January 17, 2015 |
More than 50 years ago, Zion Baptist Church's pastor, the Rev. Leon Sullivan, the "Lion of Zion," created a roaring economic engine designed to empower African Americans through self-help, job training, and community investment. These days, no one would describe one of the pillars of Sullivan's vision, the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, as roaring. Floors in OIC's five-story building on North Broad Street, which once housed OIC programs, are leased to tenants, including two charter schools, and there's plenty of space on the main floor OIC occupies.
November 29, 2014 |
As a child, Sara Clarice Mosley Pettiford cultivated a passion for teaching by playing school with her dolls as pupils. A lifelong educator, world traveler, and faithful church member, Mrs. Pettiford, 80, died Sunday, Nov. 23, of complications from Alzheimer's at Arbor Terrace at Chestnut Hill. She was born in Bellefonte, in central Pennsylvania, and attended public schools; she was the only black student in her senior class. Her school counselor did not encourage her to continue her education, but Mrs. Pettiford knew that she was expected to follow in the footsteps of her parents, both of whom attended college - not common for blacks in the early 1900s.
July 31, 2014 |
THREE WEEKS before taking the helm of North Philadelphia's Zion Baptist Church, the Rev. A. Carl Prince met with leaders of the small Virginia church he was leaving. On Dec. 18, 2011, he and Mount Hope Baptist Church leaders signed an "Announcement of Retirement" that took effect at the end of that year. Prince asked that "in the interest of the Church and Christian civility, that all litigation and investigations both civil and criminal, present and future, be ceased," the statement said.
July 22, 2014 |
THE REV. KEVIN R. Johnson, embattled pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church, will leave the 103-year-old North Philadelphia church on Oct. 31. Several congregants said Johnson announced from the pulpit yesterday that it was "crystal clear" after a contentious meeting of church leadership Thursday that the time had come for him to depart. "I have enjoyed Philadelphia," Johnson reportedly told the congregation. "But the Lord has told me it is time to move on. " He said that because his wife is "gainfully employed" as a lawyer, he will take his time seeking another pulpit, congregants said.
July 15, 2014 |
SOME MEMBERS of Zion Baptist Church cheered Saturday as they voted to fire the Rev. A. Carl Prince as pastor of the historic North Philadelphia church that was once led by the Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, the late civil-rights fighter. But others walked out angry and determined to keep Prince on the job through legal action in Common Pleas Court. The members voted 221 to 166 to remove Prince immediately, church member Jessie Frisby Hyden said. Two days before the vote, 48 church members who support Prince had launched a pre-emptive strike suit against 11 deacons at Zion seeking to declare any vote on Saturday as "invalid and in violation" of Zion's bylaws.
March 23, 2014 |
Mary Alice Foster Short, 79, of Philadelphia, who was revered because of the leadership role she played at her church, died Thursday, March 6, of cancer at her home. Mrs. Short was active, until her death, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg. Although she was addressed as "Reverend," she did not have a doctor of divinity degree. Instead, she earned an advanced degree in Bible studies from Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia. Mrs. Short retired in 1988 after working for 30 years as a secretary for the Philadelphia Board of Education.
December 1, 2013 |
The Rev. James Pollard Sr. often held Alim Howell in his arms back when Howell was a baby. Howell was an energetic toddler who loved banging on pots and pans. Such youthful energy - that has carried Howell from Montgomery County to Europe - was on display Sunday at Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore, as Howell, now 17, gripped his drumsticks, sat behind a trap set, and let his hands go to work as 75 churchgoers listened. "When he lets go and lets God, it's like, 'Go, Alim!' " said Virginia Pollard, the minister's wife.
August 13, 2013 |
ELIZABETH CATHERINE Ellis was such an outstanding cook that her family said her name should have been on The Joy of Cooking as a co-author. Maybe Elizabeth's culinary artistry would never have been in a best-selling cookbook, but it was sure appreciated by family, friends and her church. Zion Baptist Church used those skills to help raise funds when her delicious meals were put up for sale at money-raising events over the years. Elizabeth Ellis, who worked for many years as a private housekeeper for a family to which she became a "second mom" to the children, a dedicated traveler and a loyal friend to neighbors on her Southwest Philadelphia block, died Aug. 5. She was 95. The friendly and charming Elizabeth, called "Cousin Liz" by family and friends, helped anchor the 5700 block of Pemberton Street.
February 29, 2012 |
DID YOU EVER have the feeling that some people to whom you were pouring your heart out weren't really listening? It would not have been that way if you were talking to Margaretta Elizabeth Jones. She had that rare commodity in today's hectic society - a listening ear. She not only listened, she was there with compassionate understanding and good advice that made those who confided in her feel better about themselves and restore their faith in humanity. Margaretta Jones, whose working life included the old Wanamaker Department Store, the Philadelphia Tribune and the West Philadelphia Mental Health Consortium, a world traveler and active churchwoman, died Feb. 21. She was 87 and was living at the Riverside Presbyterian Apartments for seniors, in Center City.
August 19, 2011 |
A HIGHLIGHT of Marilyn Patsy Wells' life was getting to shake Barack Obama's hand when he made a campaign stop in Vernon Park, in Germantown, in 2008. One reason for the thrill was that Marilyn had been a longtime crusader for civil rights, and a black man running for president was more than she could have dreamed of. And after he was elected, she made sure to attend his inauguration. Marilyn Wells, a real-estate broker, a dedicated churchwoman who worked with the late Rev. Leon H. Sullivan at Zion Baptist Church, and a community and civil-rights activist, died of a heart attack Aug. 10. She was 74 and lived in West Mount Airy.