WARREN — Second Baptist Church in Warren celebrated its 107th anniversary with a special dedication of a new pavilion named for Major Timothy Raimey.
The ribbon cutting and dedication took place over Veterans Day weekend.
“This is an awesome occasion to honor those who work diligently to make this pavilion and park possible. This will be a place we can come to as a church and for people to come for comfort,” Johnson said.
Balloons were released to honor the memory of those who helped with the project that began in 2006.
Ruby Edmonson, a church member, read the names of those who were involved with planning the project for the Garden of Hope located by the church.
Johnson said the church members, including Raimey — who died last year — had the desire to build a community pavilion for gatherings, and to open the church to the neighborhood.
Guest speaker for the 107th anniversary was the Rev. Rickey Brown, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Wooster, and moderator of the Northern Ohio Baptist District Association.
As part of the festivities, a “Legacy Choir” made up of present and former members of various Second Baptist choirs sang and those members who have served in the armed forces received special recognition in honor of Veterans Day.
The Community Cancer Garden was established by members of the church and community who had faced struggles with cancer and in honor of those who had died of the disease.
Johnson said the outdoor area was later rechristened the “Garden of Hope” and Raimey, who served as chairman of the trustee board, began an effort to build a picnic pavilion for use by the congregation and community.
After his death in October 2022, the church endeavored to complete the project and held a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 1 of this year.
Johnson said the Second Baptist Church “A House of Hope” is the oldest black Baptist congregation in Trumbull County. Since its founding in 1916, it has been a center of spiritual development and community uplift on the southwest side of Warren.
The Garden of Hope originally was dedicated in 1999 under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Frank Hearns as the “Community Center Garden.” The garden acted as a memorial and place of rest and reflection in honor of those who had battled any form of cancer.
“Tim was a military man who had a mission, and we are carrying out this mission with this project,” Johnson said.
“We will finish his final mission of earthly work. His work will live on for generations.”
Tammera Raimey, wife of Tim Raimey, said what the church has done “is awesome. He would be honored.”
The project is part of the church’s Vision100 effort, which is a multiphase, multiyear renovation and expansion initiative.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox