By Carolyn Bruce, Special to the AFRO

On Tuesday, October 22, Pastor Darryl P. Gould, Sr. and members of the Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church, in Northwest Baltimore, along with city and state officials gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the church’s new parking lot.  In her occasion and welcome Carla Jackson, secretary of the church’s Executive Board as well as the assistant secretary of the newly formed Park Heights Faith-Based Community Development Corporation, said that this was, “more than a parking lot.” She said it will serve not only as a neighbor friendly solution for parishioner parking, but also as a multi-purpose area for community outreach events.

Pastor Darryl Gould, Sr., of Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church and Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the church’s new multi-purpose parking lot. (Courtesy photo)

Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford helped the church obtain a State Revitalization Program Grant.  He congratulated Pastor Gould and commented that he and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development were able to help.  “(We are) pleased to have played a small part,” Rutherford said. In recognition of this milestone for the church Rutherford presented a citation to Pastor Gould.  A representative of Baltimore Mayor Jack Young’s office, Betsy Gardner, as well as 6th District Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton also presented citations. Middleton acknowledged the community would still have challenges, but this parking lot was a great start in creating a community outreach zone.  She commended Pastor Gould for being, “an extraordinary man with a heart of gold and so much energy and faith.”  

In his closing remarks, Rev. Darryl P. Gould thanked the Gillis Memorial Church family and others who had a part in completing the project.  “The church must not just worship and go home; we should also be a blessing to the community,” Gould said. “Our goal is to help to stabilize the community.  When the community is stabilized, people will want to become residents, and we can eliminate blight and vagrant activity.” Alluding to other projects being considered by the Gillis Memorial Community Development Corporation and the Park Heights Faith-Based Park Heights CDC, Gould quoted I Corinthians 2:9:  “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  

Bishop Kevia Elliott, pastor of The Lord’s Church, which is one of the Park Heights Faith-based CDC Board member, gave the closing prayer.