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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | December 11, 2001
Pastor Norris Belcher strides to battle Satan not in a bejeweled robe but in a conservatively cut gray business suit. He goes unarmed but for a simple black Bible. He takes his campaign against the devil seriously, and he needs few trimmings to wage it. Satan is real, Belcher believes. Take the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. "I look at this thing on a grander scale," he said. "It's not Osama bin Laden against America; it's the devil against God, and the devil takes many forms, including this radical brand of Islamic theology coming out of Afghanistan."
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NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF | August 24, 1996
Enter the Beth Israel congregation's Owings Mills synagogue, and behold the lobby. Behold a ceiling of sprinkler heads, I-beams and naked bulbs. A floor of bare concrete. Walls of unfinished Sheetrock."Our congregation accepts this," says Chaya Vidal, Beth Israel's executive director. "They walk through this area, like the desert, to get to the promised land."On that note, Vidal leaves the barren expanse for a sanctuary that feels fresh, bright and contemporary. In more ways than one, a transition is taking place: As Beth Israel settles into a new home in a growing Jewish community, the Conservative congregation is gradually turning a former factory into a house of worship.
NEWS
By Rona Hirsch and Rona Hirsch,Staff writer | January 5, 1992
An unusual alliance between a local synagogue and defunct theater company is yielding new benefits for the unconventional congregation, the county's young theatrical community, and the Baltimore school system.Onstage Productions and the Columbia Jewish Congregation are co-sponsoring the community production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in May at the Oakland Mills Meeting House.The 18-year-old production company, which operated at the Little Theater on the Corner in Ellicott City for the last eight years, boasted an enrollment of 450 for Kids Onstage, Teens Onstage and the Frustrated Actors' Association.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,SUN STAFF | January 7, 2000
The cantor for an Upper Park Heights synagogue was sentenced yesterday to six months of home detention for not paying his taxes and filing a false insurance claim -- acts he said he committed because of severe financial hardships. Benzion Weiss, 44, will continue to serve as the cantor for Beth Jacob Congregation. Several congregation members spoke in support of him at a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and said they have forgiven him. "He publicly apologized to the entire congregation," said Dr. Gavriel Newman, the rabbi of Beth Jacob.
NEWS
By JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV,SUN REPORTER | February 6, 2006
Faced with a fresh eviction notice and the possible scattering of his flock, Charm City Church pastor Mike Kemper stood in front of his congregation yesterday morning with a message of hope and healing. "If we are put out tomorrow, blessed be to God," said Kemper, a 46-year-old Linthicum resident. "We've been honest. We'll take it to the street." Members of the church have until Wednesday before being booted out, Kemper said, referring to an eviction notice found Saturday on the front door of the 17,000-square-foot Southwest Baltimore building - a former police station - nestled near a mixture of businesses, homes and boarded-up buildings, at Pratt and Calhoun streets.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | July 22, 1999
Just weeks before it is slated to announce new plans to develop part of its campus, Beth Tfiloh Congregation was slapped with a fine yesterday for violating Baltimore County building codes.The congregation, off Old Court Road, was fined $1,500 at a county code enforcement hearing for tearing down a dilapidated house and garage without a demolition permit.James Kemp, a county building inspector, testified that he ordered Beth Tfiloh to stop demolition work on the house April 19 because the congregation lacked a permit.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | December 3, 1997
The days of wandering for one small Jewish congregation in Carroll County are at an end. B'nai Israel plans to settle on property in Eldersburg by the first of the year.The congregation, chartered nearly 20 years ago, cleared the last hurdle yesterday with the Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals and will probably hold its first service in the Freedom Optimist Club building on Arthur Avenue this week."We want to have our own home," said Barry Heiserman, president of the congregation of 31 families.
NEWS
By Ellie Baublitz and Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer | November 7, 1994
It is said that faith can move mountains. So, the small congregation of Grace Fellowship Chapel in Westminster should have no trouble building an 80-foot octagonal church.Faith has helped the congregation grow from the five founding families in 1985 to the current 50 families who make up this nondenominational, Christ-centered church.When construction on the church began in September, it started a new chapter in Grace Fellowship Chapel's history. With weather permitting, the congregation hopes to celebrate Christmas in its new home.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | October 6, 1992
After a decade of lugging hymnals, sound equipment and other materials to and from makeshift meeting rooms at Hammond High School, the South Columbia Baptist congregation finally has a church -- one parishioners built themselves.Built on Guilford Road overlooking Hammond High in Kings Contrivance, the new building was the dream of a small group of faithful who saw a need for an alternative to Columbia's village interfaith centers.The congregation, which had about 20 members in 1979 when it first began searching for a meeting place, now has about 165 members.
NEWS
By Michael J. Clark and Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun | October 20, 1990
The trustees of a Columbia church filed suit yesterday to keep a minister who has been fired from entering the pulpit or calling a congregational meeting, saying they fear "violence will occur" unless the court acts.The suit was filed by the board of trustees of St. John the Evangelist Baptist Church against the Rev. Herbert H. Eaton, a minister of the American Baptist congregation for 10 years.Howard County Circuit Judge J. Thomas Nissel signed an order setting a hearing Nov. 5 on the board's request for a temporary injunction to prevent Mr. Eaton from entering the pulpit or calling a special church meeting.
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