Nearly 3,000 from area churches join March for Jesus in Baltimore

June 26, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

They came together in Baltimore yesterday to worship Christ as one, nearly 3,000 strong, marching from Memorial Stadium to Clifton Park as part of a worldwide March for Jesus.

The diverse group -- black and white, Protestant and Catholic, clergy and congregant -- had no political agenda, no axes to grind. They came to party for the Lord.

vTC "This is a movement of God, and it will die if you put an agenda to it," said Bob Wyatt, head of the Phillip's Way Street Ministry and an organizer of the march. "This is to bring people out from behind the walls that divide us and out on the streets to celebrate what unites us."

More than 50 Baltimore area churches were represented, Mr. Wyatt said. The energetic crowd, nearly evenly split between blacks and whites, danced, prayed and sang for most of the afternoon.

"We need a coming together of the races," said Carroll R. Johnson Jr., pastor of the Maximum Life Christian Church in Woodlawn and another organizer. "There are hundreds of thousands of Christians who are trying to live right. . . . Today, Christians are pouring out of churches onto the streets all over the world."

About 2 million people were expected to participate in the marches across the United States. The number of registered marchers worldwide was estimated at 100 million.

About 15,000 Christians marched through London during the first event in 1987. Last year's March for Jesus brought 1.6 million to the streets of 850 cities around the world, organizers say.

Mr. Wyatt and other organizers hope yesterday's march and prayer celebration -- Baltimore's first such effort -- will continue in years to come.

"We need this," he said. "We definitely need this."

Brenda Dudley, an East Baltimore woman who made the march from Memorial Stadium to the band shell at Clifton Park, agreed.

"We want the city to turn to Jesus," she said. "The city has to turn away from violence."

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