Rev. Alfred C. D. Vaughn, long-time pastor of Baltimore’s Sharon Baptist, died on March 19, 2023. (AFRO File Photo)

By Catherine Pugh,
Special to the AFRO

Rev. Alfred Corrogan Daniel Vaughn, pastor of Baltimore’s Sharon Baptist Church, passed away quietly on March 19 at home surrounded by his family, his wife of sixty years Lillian Vaughn, and his two daughters, CaSandra and Rev. Lynnette Vaughn. 

About ten ministers showed up immediately following his death to offer the family prayer and praise, to include co-pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, Rev. William Johnson. 

Johnson said he worked alongside Rev. Vaughn for 35 years. 

“He has been a mentor and a father to me as he was close to my father.  It is a tremendous loss not only for Baltimore but nationally. Our hearts at Sharon are very heavy right now,” he said. 

Dr. Harold Carter Jr. remembered Rev. Vaughn as his godfather, who led as pastor of Sharon Baptist for more than three decades. 

“When my father passed in 2013 he became my surrogate father. In many ways he is the godfather of our city in terms of other clergy persons. He was a preacher every day in the traditional sense of our culture,” said Carter. “He was a husband of 60 years to his wife and was married to his faith and to the community. His legacy will speak for itself.”

Bishop John Bryant, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, also spoke with the AFRO about Rev. Vaughn’s passing. He was in the number of ministers who joined the family in support. 

“He was a soldier,” said Bishop Bryant. “He was Baltimore’s ‘Bishop.’ He presided over more funerals of pastors than any other pastor in this city.  He was a pastor’s friend. He lived and breathed in faith that the people would have a better life. He left here with know regrets.  He left it all on the field.  He served the people until the very end. He will be missed,” said Bishop Bryant.

Rev. Alfred C. D. Vaughn, long-time pastor of Baltimore’s Sharon Baptist, died on March 19, 2023. (AFRO File Photo)

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, called Rev. Vaughn an iconic preacher in the city of Baltimore whose reach was nationwide.

“He gave us opportunities that would not have been available to young preachers when we were coming along.  He was a champion of young people,” said Murphy McKenzie, who was selected to lead as interim president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) last year. “He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Afro-American Newspapers for such a long time.  I appreciate his advocacy on behalf of African Americans and helping us get to places that were formerly denied us.”

“His presence will be missed. He left an indelible mark,” said Bishop McKenzie.

Bishop Dennis Proctor, of the African Methodist Episcopal  Zion Church, spoke to how Rev. Vaughn “was always promoting someone to the next level” with no thought to how it could benefit him personally. 

“He put me on platforms in places and opened doors I could not open myself.  He was the kindest, gentle, generous person—financially [and] emotionally.  He has probably done as much to promote people in ministry than anyone else I know.”

Bishop Frank M. Reid III, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, recalled Reverend Vaughn’s welcoming spirit. 

“In life my father used to tell me ‘there are two kinds of friends: transformational friends and transactional friends,” said Bishop Reid. “Rev. Vaughn was a transformational friend.  He was a father figure and gatekeeper for the Black Faith Community.  He had friends across denominations.”

“He put in place a new generation of pastoral leadership. He built bridges, politically, economically, spiritually and socially,” Bishop Reid continued. “He equipped and prepared generations of pastors in Baltimore and this nation to lead.  He will be missed.”

Bishop Walter Thomas, of the New Psalmist Baptist Church, told the AFRO that Rev. Vaughn “was not just the one you went to on issues…he was the one you loved to be around as a father.” 

Former mayor of Baltimore City, Kurt Schmoke, now president of University of Baltimore said, “for a generation of clergy in Baltimore, Rev. Vaughn was first among equals. He was a gifted preacher, an effective mentor, and a dedicated civic leader.”

Rev. Vaughn served several terms as president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity. He had also served on the board of the Progressive National Baptist Conference, founded by civil rights activists, to include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Harley Wilson, pastor of Israel Baptist Church, was one of Rev. Vaughn’s oldest friends in ministry. 

”We pastored the same church, Promise Land Baptist Church in Moneta, Va.  We served as trustees on the same board of Virginia University of Lynchburg, (formerly Virginia Seminary and College).  He put me on the board at Hampton University’s Ministers Conference,” said Rev. Wilson. “This is a great loss to pastors.  He was a friend to the pastoral community. He was a friends to pastors all over the United States and especially to young pastors. Many of us got our start under him.  We call him the ‘Elder of Baltimore.’ Many pastors are in this city because he opened doors for them.”

Congressman Kweisi Mfume said Rev. Vaughn was a long-time family friend.  

“I’ve known him since my childhood. He was and forever will be a guiding light for so many, and a true example to me of a God fearing and God directed disciple of Christ,” said Congressman Mfume. “I will miss his sense of humor and the many conversations we shared over the last fifty years.  My deepest condolences go out to Lillian, his queen for life, and to his daughters, Lynnette, and CaSandra. What a great husband and father! His was truly a life well lived. Rest well my friend!” 

Rev. Vaughn Services March 31, 2023

Family, friends, and community members are paying their respects to the Rev. Dr. Alfred C.D. Vaughn at Sharon Baptist Church in Baltimore today. A wake will take place tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the same location, with a funeral immediately following at 11 a.m. 

This article originally misspelled the name “Corrogan.” The AFRO deeply regrets this error.