A strong bond


Katrina Maultsby And Clarence Baldwin

March 10, 2002|By Sandy Alexander | By Sandy Alexander,Sun Staff

When Katrina Maultsby, a child advocate for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, went to work at Rockville's Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center in December 2000, youth counselor Clarence Baldwin noticed right away.

"She adds a breath of fresh air," he thought. "She adds sunshine to the day."

However, he didn't let on that he was interested as Katrina split her time between Noyes and other facilities. "Over a period of time," he says, "I just sat back and watched and worked and tried to be on my best behavior."

But the following August, when he heard that Katrina was leaving the facility, he asked for her telephone number. Phone calls about job opportunities turned into more personal conversations.

"We started talking every night," says Katrina. "We found we had a lot in common."

They began dating, and a few months later, they decided to get married.

"We knew what we wanted," says Katrina. "We want to have a family, have kids, have a Christian home."

On March 2, the couple exchanged vows at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore, where Katrina is an associate minister.

Clarence, 39, was accompanied by four best men, including his father and two childhood friends, and Katrina, 40, was attended by her sister, cousins and friends at a ceremony that included prayer and praise singing. After refreshments at the church, the Sisters 4 Praise gospel quartet kicked off a reception at the Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville.

"We're both really loving and giving people," says Katrina, "so for us two to get together was God-sent." Both come from Christian backgrounds and both have been through difficult relationships, which they say helps make their bond stronger.

"We go over and above the call of duty because we know how it feels to not be appreciated," says Katrina. Clarence agrees: "I'd do anything for her."

Katrina, raised in Randallstown, earned her law degree and her master's degree in divinity at Howard University. She worked in Philadelphia before returning to the Baltimore area to work for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Clarence, from Hyattsville, is a former all-Atlantic Coast Conference University of Maryland football player and spent a year with the Washington Redskins. He tried a number of jobs, including football coach and real estate agent, before he started counseling in 1995.

The couple, who will live in Randallstown, waited a long time to find each other, but, says Clarence, "we never lost faith that we'd find the type of relationship that we have now."

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