'March for Jesus' will start from Memorial Stadium


June 23, 1994|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

Several thousand people are expected to take part in a singing and praying procession from Baltimore's Memorial Stadium to Clifton Park beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

It is part of an international celebration of Christianity called "A Day to Change the World."

"I've been thrilled by the coming together of various faiths, cultures and races to plan this event," said the Rev. John Cummins, pastor of Joppa Road Baptist Church and an organizer of the Baltimore march. Across the United States, about 2 million people are expected to participate and, worldwide, the number of registered marchers is estimated at 100 million.

"The March for Jesus is a call for Christians to unite and take the joy of knowing Jesus beyond the church walls and into the streets with praise and prayer," said the Rev. Carroll R. Johnson Jr., pastor of Maximum Life Christian Church in Woodlawn, site of the planning meetings.

Bob Wyatt, another of the local organizers, emphasized that the march is not a protest but a demonstration of the faith shared by a diverse group. "It does not represent denominational or political issues," he said.

Bishop Cornelius Showell of First Apostolic Faith Church, who recently returned to Baltimore from Nigeria and England, said, "There was tremendous excitement overseas as churches were gearing up for the march. This promises to be the largest organized praise celebration in the history of the world."

The first of the annual events was a march by about 15,000 Christians in London in 1987. Last year's March for Jesus brought 1.6 million participants to the streets of 850 cities around the world, organizers say.

Information: 944-6045.

Rouses honored

Developer James W. Rouse and his wife, Patricia T. Rouse, co-founders of the Enterprise Foundation, received the highest award of Volunteers of America this week at the interdenominational service organization's 98th annual meeting in Baltimore.

Mr. and Mrs. Rouse were the recipients of the Ballington and Maud Booth Award for Distinguished Service to Humanity at a dinner at the Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel Tuesday evening. The award commemorates the work of the Booths, Christian social reformers who founded VOA in New York in 1896.

Also honored Tuesday by the national volunteer organization was Baltimore civic leader Walter Sondheim Jr., who received VOA's Outstanding Human Service Award. Mr. Sondheim is senior adviser to the Greater Baltimore Committee.

With a combined budget of $289 million, 7,000 employees and 18,300 volunteers, VOA administers more than 400 programs, including ones to assist children, the homeless, prisoners, alcoholics and drug addicts. VOA claims to be the nation's largest nonprofit sponsor of affordable housing for poor families, the elderly and disabled.

About 300 people, including staff and board members, attended the meeting that concluded in Baltimore yesterday.

The host group, VOA Chesapeake, provides foster care for children, legal and family counseling, adoption services and emergency shelter for adolescents in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington.

The Columbia-based Enterprise Foundation established by the Rouses in 1981 has helped to place more than 36,000 low-income families in new or rehabilitated housing. Mr. and Mrs. Rouse are also on the board of Jubilee Housing in Washington.

Previous recipients of the Booth Award included Hubert H. Humphrey, Roy Wilkins and Lady Bird Johnson.

Wives and widows

About 2,500 delegates are expected at the 54th annual convention of the International Association of Ministers' Wives and Ministers' Widows that runs Monday through July 1 at Baltimore's Omni Hotel.

Leaders of the group, with headquarters in Richmond, Va., say it represents more than 43,000 women in 103 Christian denominations in 41 states and 18 countries. It was founded in 1941 at Second Baptist Church in Richmond.

Missionary convention

A two-day annual convention of the District of Columbia, Delaware and Maryland Council of the Missionary and Christian Women's Auxiliary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World will begin with a 7 p.m. service tomorrow at Zion Temple, 501 Legion Drive in Havre de Grace.

Information: 945-3540.

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