Carlton Alva Ford (1887 ~ 1979) and Rozella Elizabeth Nebergall (Ford) (1888 ~ 1950)

Carlton Alva Ford (1887-1979)


During the early years from his birth on September 16, 1887 until the turn of the century, Carlton was raised in the Ohio counties of Auglaize and Allen.  In January 1902, at the age of 14 his life was changed when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. In 1911 he was sanctified by the Holy Spirit and called to be a minister of the gospel.  His decision to follow that call was based on Joshua 24:15, “…choose you this  day whom ye will serve;…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Young Carlton Ford began preparing for a life time of ministry at God’s Bible School and various other schools. He was graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1911 with high honors.  For the next twenty-three years he was busy in evangelism and raising a family of seven children (their first child, a daughter died shortly after birth) with his wife Rozella Elizabeth.

In 1934 Rev. Ford began the pastoral phase of his ministry. In that year he started the Marbletown Mission in Delphos, Ohio. In 1936 that mission was organized into the Pilgrim Holiness Church. In 1938 the congregation built a new church under the direction and physical labor of  Rev. Ford. The structure was dedicated on September 4, 1938, and was debt-free despite the effects of the Depression. Rev. Ford served as pastor at Delphos for another  two years. The church is now called Delphos Wesleyan Church and it has been involved with the Marbletown Festival which was organized in 2008.

In 1940 he moved to the pastorate of the Port Clinton, Ohio Pilgrim Holiness Church. While he served there, he was helpful in starting a church in nearby Sandusky. A few years later he moved to Barberton, Ohio and rebuilt an ailing congregation.

In 1948 he reentered the field of evangelism, returning to near Lima, Ohio to live. For the next three years, he assisted in a Church of the Nazarene there.

In 1954 he was ordained by the Evangelical Methodist Church and became a pastor again. He served two churches, one at Leipaie, Ohio and another near Waynesfield, Ohio.

In 1960 he was ordained by the Church of Christ in Christian Union. He started a church under that affiliation in Findlay, Ohio and served there for two years. Next, he pastored the church at Adrian, Michigan. After returning to Ohio he spent the last nine and one-half years of his active ministry leading the Kenton church.

At the age of eighty-four Rev. Ford retired from the full-time pastorate.  Retirement did not come easily for this steadfast man of God. He continued to spend much of his time studying the scriptures and ministering to people’s needs.

At age eighty-nine, only two years before his death, Rev. C.A. Ford was still dreaming of plans to begin a Church of Christ in Christian Union in Lima.

On June 17, 1979, Rev. Carlton A. Ford of Lima, Ohio passed from this life. The ninety-one years he spent on this earth included over sixty years in the active ministry.

His long years of godly dedication and service will not easily be forgotten by the many people who were touched by his life.

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