The Ray of Hope Baptist Church Legacy
Rev. Charles M. Franklin, Sr. founded Ray of Hope Baptist Church, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland on January 5, 1978. He and 130 faithful Christian followers organized Ray of Hope from his home located at 3401 The Alameda. The small congregation held its first worship service at the skating rink located at 1415 N. Milton Avenue. The church ministries were formed and met weekly at Rev. Franklin’s home for rehearsals, prayer, and organizational and business meetings. On February 26, 1978, worship service was moved to the Williams Memorial Education Center of Israel Baptist Church, 1220 N. Chester Street. Ray of Hope was set apart as a missionary church by the United Missionary Baptist Convention of Maryland on April 13, 1978 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church located at 2000 E. Belvedere Avenue. This Convention embraced and accepted the Church into its fellowship on May 26, 1978.
Realizing the importance of a permanent church home, 3000 Parkside Drive was purchased. The market value of the church was $254,000. With limited financial resources, many members provided loans of $500 to $2,000. Rev. Franklin secured a loan from Ideal Savings and Loans Association. On Sunday, June 4, 1978, the first service was held at the new location. This marked the first Ray of Hope Day. Each ministry was challenged to present $1,000 to the church every Ray of Hope Day (this practice continues to this date). On November 30, 1983, the final mortgage payment was made including all acquired loans that had not become gifts to the church.
God continued to bless Ray of Hope in a mighty way. Membership increased to over 600. By 1990, the financial strength of the congregation had increased to such that the church owned a van and a bus to transport members of the congregation to church and other events. The years 1995 through 1997 were exuberant years. Two homes next to the church were purchased and paid for in preparation for expansion. In 1997, the dedication of the MILLION DOLLAR Family Life Center was celebrated. Two additional homes were purchased and paid for on Parkside Drive. In April 1999, God blessed us with a 7:45 AM Sunday morning worship service.
In May of 2000, Rev. Charles M. Franklin, Jr. was both licensed and ordained and soon became theAssistant Pastor of Ray of Hope Baptist Church. He was installed as the Pastor of Ray of Hope on Sunday, August 5, 2007 upon the retirement of the Senior Pastor, Rev. Charles M. Franklin, Sr.
The church is affiliated with the following State and National Conventions: The United Missionary Baptist Convention of Maryland, Women's Auxiliary to the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland, Baptist Congress of Christian Education to the National Baptist Convention, USA, National Baptist Convention, Lott Carey Foreign Mission Board, USA, the Maryland Baptist State Convention and the Hampton Conference Ministerial Alliance.
Ray of Hope is a station of mercy with 40 ministries actively engaged in Christian Discipleship. She is constantly reaching out to minister to troubled souls, feed the hungry, find shelter for the homeless and bring comfort to the sick and shut in. Hitherto, the Lord has led us and our achievements are many with unlimited opportunities. As we continue worshipping the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, we must continue reaching out and spreading the Gospel.