In 1951, The Community Baptist Church of Santa Rosa, California, had the distinction of being the first congregation of African-American Decent to accept affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention of America.
In 1985 under the leadership of Rev. James E. Coffee, Community Baptist Church of Santa Rosa, in keeping with its historical legacy, sent Rev. Morris A. Curry Jr. as a church planter to Napa County that intentionally established a Multi-Cultural Mission Congregation within the Redwood Empire Baptist Association of California Southern Baptist, as well as among the entire Southern Baptist Convention in America.
Within its years of existence, Hosanna Life Renewal Christian Fellowship (hereafter referred to as Hosanna Life) under the leadership of Pastor Curry, became more than just a House of Worship, but become a Community Service Agency as well.
Before American Canyon became Incorporated as a City, Pastor Curry opened the church facility to the community as a Town Hall, by hosting the American Canyon Task Force Meetings, which was established by the Napa County Board of Supervisors.
Pastor Curry has supported youth activities such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts programs, by allowing the church’s grounds and buildings to be used as a meeting place and a Badge Achievement Project Center for Eagle Scouts. Pastor Curry led the Church to function as the Charter Organization for the American Canyon Cub Scout Troop 178 for a number of years and Pastor Curry served as the Webelos Leader. The church also became noted for American Canyon’s Annual Easter Egg Hunts which used real eggs and later merged its effort with the City of American Canyon’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Easter Egg Hunt providing approximately 1,500 eggs to children of our community. Pastor Curry is the Founder of the American Canyon Boys and Girls Club. He developed an early morning School Bus Stop haven that served hot chocolate, breakfast and provided a recreation center that became a homework study hall for students waiting for the School Bus. These young people became known as the “Coco Kids”. The City of American Canyon later wrote and received a Federal Grant using the programs components of the “Coca Kids” that established a Teen Center equipped with a full Computer Center at the Church under the direction of Pastor Curry.
Pastor Curry was instrumental in coordinating several Emergency Relief efforts for American Canyon residents, as the church facility served as a collection and distribution center. During the 1987 Hurricane in Jamaica, Earthquakes in Mexico and Watsonville, The church helped American Canyon residents send two Simi-trailer truckloads of provisions to disaster victims.
Even during the 1995 floods in Napa and Sonoma County, Pastor Curry and the church he pastored was involved in the flood relief effort by sending food, clothing, furniture and volunteers to assist victims of the flood. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Hosanna became a member of the County Wide Team that provided relief for Hurricane victims displaced by the storm who came to Napa County.
Pastor Curry formulated the basis for and coordinated the Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Basket that was distributed to American Canyon’s residents as well as providing a year round Food Bank with canned goods provided by the American Canyon Cub and Boy Scouts. Pastor Curry was instrumental in developing all of the SHARE Programs in Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Sacramento Counties and the American Canyon site became a “Model Site” in the region.
Pastor Curry who is certified as a Domestic Violence Counselor, established support groups for Victims of Violence, Senior Adults Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Drug, and Alcohol Abuse. Pastor Curry has also conducted Death and Dying Seminars for hundreds of church congregations throughout Oklahoma and California. He also supported groups like Parents of Murdered Children by providing counseling and meeting facilities for a chapter in American Canyon. Pastor Curry’s efforts to assist his community’s social service needs brought the recognition of three County Probation Departments that looked to him as a Supervisor of Court Ordered Community Service for Non-Violent Offenders. Pastor Curry also provided Court Appointed Counseling Services for Anger Management through the church’s Bible Counseling Center
Because of the Community Service aspect that Pastor Curry was providing, The Salvation Army, upon incorporation of American Canyon as a City, ask Pastor Curry to represent their organization in American Canyon and formed a Service Extension Unit and located its operation on the Church Campus. Pastor Curry and his staff administered The R.E.A.C.H. Program, which is a Pacific Gas & Electric Shareholders Program that provides P.G. & E customers assistance to pay their delinquent energy bills as well as providing other Salvation Army services.
Pastor Curry embarked on a new frontier and was involved in the design and implementation of the Healthy Communities Project, a “Managed Care” concept for Medi-Cal recipients, along with other strategies to develop an affordable Day Care Program, and a Day Program for the Community of American Canyon’s large number of Board and Care Home residents.
Pastor Curry continues to serve the community of American Canyon and Napa County through involvment is current programs like the American Canyon High School Design Committee for the Napa Valley Unified School District, the Family Resource Center, the Timothy Project Mentoring Program in association with Napa Valley College, the Library Advisory Board, American Canyon Senior Council and many other programs that support the needs of citizens. Curry advocated for and was responsible for the first classes ever held in American Canyon by Napa Valley College which were housed in the facility of the Church Curry pastored. Curry has participated as a leader in many organizations such as serving President of the Vallejo Minister’s Interfaith Association, two consecutive terms as President of the American Canyon Chamber of Commerce, President of El Ballet Folkloricao de Aztlan, Board member on the Solano County Coalition for Better Health, Milestones of Development Human Rights Committee serving members of the Developmentally Disabled Community, T’s Academy of Rohnert Park, Board Member for Napa/Solano United Way and Napa/Solano YMCA Board of Managers, Executive Director for Parents of Minority Students Task Force, and the Northern California North Bay Minority Coalition, first Executive Board Chairperson for COMMIT Vallejo which secured the passage of California’s Non-Smoking initiative, the Legal Aid of Napa Valley and Napa County Library Advisory Boards; Member of the Napa Interfaith Council, Member Napa Noon Rotary Club. He has served as Program Coordinator for the American Canyon Senior Center as well as President of the American Canyon Senior Council. He served as a Committee Member that developed the First Napa County Wide Celebrating Seniors Event in 2012. He also represented the City as a member of the California Association of Senior Service Centers.
Curry has received various Honors and Awards, such as the City of American Canyon’s highest Citizen Recognition award the “2004 Gateway Award” for Outstanding Community Service. A Community Service Award given by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Northern California Section, at its 21st. Annual Mary McLeod Bethune Recognition Program in Sacramento. The Napa Valley Unified School District Five-Star Award for Exemplary Service to Humanity. The City of American Canyon, the Napa County Board of Supervisors as well as The State and National Legislatures have also honored Curry by bestowing Official Proclamations for Outstanding Service for his contributions to their constituents. Pastor Curry’s congregation was one of the first in Napa County to establish Televised Worship Services on Napa’s Public Access Television, he also developed the first and only Public Service Talk Show American Canyon Showcase on Napa Valley TV that highlighted Citizens groups and Government issues regarding the Second largest City (American Canyon) in Napa County.
The Bible Council Center which was developed by Pastor Curry served as a training center that trained congregations to establish their own Counseling Departments and using the methods of the Biblical Counseling Foundation (BCF), Pastor Curry also developed the first Biblical Counseling Department in a California State Prison at San Quentin in the Garden Chapel. Under his leadership at San Quentin a School of Theology and a Christian Education department was established leading to the licensing and Ordination of 17 inmates into the Gospel ministry and 21 inmates graduating from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s CLD program. This program is still in existence today.
Pastor Curry has served on Foreign Missions teams in the Philippines such as Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Antipolo, Malolos Bulacan, and San Juan, Cainta, Rizal just to name a few and has established two Filipino Congregations in Southern California.
He was the Founding Pastor of the historic Hosanna Life Renewal Christian Fellowship of American Canyon, the First Multi-Cultural Congregation intentionally organized and affiliated within the Southern Baptist Convention, and served 30 years as Senior Pastor. Curry accepted the call into the Gospel Ministry in 1967 and Ordained in 1968 by the Faith Memorial Baptist Church of Oklahoma City after an oral Biblical Examination and Recommendation of a panel of local Senior Pastors and National Baptist Convention Officers
After graduating from Manual Training High school in Muskogee, Okla. Pastor Curry attended Langston University in Oklahoma for four years majoring in History, with minors in Sociology and Pre-Law. He also attended Oklahoma School of Religion; He entered the Master of Education program at Rutgers University’s School of Education’s Labor Education Department on the Queens Campus in New Brunswick, NJ. Curry was honored by the Sacramento Theological Seminary with the full rights of a Doctorate of Divinity for his service as instructor of Old and New Testament History for the Progressive Baptist Seminary in Vallejo, California.
Curry is married, the Father of three, the Grandfather to Eight and is a Fourth Generation Pastor carrying on the Legacy of his Great-grandfather Rev Rufus Cooksey, Grandfather Rev. D.C.Cooksey,Sr. and Uncle Dr. D. C. Cooksey, Jr. his father Rev. Morris A. Curry, Sr. all once legendary State and National leaders in The National Baptist Convention USA, The National Baptist Convention of America and The Progressive National Baptist Convention.