Pastor Norenzer White, Pastor of the New Jerusalem Apostolic Ministry in Baltimore, reflected back on the person he was referred to when he decided to start his own church.
“When I decided I was going to start a church, someone said I should talk to a gentleman who could give me a place in the Forest Park Senior Center,” recalled Pastor White. “I came by, and the lunchroom was vacant. He said I could start the church there. That was around 2009, and from there I kept coming and he kept helping. Afterwards, if I had a special occasion, he would provide me with the space.”
Pastor White chuckled as he added, “I had a church anniversary and he said we would have to do it in the basement. I said, ‘the basement?’ He told me to go look at the basement and to tell him what I thought. I went down there, and saw that the basement was completely redone and refinished. It was good, and just the right space that I needed. He supported me then, and continues to support me wholeheartedly.”
The person that Pastor White was describing was the Rev. Daniel C. Worthy, former executive director of the Forest Park Senior Center, located at 4801 Liberty Heights Avenue in Gwynn Oak.
Ursula V. Battle
Rev. Worthy was honored on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at the Second Annual Appreciation Brunch, which was sponsored by the Forest Park Senior Center Bible Study class, taught by Pastor White.
The theme of the event was “Oh Happy Day,” and featured praise dance performances by Daphne Hicks and lunch. Rev. Worthy was presented with a “Certificate of Achievement” for “Outstanding Service and Appreciation.”
Ursula V. Battle
“The Bible Study group wanted to honor Rev. Worthy for all he has done to help the center,” said Paula Middleton, one of the coordinators for the event. “Rev. Worthy has taught us so much, including how to set up for events.”
She added, “It was great to see the seniors smile, enjoy themselves, and honor Rev. Worthy. It was truly an ‘oh happy day.’”
Vashtied Brown also praised the work of Rev. Worthy.
“The Forest Park Senior Center is a hub in the community,” said Brown who also helped to coordinate the event. “Seniors can come and partake in exercise, lunch, and many other activities. Rev. Worthy helped to take the center to another level. He saw the potential, and made it a more enjoyable atmosphere for seniors.”
“The Man of The Hour” said he was grateful for the honor. “One of the greatest things that can happen to a man is when he can be honored for his work in the field of the Lord,” said Rev. Worthy. It’s greatly appreciated. Words have not been written that can help me express my appreciation.”
Rev. Worthy, who is 75, is a native of Trenton, New Jersey. He said he has been preaching for 44 years, and that his grandmother influenced him to go into the ministry.
“She said I was going to be a preacher,” recalled Rev. Worthy. “She was a God-fearing woman, and she took me to church all the time.”
Rev. Worthy joined the Forest Park Senior Center in 2003 as a Bible Study teacher, and still fills in as needed. In addition to executive director, he has also served as the Forest Park Senior Center’s rental agent.
Ursula V. Battle
“In the last sixteen years, I have finished the center’s basement, first floor and the third floor,” said Rev. Worthy noting the buildings renovations. “Air conditioning and heat throughout the building have also been accomplished. Ten churches hold services here, we are open seven days a week, and our auxiliaries have grown from four to twelve.”
In addition to the Bible Study class, the Forest Park Senior Center offers a wide variety of programs and activities including a sewing room, and dance, exercise, and aerobics classes. The center also offers an “Eating Together Program” Bingo and other activities. The Forest Park Senior Center will hold its “40th Anniversary Celebration” on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the center.
“I wanted to keep the Forest Park Senior Center for the seniors,” said Rev. Worthy. “One of the reasons I wanted to keep it that way, is keep the seniors fresh and vibrant. To let them know that being a senior doesn’t mean that you are old, but that you have been around for a while.”
For more information about the Forest Park Senior Center or its upcoming 40th Anniversary Celebration, call: 410-466-2124.