Christian Chronicle

The broken soul of Baltimore

After the rioting, church leaders seek to bring spiritual and social renewal to the city.

First Place, Diversity Coverage, Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists

Second Place, News Story, Associated Church Press

Finalist (part of three-story portfolio), Magazine News Religion Reporting, Religion News Association

BALTIMORE — Derrick Lindsey takes an Amtrak train to work in Washington, D.C.

The federal employee — a member of the Central Church of Christ in Baltimore — couldn’t help but notice the reaction of some passengers after his hometown descended into chaos in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.

“When you ride that train, you can see burned-out houses,” Lindsey said after a recent Sunday worship assembly. “I saw some passengers who were just coming through, and they saw the burned-out houses.”

Riot images fresh in their minds, those passengers linked the burned-out houses to the death of Gray — a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury in police custody.

“No,” Lindsey said. “People have ridden past those homes for 40 years, and they’ve been just like that.”

Cries for justice in Gray’s case have focused a national spotlight on Baltimore’s long-standing racial and economic disparities.

For Churches of Christ in the Baltimore area, the civil unrest has provided an impetus to seek spiritual and social renewal in a city where roughly 16,000 vacant buildings blight the landscape, leaders told The Christian Chronicle.

Read the full story.

Related profile: ‘Jesus is in the streets,’ minister says after Freddie Gray’s death

These stories appear in the June 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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