Where we pray: Bibleway Church of God in Christ reaches out on radio, to the community, to the needy

CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is rich in the number and variety of houses of worship. In our weekly feature, WCPO shines the spotlight on where we pray.

Bibleway Church of God in Christ

  • Address: 3231 Woodburn Ave . Cincinnati, Ohio 45207 (Evanston)
  • Denomination: Pentecostal Holiness
  • Top Clergy: Pastor Carl Whittaker, Co-Pastor Raymond Prysock, Church Mother Annie L. Patterson
  • Size of congregation: 250
  • Core Beliefs: Historical Pentecostal, Sanctified, Trinitarian
  • Affiliation: Church of God in Christ International , headquartered in Memphis, Tenn.


Founded by Elder Abraham Swanson in 1944, Bibleway began in a tent on Baymiller Street. When the weather turned cold, Swanson moved to a storefront on Fifth Street in the West End. When the church outgrew that building, it moved to Beecher Street in Walnut Hills. In 1960, the church moved into a renovated theater at 3231 Woodburn Ave., its current location.

In November 1970, the current pastor, Carl Whittaker , arrived as a choir singer. Swanson saw gifts in him and made him the radio announcer on WCIN and WZIP. A year later, Swanson began to preach. By 1979, he was made assistant pastor. Upon Swanson’s death in July 2010, Whittaker, in accordance with Swanson’s wishes, became the church’s pastor.

More about Bibleway:

In June 2013 the intersection of Gilbert Avenue, Montgomery Road, Hewitt Road and Woodburn Avenue was named Abraham Swanson Point.

Bibleway is the first African-American church in Cincinnati to offer live broadcast of its services. Bibleway is heard Sundays on Inspiration 1050 AM WGRI and Warner Cable.

The church is in the midst of a campaign, Project 13, to raise money to pay off a loan as well as pay for expansion. “I don’t want to move away,” said Pastor Whittaker. “I would like to see the building leveled and have a new edifice.” The church would use the house next door and expand in that area. In addition, the church would like to purchase a van to transport parishioners to services.

Feed My Sheep, a food pantry founded in 2013 and offered in conjunction with Pure Gospel Church of God in Christ in Madisonville, provides food distributed every second and fourth Friday of the month from the Resource Center next door to the church. The panty receives donations from stores such as Kroger’s and Keebler’s and each week helps an average of 140 families in need, according to volunteer Vanessa Phillips.

Bibleway is affiliated with the Church of God in Christ International which was founded in 1896 and has an estimated five million people in the United States making it one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country and one of the largest in the world serving 60 nations.

“Bibleway is where the spirit of God predominates,” said Whittaker. “If you attend one service, you will never be the same again.”


  • 10 a.m. Sunday School
  • Noon: High Noon Praise Worship Service


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