Highlights of the History of Knox Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

June, 1926                   Rev. H. Octavius Graham, who attended the Lincoln University Seminary, was                                         invited by the Presbytery of Baltimore to start a Presbyterian church in East                                              Baltimore.

May 20, 1930               The Presbytery of Baltimore admitted Knox as an organized church. There                                                were  forty members at that time.

April 29, 1951              Rev. Graham led his congregation into the large building at the corner of                                                  Broadway, Biddle, and Gay Streets. The building contained a sanctuary,                                                  chapel, gymnasium, auditorium, library, offices, and two floors of classrooms.

1951-1974                     Knox became an integral part of the community. Church and community                                                  members participated in Boy and Girl Scouts, basketball, and  after school                                                clubs. Vacation Bible School and day camp were held each summer. One of the                                          first Head Start programs was housed at Knox.

                                      The Sanctuary Choir, Deacon Board, Elder Board, Senior and Junior Ushers,                                           Missionary Society, Youth Group, Sunbeam Choir, and other ministries were in                                         place. Rev. Graham was a leader in the civil rights movement and led many                                              church members in protests for racial equality.

June 1974                     Rev. H Octavius Graham retired after 48 years of service to Knox Presbyterian                                        Church.

July 1975                      Rev. Lonnie J. Oliver accepted a call to become the second pastor of the church.                                        During his tenure the congregation increased to over 300 members. Services                                              were enhanced with the addition of The Tones of Faith gospel group and The                                            Knox Chorale. Knox Outreach ministries expanded to include a soup kitchen, a                                        prison ministry, and emergency food and clothing program. Rev. Oliver began                                          a $400,000 building fund to build a new church.

July 1, 1979                  Rev. Oliver led the congregation to its newly built edifice at Preston and Eden                                          Streets.

August 1, 1980            A proposal to acquire an assistant pastor resulted in Rev. Bernice Warren being                                        sent to Knox to work with youth, seniors, and the outreach program.

 January 1986               Rev. Gordon Marshall accepted the call to become the third pastor of Knox. He                                        diligently led his congregation and continued evangelistic efforts to bring others                                        to Christ. He established a group of church members as the Fire Committee,                                              with the task of getting church members to pledge funds to pay off the mortgage                                        early. “Mortgage Free in ‘93” was the slogan. Under his leadership much                                                  progress was made towards paying off the mortgage.

May 1992                     Rev. Charles Thomas was installed as the Designated Pastor, and in 1994 he                                              was installed as the fourth pastor of Knox. During his tenure Knox became a                                            partner for Bernard Harris Elementary School to help with tutoring and after                                          school needs. He continued outreach into the community and launched the                                                  Vision 2000 program to purchase nearby abandoned homes to expand the                                                  church property and to create a home for a family in need.

1995                              Rev. Phyllis Felton was hired by the Presbytery to oversee a five-year effort                                                called Harambee, to aid in outreach and work with other transitional churches                                        in Baltimore. Her office was in Knox, and she developed programs for after                                              school tutoring, leadership training, health and restoration, among others. She                                        brought innovative worship ideas to enhance the weekly worship services at                                              Knox.

January 2001               Rev. Iris Lloyd-Tucker was called as our first woman pastor. She involved the                                          church with the Oliver community and helped garner funds for the Dawson                                              Safe Haven for Children House. Rev. Tucker initiated The Maafa, a musical                                              psychodrama that depicts the journey of Black people from Africa through our                                          history in this country. This performance that included people from the                                                      community and other churches, as well as Knox members, was held at Knox                                              two years in a row to standing room crowds.

April 2007                    Rev. Tanya Wade became the interim pastor for Knox. During her tenure the                                            music program was revitalized to include percussion instruments, Vacation                                                Bible School was jointly held with a neighboring church, and plans for a                                                  Summer Fun and Enrichment Camp were made. She was instrumental in                                                   forming new partnerships, such as Johns Hopkins Hospital (Organic Produce                                          Market), Christ Our King Presbyterian Church of Bel Air, MD (Thanksgiving                                          Basket Giveaway), and the Eastern District Police (Jericho March and                                                         Transformation).

June 2011                     Rev. Michael L. Moore, who grew up at Knox, accepted the call to return as its                                           pastor. During his tenure the church began new partnerships with other                                                    churches and organizations to help serve the community. He initiated The New                                         Church Redevelopment Team to work on ways to strengthen the church and                                                build relationships within the church as well as with those outside of the church.                                        He led the team in applying for grants to assist with capital improvements,                                                obtain needed technology, and develop programs to benefit the nearby school                                            and community.

September 2020           Rev. Moore accepted a position at the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.  in                                                        Louisville, Kentucky.