Thousands are expected to attend the June 7 going home services for the Rev. Dr. Harold A. Carter Sr., Baltimore pastor, civil rights legend, author, and community activist who died May 30 after a long battle with cancer.
There’s not much more comforting than prayer and the members of New Shiloh Baptist Church, on the first Sunday following the death of their pastor, found that one of his last deeds was to offer up a prayer on their behalf reminiscent of Jesus’ prayer for disciples before his crucifixion.
And there was not a dry eye in the house.
. “He positively impacted not only my district, but the entire city,” said Councilman Nick Mosby, of the seventh district where New Shiloh Baptist Church sits in the 2100 block of Monroe Street.
“His church was a cornerstone of the neighborhood, but he was a strong man and a strong leader from the civil rights perspective,” Mosby said of the man that he first met in 2006 when running for public office. “He will be surely missed.”
A wave of condolences has been received by the Carter family city and state elected officials, in addition to statements of sympathy from a broad spectrum of clergy, religious and faith leaders from all denominations.
“Dr. Carter was not afraid to take risks, to live outside of the box, to be innovative, and traditional at the same time,” said Dr. Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple.
“He was the very first pastor to go down to Camden Yards and have a crusade, he marched with Dr. King and brought a lot of that civil rights passion up from Alabama, and he really enlarged the perspective of ministry in Baltimore,” Bryant told the AFRO, of the man he said he had known throughout his life as a close friend of his father, Bishop John R. Bryant.
“While he practiced cutting-edge ministry, he held on to Negro spirituals, the old hymns of the church, traditional Black church expressions of worship while always pushing the church forward and I think that’s why New Shiloh has been able to thrive.”
Rev. Carter was widely known for his way of teaching with purpose and encouraging others to live their best life.
“I came to a service and I was so inspired and touched by his preaching that I just went up and joined- then my whole family came in,” said Deacon Elizabeth H. Adams, who served as chair of the deacon board for more than two decades.
Forty years after she joined Shiloh, Adams said, the church has come a long way from their days on Fremont Avenue and Lanvale Street. And when it was time to move the congregation, Adams said, the charismatic minister had outreach to others in mind.
“He revitalized the community by selecting to stay in the city instead of moving out into the county somewhere,” said Adams, noting that the church has since added a child development center and the New Shiloh Village for Senior Living.
“He was a man that was true to his word,” said Adams,noting that allegiance and faithfulness were core values of the minister.
“No leader can be stronger than one’s words,” said Carter, in a 2011 interview with AFRO. “The word gives guidance to unborn generations.”
Carter will now join his wife, Dr. Weptanomah Carter, and brother, Dr. Nathan Carter, who preceded him in death, and is survived by two children, the Rev. Dr. Harold A. Carter Jr., co-pastor of New Shiloh, and Dr. Weptanomah Carter Davis.
A wake will be held at New Shiloh from noon until 6 p.m. on June 6. A family viewing will take place along with choral selections from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same day, directly followed by a memorial service to honor Carter’s life and legacy.
The home-going celebration will take place at the same location the next day, June 7, at 11 a.m.
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