This writer remembers a song from childhood which states, “Give me all of my flowers so that I can see them”. such was the case Friday night November 18, 2015 when Apostle Geraldine S. James was recognized for her work in the Park Heights community during a multicultural holiday dinner and program. This special event was held at the Delta Community Center, located at 2501 Springhill Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.
James had a vision, back in 1989, to start a service organization which would assist in revitalizing the community by establishing programs to assist the social, emotional, financial, physical, educational and moral/spiritual needs of the people. The resulting organization, Gospel Messengers Community Outreach Center, has come to be well-known in the Park Heights community.
Located at 2610 Keyworth Avenue, the GMCO Center has motivated residents to identify and fulfill their God-given potential. The center has multiple comprehensive initiatives which include:
- an annual Christmas party for more than 100 children
- seminars on money management, depression and other health-related topics
- job fairs
- voters’ registration
- service to senior citizens
- distribution of school supplies, food and clothing
- Saturday club for children
- singles and couples forum
The evening consisted of scriptures, poetry, singing, prayers, music and games for children. Rev. James was recognized with a crown, a bouquet of flowers, a resolution from Baltimore City Council president Bernard ‘Jack’ Young and a letter from Congressman Elijah Cummings, presented by government officials. Persons of note who were on hand for the celebration included Rev. Fuller, Judge Cynthia Jones, Judge Wanda Heard, Councilwoman Sharon Middleton Green, Rev. Theresa Mercer and Judge Michael DiPietro. On hand to deliver a rousing sermon was seventeen-year-old Donell Richards, who spoke to the attendees about being ready to go after (follow) Jesus.
At the conclusion of the program, those in attendance were treated to a dinner of turkey with dressing, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, potato salad, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries and rolls. The Park Heights community came out for an evening of fellowship, food and fun.
In addition, announcements were made about available resources in the community for ex-offenders, the unemployed, and families, in general. The Gospel Messengers Community Outreach Center has been forming partnerships and assisting the community for 26 years. Some of the partnerships formed and represented are: Center for Urban Families, Kent Fisher Furs and Food Lion.
The present site of the Gospel Messengers Community Outreach Center is an old library building which is listed on the National Historical Register and was the sixth library erected in the state of Maryland.