Contributed by the Family
Bishop Thomas Darron Jordan was born on June 21, 1965, in Cincinnati, Ohio to the parentage of Richard Jordan Sr. and Lela Beatrice Kidd Jordan (nee Thomas). He died on Aug. 18. When he was a baby his paternal grandmother Clara Jordan told his parents, “I think we have a preacher here.”
He was known as Darron to his family and his co-workers knew him as Tom. At church he was called Bishop, Elder or Pastor, but he was most comfortable with just being called brother.
He grew up in the Avondale section of the city, attending North Avondale Elementary. After the passing of his father, his family moved to Bond Hill. He attended Swifton Elementary for one year. Because his reading level was a grade ahead his mother enrolled him at St. Agnes Roman Catholic School. He fully embraced the Catholic faith. He was baptized, confirmed and became a member of the church. His pastor, Father Rehling, was like a second father to him, and he was a guiding light for him.
He attended Purcell-Marian High School, graduating in 1983. He was president of his senior class and received the Praestans Inter Omnes (Outstanding Among All) Award for Leadership. He went on to attend Xavier University and received his B.S. Degree in Communications in 1987.
Right after graduating from Xavier, he started working at WCPO-TV/Channel in Cincinnati. He started off as an intern in the production department and moved into the newsroom in February 1995 as a videotape editor.
He became a fixture on the team of “Good Morning Tri-State.” In later years he co-hosted the station’s community affairs show, “A New Day,” along with Mona Morrow. In his 32 years, Tom, as he was known to his co- workers, mentored and encouraged many of the next generation and even solemnized the marriages of several of his colleagues. He had also served on the board of the Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe House.
He was a former chair of the chaplaincy program at Hillcrest Training school. He had also been a mentor with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and was a 2008 YMCA Black Achiever. He was also actively involved in street ministry with the Rev. Damon Lynch III.
In 1983 he became aware of the Apostolic Pentecostal Faith and was baptized on June 20, 1983, at New Jerusalem Apostolic Church (NewJ), by pastor and founder Bishop Dr. Alfred H. Nickels. The next night, June 21, 1983, on his 18th birthday, he was filled with the Holy Ghost in the home of his brother Richard. Richard’s wife Kim, and family friend (now Bishop) Daryl Brock were also present.
He was later called into the Christian Ministry and on Nov. 4, 1984, he preached his trial sermon. Thomas developed his ministry under the tutelage of Bishop Nickles.
While at New J he met Jacquelyne Marie Valentine. They were married on Nov. 15, 1985. From this union, two children were born: Bethany Phylea Jordan and Joshua Micah (Natalia) Jordan.
Minister Jordan worked in various capacities: youth ministry, brotherhood, Sunday school teacher, van ministry and choir director. He was quickly elevated to the position of elder and then assistant pastor. He was ordained in 1991 by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc. at the Ohio District Council. He held the distinction of possibly being the youngest general secretary of any church organization, when Bishop Nickles became a founding member of the New Jerusalem Apostolic Churches Inc.
After serving for several years as the assistant pastor at New J, in March of 1995, Elder Jordan, and his wife, Jackie, established Christ-Centered Apostolic Ministries (CCAM). The church became well known for its women’s conferences (all facilitated by Evangelist Augusta Reed) and Bible conferences that featured, among others, his mentor Dr. Johnny James (aka The Walking Bible) and Bishop Robert Sabin, the world’s pre-eminent Oneness Theologian. The Jordans were active members of the Prison Fellowship Ministry, making a number of visits to several prisons and local jails.
Elder Jordan’s face became well known around the city as he ministered on the Come and Dine” broadcast with Bishop Nickles and later as the host of the CAM broadcast seen on Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum). Both programs were filmed by Randall Vandivier.
Bishop Jordan was a voracious reader and was known for his gift of exposition, and practical biblical teaching and preaching. In 2009 he was consecrated to the office of bishop by his former pastor, Bishop Alfred Nickles, and longtime friend and mentor, Bishop Daryl B. Brock.
After developing a passion for genealogy and African American history, in 2008 Bishop Jordan started to do extensive research on his paternal family. A weekend visit with his cousin Felix Wilder in Charleston, West Virginia, forever altered the course of his life. In May of 2009, he visited Roberta, Georgia, his paternal homeland.
Some of his relatives were still living in the house built by his great-grandfather, where his grandmother was born. His family research took him to Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Utah. Bishop Jordan became a full-fledged genealogist and family historian. His discovery of his father’s family and relatives led to the creation of the biannual Jessie Jordan Sr. (1817-1915) Reunion for descendants of his great-great grandfather.
In 2016 he published “Double Jordan: My Journey Towards Discovering My Paternal Ancestors,” in which he documented 13 of his 16 great-great grandparents. A copy of the book is available at the downtown branch of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library, and it has now been made available online.
He had thoroughly researched his maternal ancestors with the hope of writing his second book but did not.
He served as president of the African American Genealogy Group of the Miami Valley and presented workshops for the Ohio Genealogical Society, several schools and libraries.
Bishop Jordan would tell you up front that he had his issues, but through it all he was always grateful for the gift of life and the grace and mercy of God. He loved the Lord and loved his family. His favorite scripture was Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Despite all his numerous awards and citations, Bishop Jordan remained grounded with the advice that a church mother, Margret Harper, whispered in his ear over 35 years earlier: “Stay humble.”
He was happiest when he was studying, teaching, eating and spending time with his family and friends. He loved all sports and had aspired to become the next Bryant Gumble when he went to college. He would amaze his friends by quoting sports statistics off the top of his head. This may have been training for his ability to recite scripture references in the same manner.
Teaching was second nature for him, and he enjoyed having all-night Bible classes. He thoroughly enjoyed the CAM Bible conferences, and he was a lifelong learner.
He enjoyed traveling with family and friends, including a cruise with his wife in January of 2022 to Hawaii. In July of 2022, he and his wife cruised to Alaska along with friends Mona Morrow and her husband Jay Johnson. In March of this year, they took a cruise with their granddaughters Anaya and Imani to the Panama Canal. Bishop Jordan firmly ascribed to the quote from the movie “Shawshank Redemption” that you can only “get busy living or get busy dying.””
He was preceded in death by his father, stepmother Mary E. Thompkins, brother Larry Wayne Kidd, niece Denise Thompkins and nephew Staff Sergeant Richard Joseph Jordan. He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 38 years, Jacquelyne M.; mother, Lela Beatrice Jordan; children, Bethany and Natalia; grandchildren, Anaya Ceri, Imani Phylea Mae and Niyana Amor Noel Jordan; siblings, Bobby Earl Kidd, Cynthia Diane Collins (Larry), Richard Jordan Jr. (Kimberly), Kerry Allen Jordan (Sheila) and Kelli L. Thompkins.