Finding, sharing joy with others

April 23, 1995

On Thursday mornings, a familiar figure shows up at the Lorien Nursing and Convalescent Home in Columbia's Hickory Ridge village.

Charles Palmer has been making the trip from his Ellicott City home for 17 years to bring gospel music to the home's residents.

"Without this ministry I am nothing; it is the Lord's work," he says.

At right, Mr. Palmer hands the microphone to Irene Nicholson for her solo rendering of "Amazing Grace."

Mr. Palmer's work at Lorien began at the suggestion of an acquaintance who wanted to team up with him to sing hymns at the new facility. The twosome started out by singing with five or six residents. Through the years, the small group grew. Mr. Palmer has had various partners who helped.

During the gospel hours, Mr. Palmer often will allude to a 1976 experience that first led him to sing hymns at a nursing home in Catonsville.

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