The Open Church is holding its official launch and anniversary celebration, 5 p.m., Oct. 13. Established two years ago by Dr. Brad R. Braxton and parishioners committed to social justice activism and radically inclusive love, the Open Church also will officially implement the Galilee Project, a program designed to enable successful educational opportunities for public school students in the Baltimore Metropolitan area.

The celebration of diversity and inclusion includes the inaugural message from senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, who is also the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. Participants will include representatives from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, other traditions, as well as leaders in education, government and the community.

Dr. Brad R. Braxton, an internationally regarded biblical scholar said, “Our commitment to diversity and inclusion encompasses issues around advocacy for our LGBT sisters and brothers, fighting homelessness and poverty, and enabling equitable educational opportunities. The Galilee project is a significant way that the Open Church must enable our community and the future of its families.”

The Galilee project is a creative partnership of the Open Church for city school students and youth in disenfranchised communities that will prepare students to complete high school and college. The program provides mentoring, tutoring, counseling and assistance that will adequately equip them for successful professional opportunities in a wide array of careers in the global marketplace.

Open Church member and Johns Hopkins University graduate student Ashley Pettway is the project coordinator.

A Rhodes Scholar, Rev. Braxton, holds a Ph.D. from Emory University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. His writings cover such areas as racial reconciliation, multiculturalism, interfaith dialogue, environmental justice, and collaborative economic partnerships with developing countries. He has lectured/preached at Yale, Princeton and Duke Universities, Morehouse College and Westminster Abbey in London.

A fellowship reception will be held in the church gymnasium following the service.

The Open Church is at 5010 Briarclift Road, Baltimore, MD 21229 (one mile inside I-695 Beltway exit at the intersection of Route 40)