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December 31, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ivan B. Hewitt, 84, of Philadelphia, who led Thankful Baptist Church in North Philadelphia for 25 years, died Friday, Dec. 26, of heart failure at Cliveden Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Mount Airy. Pastor Hewitt was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in Philadelphia. He attended city public schools, graduating from Bartram High School. He also attended La Salle College and the Manna Bible Institute. He was a preacher's son - his mother, Linda, was a minister, and her example led Pastor Hewitt to begin preaching himself as a child.
NEWS
December 31, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
The terra-cotta roof and sprawling stone building are iconic in Chester, a sign on East Ninth Street of the city's prosperous past. The red wooden doors of the 120-year-old building are now warped, and its windows are boarded up. The historic Third Presbyterian Church could face the wrecking ball - unless a local preservation group is able to save it and raise enough money to restore it. To the Presbytery of Philadelphia, the building is...
NEWS
December 29, 2014 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - It has long been a place where displaced Catholics have been welcomed and accepted no matter their national origin or the color of their skin. The ministry Emma "Mother" Lewis founded nearly 100 years ago for Catholics of color who were shunned by the white churches in the burgeoning resort came to be known as St. Monica's, and it may stand as one of the most diverse Roman Catholic congregations the Diocese of Camden oversees. Although Atlantic City's three other Catholic churches now welcome all comers, each Sunday and at weekday Masses, African Americans, Filipinos, Haitians, Latinos, Liberians, Nigerians, Chinese, Ugandans, and whites still join hands and worship together at St. Monica's, tucked into a neighborhood along North Pennsylvania Avenue.
NEWS
December 3, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Julianne McDonald was 11 and in foster care when she met the Rev. Keith Collins more than a decade ago. McDonald has 11 siblings, and her parents would end up in jail, but thanks to Collins, she got a college degree. Without him, "I don't know if I'd be alive, honestly," she said. Jonathan Abdul-Rahim King, an ex-convict, said his life was at its lowest point when Collins took a chance and offered him a place to stay, and helped him with job leads and day care for his two girls.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Clergy, opponents of deportation, and the teary mother of Honduran immigrant Angela Navarro held a solemn service in north Philadelphia Tuesday. They blessed Navarro's "journey into sanctuary" as the 28-year-old mother, who was ordered expelled for illegally entering the United States a decade ago, took refuge in the church of West Kensington Ministry on Norris Square. On Monday, Navarro told The Inquirer she planned to remain, living with her children and husband in a subdivided playroom, until her deportation is rescinded.
NEWS
November 15, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
AS A boy growing up in Virginia, Lee Mason had a vision: He saw himself ringing the bells atop the Baptist Church that he attended. Lee got to ring the bells, all right, then went on to ring many bells throughout a long life as a Baptist preacher in Philadelphia. He was also a longtime warrior in the civil-rights movement in the days of the 1960s when to march in certain communities of the South was to risk life and limb. Lee Mason Jr., who marched arm-in-arm with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and other legendary civil-rights leaders, a preacher whose lusty baritone could belt out a gospel song to stir the heart, an Army veteran and devoted family man, died Saturday of prostate cancer.
NEWS
November 12, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IF YOU SHOWED up at Ruth Boston's home on a Sunday morning before church, you were treated to the best of gospel music and words of comfort and wisdom from an evangelist. Ruth would have the radio on WURD (900-AM) to listen to the Rev. Louise Williams Bishop, an evangelist and state representative from the 192nd District. The TV would be on for Bobby Jones Gospel, playing the kind of music that was just right for a devoted churchgoing woman before she went out the door. Ruth would be off to Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church to hear the Rev. Frank Moore or another minister tell it like it is. Ruth Veronica Mills Boston, who worked for several Philadelphia manufacturing companies, a woman famed for her culinary skills and her devotion to her family and church, died Nov. 4 of cancer.
NEWS
November 12, 2014 | By Joe Dolinsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
  The battle over the future of a landmark 132-year-old church in Fishtown took a decisive turn this week when workers began removing icons and other sacred relics from the Gothic structure that was once home to the oldest Polish Catholic church in Philadelphia. Early Monday morning, residents and parishioners who had worked to keep St. Laurentius alive watched with frustration as workers from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's office of special projects began removing objects including statues, chalices, and other sacred items.
NEWS
November 9, 2014 | By Walter Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jane McCarthy Coplin, 98, of Erial, a volunteer secretary at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Sicklerville in the 1990s, died Monday, Nov. 3, at home. Born in Chicago, Mrs. Coplin graduated from the former Academy of Our Lady, a high school there, in the 1930s. "She was a homemaker most of her life, but she did a lot of volunteer work," daughter Jane Rafa said in a phone interview. "After my father came out of the Navy," Rafa said, "they moved to Michigan" to begin his career, "but they never lived anywhere longer than four years.
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
ALBERT A. YOUNG was a wolf disguised as a sheep, lying in wait for an opportunity to use his role as a religious leader to perpetrate the sickest of crimes, authorities believe. The 49-year-old self-styled "apostle" of Total Deliverance Ministries, at 22nd and Norris streets in North Philadelphia, was jailed late last week, accused of using his ministry not only to preach the Gospel but to perpetrate a sexual crime against his 15-year-old mentally challenged niece, police sources said.
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