Douglas M. Stanton, 42, clergyman who helped Sandtown-Winchester

October 09, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

The Rev. Douglas M. Stanton, a housing and public health advocate who worked to rebuild the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, died of cancer complications and pneumonia Oct. 2 at Northwest Hospital Center. The Owings Mills resident was 42.

The Baltimore native grew up in the west-side neighborhood and was a 1978 graduate of Walbrook High School. He earned a social work degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and president of the Christian Council. As a senior in 1983, he was named student leader of the year.

He later earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore and studied at Dillard University in New Orleans. He earned a doctorate in pastoral ministry from Washington Bible College in Lanham.

After several years in the late 1980s as an administrator with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, he joined the nonprofit housing agency Community Building in Partnership Inc., a group active in a 72- square-block area roughly bounded by North, Lafayette and Fremont avenues and Monroe Street.

"They called him the godfather of Sandtown. He knew everybody on the streets. He was born on Whatcoat Street and we had plenty of family in the neighborhood," said a brother, George E.M. Stanton, an evangelist and church musician at Christian Unity Temple in Northwest Baltimore. "He would do advocacy work for people who needed decent housing. He could talk to people with ease and gain their confidence."

In his decade at the West Baltimore nonprofit group, Mr. Stanton was its chief program officer and editor of its newspaper, The Viewpoint.

"He was an excellent writer who helped us win federal, state and foundation grants. He was totally committed to the transformation of the Sandtown-Winchester community," said Marsha Bannerman, a co-worker and friend, who is the neighborhood public safety coordinator.

"He was an advocate of the good health of the people who live here. He wanted to have mental health and blood pressure clinics here. He was worried about shops selling junk food full of saturated fat."

She added that he lobbied the Police Department to end open-air drug corners and wrote grant applications for funding to get vacant and abandoned houses rehabilitated.

From 1998 to 1999, he was deputy director of the Housing Authority of Champaign County, Ill., where he administered more than 600 housing units. He then returned to his Sandtown job.

He was also active in Life Giving Ministries of Washington. He did not have his own church, but was often a guest preacher in Baltimore and Washington. He also sang in a baritone voice and often performed "The Lord's Prayer" and "Ave Maria" at religious functions.

Services will be held at 6:30 this evening at Emmanuel Christian Community Church, 800 N. Carrollton Ave.

In addition to his brother, survivors include his mother, Mildred E. Stanton-Evans, and another brother, Lloyd C. Stanton, both of Baltimore.

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