Northeast Baltimore church celebrates rebuilding, homecoming after 2013 fire

As his congregation sang a spirited hymn Sunday, the Rev. Cecil Conteen Gray gazed up at the ceiling of his Northeast Baltimore church and mouthed a silent “thank you.”

Then he dabbed his eyes with a handkerchief.

Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church, a 72-year-old fixture at the corner of East Cold Spring Lane and Loch Raven Boulevard, was ravaged almost three years ago by a four-alarm fire.

“The heat, we’re told, was as much as, if not more than, 2,000 degrees,” Gray, the pastor of Northwood-Appold, said from the pulpit. “That’s the heat that was in this place. The roof where you are now collapsed.”

No sign of the fire remained at Northwood-Appold on Sunday. Worshippers returned to new pews and sunlight streaming through the tall windows onto a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. A pair of candles and bouquets of pink roses were placed on either side of a golden cross on the wooden altar.

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