BALTIMORE, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Donte' L. Hickman, Sr., pastor, Southern Baptist Church, the leaders, members and community will have a worship service celebrating the restoration of The Mary Harvin Senior Center. The worship celebration comes exactly one year after the building was tragically destroyed by fire during the unrest that followed the tragic death and funeral of Mr. Freddie Gray. The service will be held: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 @ 7PM, Southern Baptist Church, 1701 N. Chester Street, Baltimore, MD 21213.
The Mary Harvin Senior Center is a 61 unit affordable senior housing facility and a community services center designed to restore people as the Church rebuilds properties in East Baltimore. The building honors the memory of a founding member of Southern Baptist Church who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this past January. The Center is the vision of the Southern Baptist Church to provide another affordable housing facility to complement their first development project, The Coel, Grant, Higgs Senior Housing facility, a 60 unit senior housing facility. During the unrest on April 27, 2015, several businesses were looted and facilities were set on fire. The Mary Harvin Senior Center, a casualty of the unrest, was 45% complete when it burned to the ground.
That same night, Pastor Donte' Hickman was on the west side of Baltimore leading pastors and the faith community in a march to quell the riots and extinguish a fire when he was called to respond to the fire that had engulfed the Church's vision sponsored by its Mary Harvin Transformation Center Community Development Corporation.
Rushing to the scene of the fire, Pastor Hickman watched as the building burned to the ground and began to field questions from media outlets from around the world. His message in the face of the fire was, "As a people of faith we believe we will rise from the ashes and rebuild." That statement of resiliency and tenacity through faith was heard around the world. And what was a tragic fire became a tremendous light on an underserved community and its blight towards its revitalization.
Southern Baptist Church is eternally grateful for the step-by-step collaboration with The Woda Group in developing The Mary Harvin Senior Center. Pastor Hickman and Woda Senior Vice President Kevin Bell worked together tirelessly to pursue the low income housing tax credits, the political capital and the municipal support needed to ensure the project's success. Southern is even more grateful for the determination of The Woda Group, the State Department of Housing and Community Development, Baltimore Housing, and the project's financial partners, Hudson Housing Capital and Capital One Bank, to remain within the community and rebuild the center. After restarting construction, the Mary Harvin Senior Center was completed 69 days ahead of the scheduled completion date.
Contact: Diana Lashley
SOURCE Southern Baptist Church