By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO

Many Baltimore communities are in need of additional resources to help make life better.

Speak to My Heart Ministries, founded in 2007, recognizes this need and every year holds a Community Day to show the neighbors how much they mean to the church.  This year’s community day is August 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7903 West Belvedere Ave, in the Family Dollar parking lot.

Speak to My Heart Ministries Community Day

Many national artists will be performing including Grammy Award winning artist Regina Belle, R & B artist Stacey Lattisaw, teen rap star Lil Key, Baltimore’s own Woody (formerly of Dru Hill) and special guest, fitness guru Monte Sanders. There will also be performances by upcoming artists including Naomi B, Jamaal Bethea, Keisha Dukes and Rainbow Israel.

Bishop Duane Johnson, pastor and founder of Speak to My Heart Ministries, is looking forward to blessing the community with this event.  “Our annual Community Day is action-packed and will also feature a marching band, free haircuts, free backpacks with school supplies, vendors and free health screenings,” Johnson told the AFRO.  “When we started a few years ago, this effort was originally a community health fair, but now it is morphing into a mini cultural festival backed by major sponsors.”

Johnson added, “The vision behind our community day is multifaceted.  First, we recognize that there are many in our community with a lack of access to resources including social, economic, medical, educational, etc., so our vision is to bring those resources to the people so that they can get some of the help that they may need.”  Secondly, there is an old saying that, ’You must catch the fish before you can clean the fish.’  There are many people who will not come to church, or who have left the church for any number of reasons, so, our annual Community Day is yet another way that we attract and reach those people and cater to their spiritual needs.”

Planning for such an event occurs year round according to Johnson. “We take an all hands on deck approach with this event and everyone at our church, even our young children, play a part and have an assignment on this day,” Johnson said.

The annual Community Day is just one way that Speak to My Heart Ministries reaches out to those in need. “We have a big Youth Empowerment weekend in mid-October as well as our Fall Family Fun Night which will be on October 31,” said Johnson.  “A few other events on the horizon for Speak To My Heart Ministries this fall include breast cancer awareness activities, our annual coat and glove drive, our second annual father-daughter dance and our fall revival. We also offer dance classes, mime instruction, and a boys to men mentoring program every Saturday from 10 a.m.  to 1 p.m.,” he added.

If you are planning to attend Community Day on Aug. 25, make sure you bring a lawn chair to enjoy the performances. For more information go to