The Pastor and His Ushers
The Blessed Baptist Church of God
2910 Hamilton Avenue, Baltimore
September 25, 2011
Jennifer A. Ferretti 

The day I shot this photograph is easily one of my most favorite memories ever. I shot this for a group show referenced in a previous post. This is the text that accompanied it: 

Hamilton/Lauraville. I’ve always found the Hamilton/Lauraville area to be rather depressing. The only time I visit the neighborhood is to grab a sandwich at Mastellone’s. I was at a loss at how to present the Hamilton/Lauraville community in one single shot. Surprisingly, photographing the pastor of Blessed Baptist Church of God, housed in a post office built in 1925, was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had while living in Baltimore. 

The Hamilton Post Office building turned Baptist church shares the same architects as the Belvedere Hotel in Mount Vernon, Parker, Thomas, & Rice, and was just about the only building in the area that I found attractive. Hamilton/Lauraville was farmland throughout most of the 19th century. In the 1850s, Hamilton was known as Tames Lane, a small village with one general store. The lane’s name was changed to Hamilton Avenue after Caughy Hamilton, estate owner who donated land. 

Lauraville’s population was recorded at 500 in 1882 and about forty-two percent of the population were farmers. As the suburbanization of Northeast Baltimore began after World War I, more and more businesses were being opened. Developers specifically marketed to white-collar workers. Between 1900 and 1930, over a dozen churches were built on and around Harford Road.