PANEL VIII - 1965 to 1977
Represented in this panel was the period in which the orientation of Central Baptist Church was definitely outward. The artist, Tom Leamon, has centered a picture of the exterior of our church building and surrounded it with symbols of Center City Churches' ministries, with which Central was much involved. A second circle depicts outreach ministries uniquely related to Central. An outer ring indicates the world of this period. Beginning at the center top are pictured the churches initially forming Center City Churches, Inc. (1968), with the Rev. Robert Casstevens, Director of the Downtown Ministry at Central (1959-1969) and co-founder of SPA (Services Performed with Aging) - the first drop-in center for the elderly, which was the first of Center City Churches' ministries. In the upper right corner is an astronaut on the moon, and just below a homeless person on our earth.
Below these is a group of elders enjoying themselves at a church drop-in center and helicopters and soldiers of the Vietnam era. Continuing in a clockwise direction: Ich Duc, Hong and Kinh Nguyen family representing relocation of southeast Asian refugees, and Carol Couture, a representative of our "telephone ministry" which allows homebound persons to hear Sunday services via telephone, is shown visiting with member Margaret Doolittle. At bottom center is the new American Baptist Church in Enfield, supported and encouraged by Central in its early days.
The trio pictured in the lower center shown is the Rev. Ralph Shotwell, Central's Senior Pastor (1965-1975) who was a leader in the formative years of Center City Churches; Emma Rose, Central's first Black woman moderator; and the Rev. Luis Ortiz, first pastor of the Hispanic congregation which had been housed and nurtured by Central. The Hispanic congregation is shown in lower left. Next is an image of the riots in the streets and above this is a view our Church School students and the Church Academy. Then there is a picture of two boys playing basketball in our gym, as part of a recreational program, which became the forerunner of Center City Churches' Center For Youth and Community Resources. The upper left picture reminds us of the tragic shooting of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.