Rochester, New York, 14608

United States

Company Description

Central Church of Christ (CCOC) is a Non-Denominational Church located in Downtown Rochester, NY - “A Place Where Everybody Can Be Great Because Everybody Can Serve.� Visitors are welcome at Central Church of Christ. Central strives to preach the gospel,...more

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Senior Minister

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Web References(35 Total References)


Minister Franklin Florence - Sr.
Pastor of Central Church Of Christ & President of

News-Contact - What's Happening at Central

Minister Franklin D. Florence, I., President
585-325-5531 Franklin Florence, I., Senior Minister

African American Books, Resources for African Americans

Minister Franklin Florence - Sr.
Pastor of Central Church Of Christ & President of F.I.G.H.T.


Minister Franklin Florence and The Role of the Black Church
Long gone and few in between are religious leaders who use the church to petition their government in demand of social justice such as, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. David Abernathy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and most importantly Rochester’s own Minister Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence. At the age of 74, Florence’s dedication in his fight for social justice for minorities living in Rochester was memorialized in 2008, when Florence along with Minister Raymond Scott and Assemblyman David Gantt led a protest against the Republican- led Monroe County Legislature’s decision to elect the county’s new public defender using a closed process. Earlier this week, Florence called a press conference in protest of the Rochester City School Board’s decision to select Bolgen Vargas as the district’s new permanent superintendent. Florence and members from the African American faith-based community told reporters the community has been betrayed by the district by locking them out of the selection process. He’s seeking to form a parent group to work independently of the district and the school board. Florence, a young preacher from the segregated South arrived in Rochester in 1959. At the age of 25, he was recruited to become the pastor of the Reynolds Street Church of Christ. He later established on Plymouth Avenue, the Central Church of Christ in 1974. He immediately became involved with endeavors aimed to help improve the living conditions of blacks living in the Rochester community. To develop and renew urban neighborhoods Minister Florence opposed the Model Cities Program, a federally-funded operation to revive selected neighborhoods in various U.S. cities. The program’s initial goals emphasized comprehensive planning, involving not just rebuilding but also rehabilitation, social service delivery, and citizen participation. According to historical papers on Florence stored at the University of Rochester’s River Campus libraries, “In 1968 Rochester had three Model Cities projects that was opposed by FIGHT (Freedom Independence God Honor Today),” a group Florence headed from 1965-1967 and again in 1968. In retrospect to the Model Cities project, the papers concluded: “In order to ensure meaningful citizen participation in the Model Cities Program and equal partnership between the City of Rochester and the Model Neighborhood Council, 36 voting members of the council formed the Rochester Northeast Development Corporation (RNED) as an advocacy group for the council.” RNED was incorporated August 6, 1969. RNED addressed housing issues and became involved in various education campaigns. Florence became its executive director the following year. Florence, throughout his stay in Rochester was a person the minority community felt confidence in as a leader; and as someone who would ensure their concerns and needs were included in decisions that shaped the social and political health of the city. Earl Greene, director for Dispute Settlement in Wayne County, a mentee of Florence said: “Martin Luther King Jr. fought hard for racial equality in the South – Minister Florence was our valiant leader for racial equality in the Northeast.” In 2011 Assemblymen David Gantt, Harry Bronson and Joseph Morelle sponsored a legislative resolution that honored Minister Florence for his outstanding achievements in the areas of civil rights and spiritual leadership. WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its longstanding traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor Minister Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence of Rochester, New York, for his outstanding achievements in the areas of civil rights and spiritual leadership; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence came to Rochester from the segregated South as a young preacher in 1959; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence emerged as a prominent Civil Rights leader and advocate for the black community; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence was the creator and advocate for the FIGHT., organization which means Freedom, Integration, God, Honor, Today and served as its president from 1965-1968; and WHEREAS, FIGHT’s mission was to address de facto segregation and the social problems that resulted from it and create employment opportunities for the entire community; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence, as president of FIGHT, helped train blacks in order to move them into the prosperous Rochester economy, to develop and renew urban neighborhoods, to create quality education and perhaps most importantly, to develop political activism and community participation amongst poor urban blacks; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence, as a leader, creates opportunities for the community to integrate Rochester businesses; he opened the door of economic prosperity to many people who had previously been denied access; and WHEREAS, Minister Florence was involved with the Rochester anti-poverty agency Action for a Better Community (ABC) and The Rochester Northeast Development Corporation (RNED); and WHEREAS, Most importantly, Minister Florence, who is still engaged in the fight for civil rights, continues to serve as senior minister of the Central Church of Christ located in Rochester, as well as an advocate for the rights of the poor; and WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body that those who enhance the well-being and vitality of their community and have shown a long and sustained commitment to excellence certainly have earned the recognition and applause of all the citizens of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to honor Minister Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence for his dedication and outstanding achievements in the areas of civil rights and spiritual leadership; and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Minister Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence. Excellent article which clearly reveals the foundation which Florence and Fight built to allow for future aspiring African Americans to walk and run . The tributes were well deserved. May that which has been built continue to be re-enforced. Florence and may your good and honest deeds continue to make this city grow for all of its citizens! Florence!


When Minister Franklin Florence moved here in 1959 as pastor of the Reynolds Street Church of Christ, he found that Rochester's fast-growing African-American community was without a political voice and with few opportunities.
Florence, who had been a pastor in West Palm Beach, Fla., came to a Rochester where the number of African-Americans - many from the South in search of opportunity - had tripled to about 24,000 in a decade. But they were six times more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts. In July 1964, three days of racial unrest - commonly called riots but described as a "rebellion" by Florence - rocked Rochester. As a preacher in the streets, Florence tapped into the groundswell of black church activism that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had mobilized nationally as leader of the civil rights movement. The black church has helped shape African-American history, from the days of slavery. That role continues today, although the focus is on doing work in the churches rather than protesting in the streets. The Democrat and Chronicle recently brought together Florence, 77, and the Rev. James C. Simmons, 26, to discuss the black church and community activism. "Everything that has benefited the black community received its birth in the black church," said Florence, who is now senior pastor of the Central Church of Christ on South Plymouth Avenue. In the streets When Simmons was born in the mid-1980s in rural southern Pennsylvania, Florence was leading protests at Rochester's City Hall demanding a civilian panel to review complaints about police conduct. Although Florence gave the benediction at Gov. "One cannot practice the religion of Christianity - be a follower of Christ - and not care for the disenfranchised and call in question those in power who misuse that power against the poor," said Florence. He was clearly in the streets during the 1960s. Florence headed a grassroots organization, FIGHT (Freedom, Independence, God, Honor, Today), that at its first convention in Rochester in 1965 attracted about 1,500 people - prompting Florence to say that they represented "a new generation of hope" and that those who "fear the people" have good reason to tremble. He led marches to the State Street headquarters of the Eastman Kodak Co., demanding that Rochester's largest employer hire more African-Americans, in what Newsweek magazine at the time called "one of the stickiest civil rights confrontations." Simmons considers Florence an inspiration. Avenues of opportunity were opened up by the activism of Florence and others. The Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, a Buffalo native who is now a special assistant to the president at Colgate Rochester, began his professional career as a sales representative for Procter & Gamble Co. He believes that a factor in his placement in Rochester in 1969 was that companies here were expected to change their hiring practices. "One of the things that I noticed in the business where I worked was that all of the African-Americans I ran into were basically new to the business," said Hargrave. But Florence worries that some churches are not addressing the needs of the community. "The moral influence of the church has somewhat eroded because of this sense of materialism that has come among us - the name-it, claim-it gospel," Florence said. Nor is Florence impressed with the advances, especially with the African-American unemployment rate at 15.8 percent. "I am not too excited about what the majority people call change," said Florence. Florence currently serves as president of the FIGHT Village Apartments on Ward Street in northeast Rochester, which were built in 1974 to provide low-income housing. Franklin Florence is the senior pastor at the Central Church of Christ on South Plymouth Avenue. Franklin Florence is the senior pastor at the Central Church of Christ on South Plymouth Avenue.

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