Pastor's death investigated by the police as suspicious


Baltimore & Region


Baltimore police are investigating as suspicious the death of a well-known pastor whose body was found in a Charles Village alley, while church communities across the city mourn the loss.

The body of Lorenzo C. Handy, 67, was found behind West 25th Street in Charles Village on Thanksgiving Day. He had sustained head injuries, but police said it was unclear whether that was from an attack or a fall.

Police did not release additional details; the state medical examiner's office has not finished an autopsy.

For more than two decades, Handy directed the male chorus at Union Baptist Church. He had been an associate pastor at the prominent West Baltimore church.

Handy, who had lived in West Baltimore, was known for his music leadership in other Baltimore churches, for his ecumenical efforts and for his writings on entertainment and religion in the weekly Baltimore Times.

"When it came to music and theology, he was very gifted," said the Rev. Vernon Dobson, pastor of Union Baptist.

Handy was choirmaster at Calvary Lutheran Church and School in Northeast Baltimore for two years. He directed a 17-member ensemble in 2000.

"He was a demanding choir director, maybe more than some of our members were used to," said the Rev. Daniel H. Quiram, the church's senior pastor. "He served with a great skill and brought a wide variety of music to us. I was impressed with his knowledge, wisdom and eagerness to serve."

Siegfried Otto, a retired a Lutheran minister, described Handy as a devoted believer in bringing different faiths and churches together. "He was the most ecumenically minded African-American minister that I know of," Otto said. "He called himself an `ecumaniac.'"

Sun reporters Sandy Alexander and Jacques Kelly contributed to this article.

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