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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2013
As afternoon light tried to filter through the thick, stained-glass windows of Sharp Street United Methodist Church last weekend, Marco K. Merrick pounded out the bass line of a spiritual on a raw-sounding piano, singing along in a raspy voice: "Great day, the righteous marching. Great day, God's going to build up Zion's walls. " From the tightly packed pews in front of him, basses and baritones of the Community Concert Choir of Baltimore picked up the vocal line tentatively at first, but gained in confidence with each measure.
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NEWS
April 26, 2014
Of course there is no real discourse or difference between the gubernatorial candidates for Maryland, for the press refuses to recognize parties other than the Democrats ( "Back seat bickering," April 22). This is what you get in a "one party state": six figure career politicians looking for a promotion. This would change if there were real reporting and examination of the current issues by the constitutionally delegated "free press. " As for the candidates, their advertisements prove everything.
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NEWS
By Cynthia Tucker | June 7, 2004
ATLANTA -- Though President Bush rarely mentions it -- too many conservatives in Congress are uncomfortable with a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions -- conservative preachers and right-wing activists can't let go of gay marriage. They're still using its "threat" to traditional families to rally their parishioners, lest they forget to be judgmental and slip into love and mercy. Nowhere are the front lines in the battle against gay marriage tended with more care than in conservative black churches, where ministers regularly denounce homosexuality as an abomination.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2013
As afternoon light tried to filter through the thick, stained-glass windows of Sharp Street United Methodist Church last weekend, Marco K. Merrick pounded out the bass line of a spiritual on a raw-sounding piano, singing along in a raspy voice: "Great day, the righteous marching. Great day, God's going to build up Zion's walls. " From the tightly packed pews in front of him, basses and baritones of the Community Concert Choir of Baltimore picked up the vocal line tentatively at first, but gained in confidence with each measure.
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Sun Staff Writer | January 29, 1995
The towering Bethel AME Church at Druid Hill Avenue and Lanvale Street has been a center of theological ferment, the civil rights movement and a spirited activism for the hungry and homeless since 1913.But Bethel, an architectural and political anchor of the city's west side, is considering a move to Baltimore County, where nearly half of the church's 10,500 members live.For Bethel and other historic black churches in Baltimore, it is a time of reappraisal.Baltimore's black community has high regard for the beauty, history and social significance of landmark churches such as Bethel AME, but many of those churches also must confront an array of vexing urban problems -- from high restoration costs and a lack of sufficient parking to street violence and encroaching neighborhood decay.
NEWS
By John Rivera | July 15, 1991
Some members of St. James Episcopal Church, the denomination's largest black congregation in Baltimore, had an opportunity yesterday to share a bit of their history with some friends from the suburbs.They toured "Climbing Jacob's Ladder," a downtown exhibit on the history of black churches in the Eastern United States, with parishioners of an Episcopal "sister church," predominantly white Mark's-on-the-Hill in Pikesville.As they made their way together through the Baltimore City Life Museums, they found that St. James had earned its place there as the area's oldest black Episcopal parish.
NEWS
By Angela Winter Ney and Angela Winter Ney,Staff Writer | June 6, 1993
The Rev. Oscar Brown leaned over a lectern in an Annapolis church Friday and raised his voice in hope."We wonder why our children are so messed up? They don't have a larger [family] unit to identify with. But we can change the course of the future. We can give children another opportunity," he said.By adoption.Adoption was the theme as more than a dozen black county ministers and about 40 church members and social workers met at the Mount Olive AME Church to kick off an Anne Arundel County adoption campaign.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | February 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Just as it took President Richard Nixon to open the door to China, will it take the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed to open the door between white conservatives and the African-American masses?Some will find the idea laughable. As the executive director of the Rev. Pat Robertson's very big, influential and conservative Christian Coalition, Mr. Reed has vigorously opposed mainstream civil-rights leaders on such issues as affirmative action and welfare reform.But the idea of Beijing hosting the notorious red-baiter Nixon sounded laughable, too, until it happened.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | June 13, 1996
Since the end of the Civil War, when freed slaves began to erect their own churches, racist whites have attacked those houses of worship to stir fear in black leaders and to quash efforts by blacks to improve their lives.The recent attacks on Southern black churches have been a painful reminder of that history for African-American communities across the country.Since the beginning of the year, 27 black churches have been burned down in the rural South. And an equal number of black churches have burned down in the past five years, according to the Justice Department.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | February 28, 1997
A Baltimore insurer and a consulting firm that advises black churches have teamed up to offer a new series of life insurance policies -- with biblical names and features including a tithing of death benefits -- designed to help black churches raise money and reach an "underserved market."The "Faithful Steward Series" of policies was announced yesterday by Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance, part of USF&G Corp., and H&R Consulting of Baltimore, which provides accounting, financial advice and other consulting services for black churches.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2013
Several weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about the old Laurel Cemetery in the city's Belair-Edison neighborhood that had once been the premier resting place for Baltimore's African-American community until disappearing when the site was redeveloped as a shopping center in the late 1950s. It was traditional during the early years of the 19th century that African-Americans were buried in "colored burial grounds" owned by black churches. In 1851, Thomas Burgan Jr., a prominent businessman, sold a parcel of land on Belle Air Avenue to several businessmen who developed the land into a cemetery for the interment of the "colored people of the city and county of Baltimore.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | October 10, 2012
Supporters of same-sex marriage began running two television commercials in the Baltimore market this week. Each features a Baptist minister pointing out that the new Maryland law would not force churches to perform same-sex ceremonies. What the ads say: The Rev. Donte Hickman Sr. of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore speaks in one ad, while the other features the Rev. Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Prince George's County. Both commercials are funded by Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
NEWS
by Annie Linskey | October 9, 2012
Supporters of same-sex marriage launched their television campaign today with a pair of commercials that feature African-American pastors.  The ads are designed to counter an organized push by black churches to preach opposition to same-sex marriage from the pulpit this month. Both sides are wooing black voters this year; they made up about 25 percent of the electorate in 2008, and are expected to come out in similar numbers for this year's election. The Rev. Donte Hickman Sr. of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore stars in one ad, and the other features Rev. Dr. Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Prince George's County.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2012
Bishop Willard E. Saunders Jr. quieted his Cherry Hill sanctuary Sunday morning, signaling for the music and the hallelujahs to stop so his words would come across clearly. "If something is perfect, it does not need changing," Saunders said, his image beaming from two screens on either side of the pulpit. "You can't redefine what God has already called perfect. "Marriage, the institution, is perfect," he continued. "It is the people who are imperfect. " The Hour of Power sermon was repeated in black churches across Maryland Sunday and will keep going all month, part of a coordinated effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to spread their message from the pulpit leading up to the referendum on Nov. 6. The Archdiocese of Baltimore, though technically not part of the "Marriage Sundays" effort, encouraged its priests to talk about the coming same-sex marriage referendum Sunday since the set scripture focused on marriage.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,arthur.hirsch@baltsun.com | August 13, 2009
The 19th-century laborers pooled their money and did what they could to build this biscuit box of a church along Offutt Road in the southwest corner of Baltimore County. Atop a stone foundation they put up four walls, eight windows, a peaked roof, three rows of pews, a pulpit for inspiration and a wood stove for warmth - and called the thing done. It can hardly have been much to look at when it was completed in 1887, and it surely isn't now. That there is a now at all is notable. It will be noted more widely if the Friends of the Cherry Hill African Union Methodist Protestant Church make good on their plans to turn it into a museum dedicated to local black history.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,Sun reporter | May 1, 2008
The Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway Sr. considers the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. to be a tremendous pastor and a brilliant theologian. But sitting in the audience of the National Press Club in Washington this week, Hathaway found himself wincing at some of the remarks by Sen. Barack Obama's embattled former pastor. "When Jeremiah Wright says an attack on him is `an attack on the black church,' that's kind of stretching things," said Hathaway, pastor of Baltimore's Union Baptist Church. "I think it's potentially dangerous."
NEWS
By Patrick Ercolano and Patrick Ercolano,Evening Sun Staff | May 2, 1991
The large L-shaped room looks like it contains all the objects it can hold.Religious statues and a minister's plush chair stand along one wall. Priestly vestments hang from another wall. An old church organ sits in a corner.There are paintings and murals, chalices and hymnals, posters, an usher's badge, a little brown chair from a Sunday school class. These these objects and others in a new exhibit, "Climbing Jacob's Ladder: The Rise of Black Churches in Eastern American Cities, 1740-1877," fairly fill the room at the Baltimore City Life Museums' Courtyard Exhibition Center, 800 E. Lombard St.And yet, walking through the exhibit, project director Barry Kessler sighs and says, "We could have used twice the space, had twice as many objects and spent 20 times the money we spent, and we still wouldn't have told the entire history of the black churches."
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 9, 1998
Bishop John Maury Allin, the 23rd presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, who was a pivotal supporter of Mississippi's NTC effort to rebuild burned black churches in the 1960s but was an ardent critic of the ordination of women, died Friday in Jackson, Miss.He was 77 and had been struggling with complications from a stroke he suffered a week before his death. He also had lung cancer.Bishop Allin was elected presiding bishop in 1973 and served in that position until he retired in 1986. Often called John the 23rd by those who knew him well, he was chosen to lead the church during one of its most divisive periods, as factions were beginning to press for the inclusion of blacks and women.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,Sun reporter | March 24, 2008
Ministers at black churches know the power of words. In recent weeks, the explosive words of one minister - the Rev. Jeremiah Wright - have been used to bludgeon one of his church members, Sen. Barack Obama, creating a national debate on race and religion. Yesterday, on the holiest day of the year for Christians, black ministers used more measured language to explain Wright's incendiary sentiments while also appealing to their congregations to not be divided and distracted by political games.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun reporter | February 2, 2008
Motorists driving along Bellona Avenue through Ruxton can catch a glimpse of a 19th- century gray frame Gothic Revival church with tall green shutters sitting on a slight, tree-capped hill above the light rail tracks. What they're looking at is St. John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, with its one-floor fieldstone parsonage nearby. Surrounding the buildings is a graveyard that constitutes the final resting place of generations of the Scott family from Bare Hills, who have been involved with the historic church since its founding by free blacks in 1833.
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