Christian 03

The Reverend Doctor Janet A. Long

June 15, 1956 ~ March 26, 2024 (age 67) 67 Years Old

The Reverend Doctor Janet Long Obituary


The Reverend Doctor Janet A. Long, 67, of Elyria, Ohio, died unexpectedly in her sleep

at her home on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. She was born June 15, 1956, in Warren, Ohio, and grew up in Crooksville, Ohio. A 3rd Generation lifelong Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, she retired as Senior Pastor of Washington Avenue Christian Church, Elyria, in 2018 after 33 1/3 years of service and was a member of the church.


Long graduated from Bethany College (Bethany, West Virginia) in 1977 and earned a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas) in 1981. She remained active with both institutions, serving as Trustee at Bethany College since 1994 and Brite Divinity School since 2012. In 1996, Bethany College awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.  More recently she was on the search committees to select new presidents for each of these Institutions.


A pioneer among women in ministry, Long was the first graduate from her class at Brite Divinity School to be called to a pastoral position, and the only female to ever achieve this coveted honor. Her first position was the Senior Pastor of Clyde Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Clyde, Ohio. In 1985, she was called to be the Senior Pastor of the prestigious Washington Avenue Christian Church in Elyria, Ohio in an era when women typically were not considered for such an assignment. Following her retirement from full-time local-church ministry, Long worked with the denomination's Center for Faith and Giving on programs of stewardship and generosity.


Active in volunteer leadership, Long served as Chair of the Board of Directors, Foundation Board Member, and on other boards at Elyria Memorial Hospital (now University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center) for more than three decades. Since 1989, she was active in Elyria Noon Rotary and was a past president. 


Long was elected Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), its highest non-paid staff leadership position, a two year term ending by her leading the denominations

1997 General Assembly in Denver with more than 8,000 attendees. Her service across the denomination included Christian Church Finance Council and Christian Church Foundation Board of Directors, where she participated for nearly a decade including two years as Chair.

On the Christian Church Pension Fund Board, Long was part of the audit committee and chaired the Board’s presidential search. She was faithful, insightful, dedicated,  and an effective leader. She was truly a generational talent. During college and beyond, Long dedicated her time to youth and students as staff member and then counselor at Camp Christian, the denomination’s summer camp in Magnetic Springs, Ohio. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), its members, and its institutions were blessed by her life, ministry, generosity, and legacy.


Survivors include Colonel Daniel D. Clark of Elyria, her husband of more than 37 years; sisters Rachel Long Mattox of Tampa and Barbara Long of Elyria; stepchildren DeAnna Clark Gibson (Jim Gibson), Denise Clark Bridges (Alan Bridges), and Cathleen Clark Padro (Michael Padro); four grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Reverend Arthur E. Long and Carolyn Long (nee Crook) of Elyria.


Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Washington Avenue Christian Church, 301Washington Avenue, Elyria. Family will receive guests at the church at 10 a.m., and at a luncheon following the service. Reverend Nathan A. Russell, Senior Pastor of Washington Avenue Christian Church, will officiate. Burial will be private.


Memorial contributions may be made to:


                                Janet A. Long Memorial Fund

                                Washington Avenue Christian Church

                                301 Washington Avenue

                                Elyria, OH 44035


       Janet A. Long Scholarship Fund

       Bethany College
       31 East Campus Drive
        Bethany, WV 26032-0419



                             Janet A. Long Ministerial Education Fund at Brite Divinity School

                                Office of Advancement

       Brite Divinity School

       TCU Box 298130

       Fort Worth, TX 76129


Funeral arrangements were entrusted to The Laubenthal Mercado Funeral Home of Elyria, (440) 322-4626. Online condolences may be expressed at


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April 13, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Washington Avenue Christian Church (Washington Avenue, Elyria)

Funeral Service
April 13, 2024

11:00 AM
Washington Avenue Christian Church (Washington Avenue, Elyria)


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