On July 12, 1987, there was a Ribbon Cutting Ceremonial for the Grand Opening of our newly purchased and renovated Outreach Center, located at 1211 N. Chester Street, with its goal – “To Reach Out”. In 1988, the depth of this center’s outreach was extended to “ministry”. This work now includes help to the needy for utilities, evictions, medications, etc., and a Director to administer this program. He has been instrumental along with Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Collington Square Non-Profit Corporation of Baltimore, Maryland in organizing the new Mattie B. Uzzle Outreach Center that opened in 1994. This facility was designed to house a nineteen-bed shelter for the homeless, a Soup Kitchen, Outreach Center, Substance Abuse Center and Medical Center.
Other developments during 1988 included the Church Office expansion to entail a computer system and full time office management and a full time Budget Committee. In his continuous effort to spiritually strengthen his flock and spread the Gospel, Israel has an official Deacons Ministry; a Trustees Ministry; Deaconess Ministry; an Executive Assistant to the Pastor and a Church Business Administrator; Treasurer; Church Clerk and Assistant Church Clerk; Church Historian; Church Event Coordinator; Bookkeeper and Financial Committee; and Office Staff with Volunteers, Custodial and Transportation Staff. The twenty-one (21) originally organized groups of the church have been disbanded and ministries have been established in their place. The ministries consists of : Barnabas Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, Christ Cares Ministry, Culinary Ministry, Dance Ministry (Men, Women and Youth), Deaf Ministry, Economic Empowerment Ministry, Fellowship Ministry (consisting of HIV/AIDS Ministry, Courtesy Guild, Senior and Youth Ushers), Health Ministry, Marriage Ministry, Media Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Lighthouse Ministry (Mission, Evangelism and Sanctuary Without Walls Ministry), Music Ministry, Outdoor Worship Ministry, Outreach Ministry, Pastor’s Relation Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Security Ministry, Senior Citizens Ministry, Sunday Church School Ministry, Transportation Ministry, Vacation Bible School, Church Wedding Coordinators, Women’s Ministry, Young Adult Ministry and Youth Ministry. Constructive Bible Studies and other Christian educational classes restructured were: Bible Study Classes, Mission Training, Prayer and Praise Services, Sunday Church School and a Word of Life Program – a structured Bible Teaching class for youth ages 4-18.
All over the world today, churches, religious groups, the government and communities are fighting a devastating drug problem among our people. We here at Israel have been taught “TO SERVE GOD, WE MUST GO OUT”. We can no longer stay within the confines of our beautiful sanctuary and ignore the problems of the world. On Wednesday, May 2, 1990, Israel Baptist Church, under the leadership of God through His Under Shepherd, Reverend Wilson, held it’s first evangelical street Prayer Service – “Sanctuary Without Walls”. The service began on the steps of the Israel Baptist Church Outreach Center with singing and prayer. There stood God’s disciples and the sellers of illegal drugs (dope), “AND THE WORD STOOD FIRM”. Since that date, the decrease in the drug activity and violence has had a tremendous impact upon the entire neighborhood. PRAYER REALLY CHANGES THINGS.
The Church now operates on a seven day a week operation program providing an outlet for the entire community and surrounding neighborhoods. In 1991, Outdoor Worship Services were implemented as another form of Sanctuary Without Walls, in an ole’ fashion tent style service, with the assembling of worshipers and neighborhood residents to reach out to the saved and unsaved, praying and listening to the Holy Word being preached and taught. Attendance ranges from 300-600 persons, praying on one accord. Many drug addicts, dope dealers, alcoholics and those who have given up on life, heard the prayers, testimonies, songs of the saints and the GOSPEL MESSAGE by Pastor Wilson and gave their lives to Christ. Reverend Wilson’s energy is endless. PRAISE THE LORD!
On Sunday, April 10, 1994, the Israel Baptist Church aired its First Radio Broadcast featuring the Worship Service of Sunday, April 3, 1994, 7:45 a.m., on WCAO Heaven 600 AM Gospel Radio Station at the 10:00 a.m. hour. The Preacher: REV. H. WALDEN WILSON, II, Pastor; The Sermon Text: “PAUL’S THORN IN HIS FLESH”; God Speaks: “No Paul, I will not remove the thorn. My grace is sufficient.” Paul said, “I glorify in my thorn. He came to thank God for his thorn. You take adversities and turn them into victories! Because of the thorns in my life, in all things I have learned to give thanks.”
“FROM VISION TO REALITY: READY TO BUILD - DETERMINED TO FINISH!” Through God’s visions given to our leader, Reverend Doctor Harlie Walden Wilson, II, the expansion project of the Israel Baptist Church of Baltimore City is now a reality. On Sunday, August 22, 2004, the Israel Baptist Church Family, Baltimore City and Maryland State Officials and friends marched into God’s New Sanctuary, which is located in the same vicinity as the present edifice, on the corners of North Washington and East Preston Streets. The new edifice (sanctuary) seats 1500 parishioners. The purpose of remaining in the vicinity is to better minister to the community, which offers a “wholistic” ministry that is concerned with the “total” man, woman and child. Each ministry is available to provide support and service to ANYONE who is in need.
On August 28, 2005, Pastor Wilson was very instrumental in another historic event of the Israel Baptist Church –that of the Cornerstone Laying Service which took place at the corner of the 1200 Block of North Washington and the 2000 Block of East Preston Streets.
God has truly blessed us with His anointment and appointment of the Reverend Dr. Harlie Walden Wilson, II, as “Our Shepherd”. His presence has been requested on the news, talk shows, television and radio and his name is associated among the Who’s Who in Religious Categories across the nation. He is truly a child of the Most High King. He’s a man who loves what he does and takes his ministry seriously. The Church is his first love. He’s a God-fearing man who has been blessed with vision, determination, courage and strength.
Reverend Wilson’s comments to these outstanding blessings, “I, Reverend Harlie Walden Wilson, II, am a child of the Living God, and I press everyday, every hour, every minute and second toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”