Out of the Past, Into the Future

Equipping the Saints...Ephesians 4:12
Additionally a Youth Committee, established as part of the Convention program, resulted in a Youth Retreat which was first held at Morgan State College. The Reverend Howard Cornish of the Morgan Christian Center and J. Haywood Harrison were moving forces behind this activity.  As the work grew, Convention sessions were expanded to three full days with Pre-Convention Welcome on Tuesday night. The vitality of the program caused it to have impact beyond the State's borders.

​In this vein, the Miles Washington Connor Scholarship was established at Virginia Union University. Convention sponsored Institutes in churches proliferated, with the most successful being the Annual Institute sponsored by some dozen churches in East Baltimore under deanship of Helen Benton. The Convention began to attract local workers, leaders, and national leaders. The Reverend Cornell Talley, President of Pennsylvania state Convention, and Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College were among the outstanding leaders attracted to the Convention's Mass Meetings. Leadership conferences, several of which were held at Coppin State College, preceded the Annual Mass Meetings. Many innovative ideas were fostered and able and talented persons were attracted to serve the Convention, causing it to no longer be considered a Young People's Convention but a Leadership Forum in Christian Education for the Christians of the state.

The goal of the Baptist Congress is to advance Christian Education through the promotion of effective methods of organization, administration, instruction, and worship, throughout the State of Maryland and beyond.
The history of the Baptist Congress of Christian Education dates back to 1936. Since that time, the program of Christian education has undergone a number of reorganizations to further support and enhance learning and training through innovative and creative activities. 
Dr. Connor resigned after more than a decade as president of the Convention. He was succeeded by Mable Stokes Gee, (of the Fulton Baptist Church, Rev. B. F. Jackson, pastor) one of his students and protégés. As a result of the foundations that had been laid and the programs which had been so strongly systematically structured by Presidents Koger and Connor, the Convention at this time was to soar to never before attained heights during the years that followed. Enlisting and training workers remained the top priority. Courses in the Institute were increased and accredited by the National Baptist Publishing Board as well as the National Council of Churches. Boards of Christian Education were established in local churches. In fact, several churches secured full-time directors of Christian Education.

The Christian Education emphasis became anew component of the Convention’s program.  The Fellowship Dinner became so large that it moved from churches to the Madison Avenue Y.M.C.A. to public schools in the city and county, a first. Finally, in the late 1950s at the recommendation of Dr.Ward D.Yerby, Secretary of the Human Rights Commission, it was held in the ballroom of the Sheraton­ Belvedere Hotel. This was also the first for a Black religious group. At this point, the Fellowship Dinner took on a new emphasis and name. It eventually became a Recognition and Awards Dinner.

​The Miles Washington Connor Award for Distinguished Services, for example, was started in 1965. The Oratorical and Musical Contests was divided into two sections - East and West Baltimore Contests. Later the Talent Program replaced the contests.
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