Campus News: The Symphonic Band Visits Baltimore's City of Refuge

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The Symphonic Band Visits Baltimore's City of Refuge
- 4/1/2022

The Symphonic Band Visits Baltimore's City of Refuge


In early March, the Symphonic Band visited Baltimore, Maryland, where they served the City of Refuge, a faith-based organization created to help individuals and families transition out of crisis into better living situations.


"Helping out with a ministry like the City of Refuge is something I don't get to do enough of," said Justus Dennis, junior music and worship major and Symphonic Band chaplain. "Volunteering with a ministry that's all about reaching people who feel hopeless, not loved, seen, or heard is really important and powerful to me. To indirectly work with these people to give them hope and let them know they're loved is an absolute honor and privilege for me and the Symphonic Band."


As part of the service opportunity, the Symphonic Band prepared 500 bags of groceries for the City of Refuge's food bank and assisted in various projects on site that needed to be accomplished. That evening, the Band also performed for the community at the Pathway Church in Baltimore.


Students received eight hours of service learning, a specific requirement for all Lee students. According to Dr. Mark Bailey, professor of music and Band conductor, several students were deeply moved by the experience. 


"Serving at the City of Refuge allowed me to connect my future career with serving the Kingdom," said Rebekah Oaks, senior pre-med major and Band officer. "Becoming a doctor to help those in need took on more meaning than I ever realized after serving with this group. Seeing the work that City of Refuge is doing and the progress that they are making in their community made me finally understand how deeply my career intersects with service. I greatly look forward to returning in the future to see the continued progress made in a community that desperately needs it."


The City of Refuge was established in Baltimore with the mission of confronting the poverty and crime in the area. Pastor Billy Humphrey, Baltimore native, decided to make a difference by developing a "city of refuge" for the people who live in poverty. At the age of 17, Humphrey dreamed about pastoring his home church, not in a church building, but in a warehouse. Thirty years later, his vision culminated in the City of Refuge, which currently offers help to the community through holistic poverty relief, food bank/markets, and job training, among other strategies.


"Throughout the years, the Lee Symphonic Band has done much to minister to others through our missions trips to 16 nations around the globe, by providing music lessons to students who would otherwise not receive them, and in ventures like ministering at the City of Refuge," said Bailey. "It was a great honor for us to be with pastor Humphrey."


This coming Sunday, the Lee University Symphonic Band will be ministering at the North Cleveland Church of God at 10:30 a.m.


For more information about the City of Refuge, visit

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