Church to celebrate education center's rise from the ashes

The Halliwill Education Building at East Baltimore's Patterson Park Baptist Church, heavily damaged in what the pastor called a "demoralizing fire" in February 1991 but recently rebuilt, will be dedicated Saturday on the occasion of the congregation's 80th anniversary.

The celebration is about more than just bricks and mortar. An innovative After School Study Center -- a pleasant place for neighborhood children to do homework and receive professional help with reading, spelling and math -- has been established in the building as part of its $150,000 renovation.


"Out of the ashes, rebirth," said the Rev. William C. George, the church's pastor. "Our desire is to be a ministering and visible part of our Highlandtown-Canton-Patterson Park community.

"We want community children to achieve all that they can possibly be."


Judith Free, a recently retired English teacher with 25 years of experience in Baltimore County, will oversee the after-school program as the church's volunteer in charge of education and social ministries. Miss Free, an East Baltimore resident, is a part-time seminary student.

Another program being planned at the church will focus on the literacy needs of adults. It will include English classes for many Spanish-speaking residents of the area.

The education building is named for the late Ralph W. Halliwill, who was pastor of the church at 3115 Eastern Ave. from 1957 to FTC 1974. The dedication service at 3 p.m. Saturday will be preceded by an open house and tours of the structure. A reception will follow the service.

The 80th anniversary worship service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, will be followed by a fellowship dinner. The theme of the celebration is "80 and still growing," the pastor said. Information: 675-8309.

Two anniversaries:

The historic First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, at Charles and Franklin streets, is planning a celebration of the 175th year since its original dedication and the 100th year since its rededication after an extensive 1893 renovation.

F. Forrester Church, senior minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, will speak at an anniversary service at 8 p.m. Oct. 29. Dr. Church is the author of many books, including a 1985 biography of his late father, former U.S. Sen. Frank Church of Idaho, and "God and Other Famous Liberals: Reclaiming the Politics of America," published last year.

Baltimore's First Unitarian congregation and Dr. Church's congregation in New York are linked in history. All Souls, which will celebrate its 175th anniversary next year, was founded as the result of a sermon preached by the Rev. William Ellery Channing of Boston at the ordination of the first minister of the Baltimore church, Dr. Jared Sparks.


Dr. Channing's famous Baltimore sermon is considered the start of Unitarianism as an organized religion in the United States.

The public is invited to the celebration at the downtown Baltimore landmark, which will feature music from the first dedication in 1818 and from the rededication in 1893. Parking is available in a garage across Franklin Street from the church's entrance portico.

& Information: 685-2330.

To raise money:

A High Tea and Auction at Friends School, 5114 N. Charles St., benefiting the Middle Atlantic Region of the American Friends Service Committee, will begin with a preview of auctioned items at 2 p.m. Sunday.

To be sold during the afternoon are silverware, jewelry, art, quilts, historic memorabilia, vacation reservations, electronic equipment and furniture, including antiques. Tickets are $15.


Information: 323-7200.

Children's problems:

"Battle for the Minds of Our Children" is the title of a free seminar on parents' concerns such as violence, drugs and teen suicide to be conducted tomorrow at Timonium Presbyterian Church, 303 W. Timonium Road, beginning at 7 p.m.

The program will include a question-and-answer session with experts on youth. To register, call 252-5663.