Earl David William Baldwin, who was pastor emeritus at TrinityLife church in Timonium, died peacefully in his sleep Dec. 7 at his home in Lutherville. He had congestive heart failure and was 89.
Mr. Baldwin was born April 11, 1933, in Baltimore and raised in the Walbrook neighborhood by his parents, Earl Ellsworth and Dorothy Ann Elizabeth Baldwin. His father was a machinist and his mother a homemaker.
He was a man of faith and a devout Christian who dedicated his life to the Lord, according to a biographical profile written by his daughter, Billie Joan Baldwin.
“He was kind and funny and brilliant,” his daughter said. . “He was a very hard worker, a good dad and a loving person. He loved people and gave them a lot of second and even third chances.”
When he was a baby, Mr. Baldwin accompanied his mother to church and became a congregant of TrinityLife, formerly Trinity Assembly of God, which was in Baltimore before relocating to Timonium.
His mother and maternal grandparents were to him “original examples of Christianity,” and he respected them greatly, according to the biological profile.
Growing up, he worked a wealth of odd jobs, including tree trimmer, bowling alley pinsetter, drugstore clerk, paperboy, marble step scrubber and delivery boy. He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he played a plus-sized ballerina in the school’s musical comedies “My Poly Follies.”
His mother worried he would go into show business. To her relief, he began his career as an apprentice tool and die maker after graduation and became a born-again Christian at the age of 20.
Mr. Baldwin met this wife, Doris Joan “Dorie” Cruikshank, at TrinityLife, where they married in 1954 — partly to ease Dorie’s father’s concerns that he kept her out too late, according to the biographical profile. The couple were married for 68 years, lived in Baltimore and had five children.
Mr. Baldwin earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Eastern Pilgrim College, obtained a master’s in pastoral counseling from what is now Loyola University Maryland and graduated with a doctorate in ministry from Drew University.
He then pastored a small church in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, for 12 years. In 1973, he became pastor at TrinityLife until retirement in 1995. During his tenure at TrinityLife, he supervised the construction of two church buildings and helped transition the church from its location in Baltimore to Timonium.
During his career as a pastor, Mr. Baldwin was invited to teach and preach nationally and internationally, including in Finland and Belgium. In 1990, he was a featured speaker at the General Council of the Assemblies of God in Portland, Oregon.
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He also founded the TrinityLife Prayer Center, which he participated in until his recent illness.
“I think people who attended the church felt gratitude that they had the experience with my dad,” his daughter said. “People say to me how important he was to them and what an impact he had to them.”
He gave out Hershey’s Kisses every Christmas to every single person at the church and would say, “Consider yourself kissed,” according to his daughter. “He had a terrific sense of humor and also prayed and studied a lot.”
At home, he had an extensive library and was an avid reader. He enjoyed watching news, sports, old movies and a variety of Westerns that he had memorized, according to the biographical profile.
Family was integral to him — he made each member feel special with nicknames, silly songs and individually crafted teasing, his daughter said. To the end of his life, he thought about being a good representation of Christ to those who provided care for him, she said.
He is survived by his wife, Doris J. Baldwin, 87, of Lutherville; brother Roger Lee Baldwin of Ellicott City; and children Stephen Baldwin of Dover, Pennsylvania, Timothy Lee Baldwin of Catonsville, Kirk Baldwin of Nottingham, Billie Joan Baldwin of Lutherville, and Gwendolyn Ann Leatherman of Abingdon.
He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A service was held Dec. 15 at TrinityLife Church, and interment was at Bel Air Memorial Gardens.