On September 13, 2003 in New York City “The Labor of Love” Memorial Service was hosted in memory and celebration of a lifetime achievement for the late Evangelist Dorothy E. Baker, founder of United New Church of Christ Deliverance Unto the Lord, Inc.
On September 5, 2002, Evangelist Dorothy E. Baker succumbed to an 8 month struggle with cancer. At the time of her death, a service was held on her behalf. However, she was a woman of great character and the short service didn’t celebrate her life and accomplishments adequately.
Her life was a “Labor of Love” – hence the reason behind naming the service “The Labor of Love” Memorial. Her daughters, Shkigale and Hallia Baker, along with her church members decided to host a gala memorial celebrating her struggle from certain failure to a life rich in success and heights in the Lord’s work that surpassed all understanding. It was an eight month process that included writing and creating a souvenir memorial book documenting the life history of Evangelist Baker, contacting and coordinating over 50 guest speakers as well as the selecting and hiring of a nationally acclaimed gospel talent (The Williams Brothers) to perform at the service.
This memorial service was tastefully orchestrated with the theatrical production of an awards ceremony – each segment of the program themed for the different facets of the Evangelist Baker’s life. There were lights, cameras, and many memories shared in an upbeat manner that allowed all present to have a more informed awareness of the deceased as well as the ability to joyfully celebrate a life’s achievement - - the service ended with the gospel concert.
The service was well received and the turnout was phenomenal. For weeks after the event, calls, letters and offerings flooded into United New Church of Christ church with accolades all echoing the same message – to continue the gospel concert as a fund raiser in memory of Evangelist Baker. “It was a night to remember – a life never to be forgotten!”
One of Evangelist Baker’s final wishes was that her favorite charities would be supported on a continual basis.
After months of thought and prayer, the daughters along with the church members decided to produce the concert as their “Labor of Love” on September 11, 2004 a the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York City.
The concert was well received and proceeds were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and NYSAVE pet charity. On July 11, 2005 – The Labor of Love Association, Inc. not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) charitable foundation was established. The Labor of Love Association is a non-denominational foundation established to produce musical (Gospel) concerts as a vehicle for fund raising to support research for the cure and care of childhood diseases as well as support for animals in medical emergencies with a long term goal to raise funds that will be used to award scholarships to minority children desiring to enter college.