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NEWS
January 21, 2015 | *By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
January 17, 2015 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
January 13, 2015 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
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.
NEWS
January 10, 2015 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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 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 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 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.
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