February 12, 2015 |
TWO MONTHS of pent-up tension and anger came roaring out Wednesday night at a neighborhood church in Powelton. About 150 people packed the pews of the Catalyst for Change church, on Baring Street near 38th, for "Philly After Ferguson," a town-hall meeting that brought together civic leaders and community members demanding answers on relations with police officers. It didn't take long, however, for the conversation to steer toward the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, a 26-year-old fatally shot by police during a traffic stop Dec. 15. "Now I have this debilitating disease, a chronic one that is hanging over me and will never leave," Tanya Brown-Dickerson, Tate-Brown's mother, told the crowd.
February 9, 2015 |
OUTSIDE it's bleak and cold, but inside St. Raymond of Penafort, a predominantly black Catholic parish in Mount Airy, the atmosphere is joyous and warm. Parishioners smile. A live band and talented choir perform. Happy toddlers dance on their wobbly legs as their parents try to keep them from bumping into others around them. "I feel the presence of God each weekend," said the Rev. Christopher Walsh, the church's pastor. Parishoners lay their burdens down, he said, "bringing them to the community to raise up . . . Our weekend experience is very vibrant and touches hearts.
February 7, 2015 |
In the 2000s, June Lee Federline was chairwoman of the mission team at Haddonfield United Methodist Church. The team ran programs that, among others, tutored children in Camden and sent parishioners to help build houses for the underprivileged in Puerto Rico. "June was involved in projects that met human needs," said the Rev. George Morris of Cherry Hill, who retired three years ago as pastor of the Haddonfield church. "I've been blessed by her life," he said. "She was a real witness to what we can do to make the world better.
February 7, 2015 |
Members of Zion Baptist Church filed suit Thursday against the church officers in the latest salvo of a long battle that has pitted member against member in the North Philadelphia church best known for the legacy of a former pastor, the Rev. Leon Sullivan. The 51-page lawsuit, filed in Common Pleas Court, alleges that the church treasurer, the clerk, and the chairmen of the trustee and deacons boards, along with other board members, have not been good stewards of the church's assets.
February 6, 2015 |
SEVEN MONTHS after congregants of Zion Baptist Church voted to fire the Rev. Carl A. Prince, a faction that had supported him filed a lawsuit yesterday against the church's board of trustees, its chairman and its deacon board. The lawsuit demands that an $18 million bond deal to renovate Zion Gardens apartments be stopped and that a forensic audit be completed of all finances of the North Philadelphia church. The suit also asks that Prince be reinstated and that Zion trustee chairman Ronald Harper be prevented from handling or disposing of any church assets or books.
January 26, 2015 |
IF THERE'S one congregation in the city that's embraced evolution, it's Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church. St. Matthew's dedicated worshippers have followed it across three locations in the past 15 years, adapting to new surroundings after each move. Naturally, said the pastor, Rev. Steven Avinger, those transitions required some work. Who we are: Avinger's flock numbers just over 400, he said, mostly adults in the 35- to 40-year-old range, who bring their young families with them from across the city to Sunday services.
January 21, 2015 |
A candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday night at a Browns Mills church to mourn for a baby killed when her mother allegedly doused her with an accelerant and set her afire. The mother, Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, was arrested Friday night and charged with murdering her newborn. Dorvilier, 22, of Pemberton Township, is in the Burlington County Minimum Security Facility with bail set at $500,000, and will have her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon. The Rev. Richard Esher, who heads the Browns Mills United Methodist Church, said a resident who is grieving the loss of his own baby had approached him about hosting the vigil.
January 17, 2015 |
Angela Navarro, the Honduran mother who in November took sanctuary in a West Kensington church, challenging immigration authorities to remove her, has won a reprieve from deportation. "I am so happy. I still can't believe it," she said Thursday. She praised God, her family, and friends, who along with clergy and some elected officials in Philadelphia supported her campaign of open defiance against an immigration court's decade-old order to expel her. In a fax to Navarro's lawyer, Patricia Camuzzi Luber, the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Philadelphia cited "prosecutorial discretion" in halting the deportation for at least two years.
January 13, 2015 |
LIKE SO MANY churches that have closed in recent years, South Philly's massive Shiloh Baptist Church, built in 1870, has a small congregation burdened with huge repair bills, which is not a recipe for survival. But the Victorian-era church on Christian Street near 21st, one of the city's oldest African-American Baptist congregations, found two unlikely Earth angels. Shiloh Baptist rents its soaring second-floor spaces to Brat Productions, an edgy rock 'n' roll cabaret troupe, and to Brian Sanders' JUNK Dance Company, which choreographs around stuff that Sanders trash-picks on Philadelphia streets.
January 10, 2015 |
In the case of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, near Pottstown, the heartbreaking news didn't come from a church official or some committee. The church on Main Street - a tiny road leading to a dead end - had long ago become, as one member called, a small congregation of widows. So the members of St. John's, themselves, voted to close it. The constant scramble to pay the pastor and the electric bill would be over. The fruitless brainstorming to attract young people would stop.