Davis Worley, Minister of the Sandtown Church of Christ, gives out backpacks to children in West Baltimore and he offers a prayer for their safety. (Hamil Harris/The Washington Informer)

A group of Baltimore police officers and chaplains got out of a van last week and walked up to a group of young men who were sitting on a porch of a vacant house.

Instead of questioning them about a crime, one police captain asked the young men if they were interested in applying for a job in a city program. Then several chaplains prayed with them. 

Last Saturday Minister Davis Worley of the Sandtown Church of Christ and others gave out backpacks and hotdogs in the Sandtown-Winchester section of West Baltimore. 

From the streets of Baltimore to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., ministers and people of faith have been praying for and engaging young adults in an effort to calm the storm of violence. 

“We are going out on the streets and meeting the young brothers to pray and to encourage them to make different life decisions and give them hope,” said the Rev. Henry P. Davis, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Highland Park. 

Religious leaders and law enforcement took to the streets of Baltimore to minister to others. (Hamil Harris/ The Washington Informer)

Worley said it is important to deploy men of the church to take to the streets in the wake of shootings in the Baltimore- Washington corridor. 

“It’s important. We need a message of hope to reach people who are not inside the church,” Worley said.

Worley decided to open a church in the Sandtown-Winchester community in a recreation center. When the recreation center opened, the church purchased a storefront building that is now being transformed into a sanctuary.

“My hope is that when our doors are finally open that we will receive the love and support from this community,” said Worley, a retired Marine and federal worker at the Pentagon who commutes home to Baltimore every evening. 

Darlene Grant, a member of the East Baltimore Church of Christ, passed out book bags because she is from the Sandtown community. 

Grant said the faith community can make a difference and from the smiles of people getting backpacks, “you can see that the people are pleased.” 

Michael McFadden, minister of the College Park Church of Christ and President of Pilots for Christ, joined Worley at the backpack giveaway. He spends most of the week flying for Southwest Airlines, but on his off days the Howard University graduate is flying general aviation aircraft and mentoring young people with Pilots For Christ. 

In a few weeks he will host “Youth Day at Tipton Airport,” where he and other pilots will take youth from the D.C. area on airplane rides. 

“In July we will be at Youth Day at Tipton Airport to give young people a catalyst for hope by introducing them to aviation. The metaphor is through aviation, the sky is the limit,” McFadden explained.

The College Park minister also emphasized the importance of being of service to others.

“Giving people hope is giving them opportunities.” Mcfadden said. “When you’re living in a world with so many negative images, it suffocates the opportunity for hope, especially for young people.” 

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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  1. Thank you brother for gracing us with your presence on that beautiful day that God had made, come again and visit when you’re in our neck of the woods!

  2. I read your article and was very much inspired. I am a Christian and I worked the youth at
    Cheltenham youth center for 12 years.
    My brother keep doing the mission that God has given
    You. You have my prayers.

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