MANSFIELD -- Joy, praise and elbow bumps abounded at the official dedication of Walter Jordan Drive on Friday.
The sweltering heat didn't dampen the enthusiasm as friends, family and parishioners gathered to celebrate and honor Bishop Walter Earl Jordan and his son, Dr. Walter Jordan Jr., in the Oasis of Love Church parking lot.
In March, Mansfield City Council 4th Ward representative Alomar Davenport requested approval of fellow legislators to rename part of Chester Avenue in honor of the two men.
Davenport said the idea was suggested by a community member after the passing of Dr. Jordan in January.
"It was a no-brainer," he said. "Dr. Walter touched me in ways that I can never even adequately describe."
After Davenport and multiple citizens voiced their support, council unanimously approved the change.
Walter Jordan Drive now runs between Grant and Lida streets, home of the Greater St. John Church of God in Christ/Oasis of Love Church, whose address will now be 190 Walter Jordan Drive.
The senior Jordan helped build the church and served 40 years as its pastor. Upon his retirement, his son took over and pastored the church for the next 15 years. During Dr. Jordan's tenure, he launched Oasis Charities and started the annual summer Block Party where students can get free book bags, food, clothing and haircuts.
Lady Shirley Jordan, the wife of Bishop Jordan and mother of Dr. Jordan, called the street sign bearing her husband and son's name a legacy. But an even greater legacy could be seen in the number of people who came out to celebrate the impact that father and son had on their lives.
"I was overwhelmed and blessed," Lady Jordan said. "People drove from Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh."
Addi Jordan, the daughter and sister of Bishop and Dr. Jordan, was also moved by the number of people in attendance.
"It's so amazing. It's so hot, but to see so much from support from everybody, it's wonderful. We're honored the city of Mansfield is doing this," she said.
As the event went on, it became clear that the Jordan's leadership had influenced a new generation of pastoral leadership.
Oasis of Love Pastor Raymond Cochran Jr. spoke of the profound impact that both men had on him.
"He had a mark on me in character. I watched how he walked, how he talked, how he lived and it inspired me," Cochran said of Bishop Jordan.
Dr. Jordan later served as Cochran's youth pastor, pastor and mentor.
"He pushed me, he gave me the confidence to go into ministry and I will never forget him for that," Cochran said.
"We have people that read history and then you have people who make history," said Bishop William Morris Jr. of Shiloh Baptist Church. "We're here today because of two individuals who made history."
Jeff Jones, pastor of First Baptist Church on Fifth Avenue, also counted the two Jordans as mentors.
"They not only said that they love you, they showed it," he said. "They really confirmed that love is an action."