By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
BALTIMORE—Once a vibrant church on the edges of Patterson Park in bustling Baltimore, Patterson Park Baptist Church has dwindled down to 20 faithful members.
Running the church has become too difficult. With limited resources the remaining members knew they could not pay for a new pastor.
And so, through providential circumstances, the church recently voted to give their church building—with its front door painted red—to Gallery Church, a church plant who was meeting at Salem Methodist Church a few blocks away.
A church door painted red means the church is paid in full.
“With our gift to them, they do not have pay rent for offices, worship space or Sunday school space,” explained Glenn Lambert, longtime Patterson Park member. He currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees and church administrator at Patterson Park.
“We are happy the doors never closed,” Lambert said, explaining their last service was on Oct. 20, followed by a joint worship service between Patterson Park and Gallery Church the next Sunday. That Sunday happens to be the Sunday Patterson Park celebrated the 100th anniversary of the church’s first recorded meeting.
The church’s cornerstone was laid on Oct. 10, 1911, and the first official meeting minutes are dated Oct. 29, 1913, Lambert explained.
The property will be handed over to Gallery Church with one caveat—if Gallery Church ever decided to move, they can not sell the property. All proceeds must be given to the North American Mission Board.
The proceeds from the church’s remaining property, two row houses behind the church, will be evenly divided among the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Baptist Family & Children’s Services, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Gilcrest Hospice Care.
Patterson Park Baptist Church is originally a church planted by Eutaw Place Baptist Church (now Woodbrook Church). Patterson Park is the parent church to Colgate Baptist Church, which is now owned by Gallery Church, and Canton Baptist Church.