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The Storied History Of

Refuge WOTCC

Refuge Way of the Cross Church is rich and compelling for anyone who desires to walk by faith and not by sight. Each fiber of the ministry is saturated with golden nuggets on how to survive through all obstacles of life.

Just as an eagle stirs her nest, the Lord commissioned our pastor and founder to leave the comforts of familiar surroundings in Franklinton, North Carolina and relocate to Baltimore, Maryland. On a cold day, the first Sunday in January in 1957, he left his family and friends and moved to “Charm City.”

During the months of September 1957, Bishop Cannady had grown tired of roaming from place to place and decided to open a church. The Lord laid it upon the heart and mind of this young and zealous man of God to tart a mission at 1352 N Calhoun Street (at that time, his wife and children were still in North Carolina). However, there were two things that caused him to be uneasy about this building. First, the building was adjacent to a mortuary and secondly, it was in a basement. The building was in poor condition but Bishop Cannady began to make the renovations needed for worship. On the opening Sunday, he was joined by his brother Lincoln Cannady and his wife Meta along with his youngest brother Minister Ben Clement Cannady and his wife Rosalee. Brother Harrison Davis, Sr. and his wife Martha Bernice, also visited. The first scripture reading was I Corinthians 13. Unfortunately, without financial support, Bishop Cannady was unable to keep up with the monthly rent and as a result, a lock was placed on the door of the church. Since the chair had to be returned, he gave the landlady his last twenty dollars he had in his pocket and the chairs were removed. He felt downhearted.

As the Lord continued to work His will out for His servant, the doors to 1406 North Laurens Street were opened on the second Sunday in June 1958. Dismissing defeat from his mind, this time Bishop Cannady purchased 16 chairs for opening day! Now joined by his wife and children, he felt things were turning around and indeed they did. By 1961 (3 years later), this place of worship was too small. In 1962 Refuge relocated to 1442 North Carey Street, which had a seating capacity of 500. With only sixty members, Refuge remained at this location until they moved to the present location in 1970. 

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Below are a list of accomplishments that the Lord has blessed Refuge to obtain:

  • Purchased 600 East 43rd Street in 1970

  • Established Refuge Day Care in 1971

  • Mortgage Burning Ceremony in 1979

  • Purchased 511 East 43rd Street in 1991

  • Opened the Apostolic Christian College in 1995

  • Purchased 4300, 4302, 4303, 4305, 4307, 4309, and 4313 Old York Road

  • Purchased 507, 534, 602, 604, 605, 606, 608, 701 and 703 East 43rd Street

  • Established Haven of Refuge Assisted Living in 2011

  • Began expansion construction in 2017


In July 2016, Bishop Cannady installed District Elder Troy A. Barnett, as Pastor of Refuge Way of the Cross Church and Bishop Cannady is now referred to as Founder. 

After more than fifty-nine years, Refuge continues to be filled with vision and determination. God continues to give our Founder favor and has blessed him with good health and longevity. Through all of the ups and downs, it is not by power, nor by might, but by the Spirit of the Lord. 

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