Florence, Franklin

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence came to Rochester, NY, from the segregated south as a young preacher in 1959. He was born August 9, 1934 in Miami Florida to Hozel and Bertha Florence. At age 16, Florence was drawn to the ministry by the influential Church of Christ evangelist Marshall Keeble. Florence attended Nashville Christian Institute from 1948-1952, a black elementary and secondary school affiliated with the Church of Christ where he met Mary, his future wife. He attended Pepperdine College in Los Angeles (also affiliated with the Church of Christ) but dropped out after 2 years. He returned to Florida and was ordained a minister in West Palm Beach where he became the pastor of the 18th Street Church of Christ. At the age of 25, Florence was recruited to become the pastor of the Reynolds Street Church of Christ in Rochester, NY, where he moved with his wife and children.