Rita R. Church believed in community and families. She believed in the power of community and knew that a community’s strength comes from the ties that bind us together. Her vision and her life’s work was to enrich lives through education, community services, strong ethics and values and through the preservation of individual dignity. Mrs. Church saw the potential for improvement in each individual and recognized the importance of creative change, social participation, self development and service.
Mrs. Church was a community activist, politician, public servant, and mother of twelve.
Rita was a very empathetic individual who said once, “I have the ability to see myself in the situation of others; I have come to understand that it is not how close you get to power, but it is how close you have come to the truth of who you are.”
She believed that we all are our community, and we must invest in an action plans that will result in effective changes that can restore not only neighborhoods, but communities; that the common base of power is when the community can see the results of networking and building relationships in and outside of the community. It is the citizens of the community whose perception brings power by understanding that YOU are your community.
Some of her many community activities include:
- In the early 1980’s Mrs. Church, along with her long-time friend Doris Johnson, founded the Coldstream Holmstead Montebello Corporation.
- In 1997 she was elected to the Baltimore City Council as the Councilwoman in what is now the 45th District.
- On her birthday, February 2, 2008 Rita R. Church joined with other members of the community to start the Resource Refugee Aftercare Services. A non-profit charitable organization that provided services for children and families, as well as providing financial assistance through a variety of programs. These programs included Adopt a House, Quality of Life Food Pantry, and scholarships.
- At the same time, Councilwoman Church created TEACH EDUCATE ASSIST MENTOR, Inc. (TEAM ) with her long-time friend and associate State Senator Joan Carter Conway. The goals were to provide educational opportunities for her community.
In 2013 the City of Baltimore dedicated a community center in honor of Councilwoman Rita R. Church. That center in located in the neighborhood she called home for more than 40 years.