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by Peter Moskos

June 19, 2015

In memory of those killed at the New Hope A.M.E. Church

A few times, if I was working late enough or some church started extra early enough, I would go to church to say hello. Personally I'm a non-believing Greek Orthodox. But there's something about a good black church that can't be matched. Some Sunday mornings I would just sit outside, just to provide a little security. (And also to enjoy the passing parade of hats.)

Sometimes I would go inside. I liked to remind myself that the people on the corner didn't represent everybody in the Eastern District. Going into church at 8AM I saw a different world, literally sharing the same block, than the one I had just policed for 8 hours. Inside, I was always immediately embraced (something I've never felt from my own church, to be honest) by the love and warmth of honest, love-filled, church-going Christians:
Went to church this morning [February 12, 2001] at Bond and Eager. They were very warm and welcoming and immediately formed a little prayer circle, about 8 or 9 people in all. A good black-preacher-man prayer, I’d have to say. Nice voice, especially for so early in the morning. Said a prayer for us getting up today, and also for all the police working all night. I felt very warm.... I was happy I didn’t get a call during the prayer, but I did get one right after that.
Never have I felt more welcome and love than I felt walking into a black church on duty, as a white cop in Baltimore. And after a long night working in the Eastern District, it was a nice feeling.

Checking now, I see the church at Bond and Eager is the New Cornerstone Baptist Church. I was probably also attracted to the fact that it may be the only entirely Formstone-sided church in the world.

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