Please join Bishop Charles E. Blake, Lady Mae and the entire West Angeles family in wishing Bishop C.H. Mason a Happy Birthday Day. An outstanding preacher and the founder of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination of the twentieth century, Bishop C. H. Mason ordained both black and white clergy in the early 1900s, when few did so.
Mason preached his first official sermon, on holiness, in 1894 in Preston. While most Baptist groups, along with many other Christian denominations, emphasize the forgiveness of sins as a central teaching, holiness preaching places a much higher regard on living a life fully committed to God’s commands. This difference in doctrine caused Mason’s congregations to reject his ministry and remove him from the Baptist pulpit in 1897.
The removal did not deter Mason for he understand what was in store and had a plan for God’s people. He kept preaching holiness in various places, including an abandoned cotton gin in Lexington, Mississippi which later became the birthplace of the Church of God in Christ. The name, which Mason said had been given to him by God as Mason walked down a street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was drawn from 1 Thessalonians 2:14. Mason’s many preaching brought him into contact with other preachers who relied heavily on sanctification, such as Charles Price Jones, John E. Jeter, and W. S. Pleasant. These men collaborated in organizing the new denomination; Jones as the general overseer, Mason over Tennessee, and Jeter over Arkansas.
Hearing of the Azusa Street Revival in California, Mason felt called to go to Los Angeles; he considered himself to have received Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit in March 1907. Returning to Tennessee, he began preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This theology of free and exuberant worship was not well-received and his associations with Price, Jeter, and Pleasant were soon over. Mason called for like-minded men to join with him in organizing the first Pentecostal General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ. Twelve men responded, and, when the meeting was over, Mason had been named the General Overseer and Chief Apostle of the denomination with the authority to formulate doctrine, set up the organization, and assign responsibility. He went on to win a court battle to reclaim the name of “Church of God in Christ.”
Let us pay homage to a great visionary leader, the founding father of COGIC and 1st in succession as the Chief Apostle, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason.
Sunrise: September 8, 1862 Sunset: November 17, 1961
The 50th Anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic “I Have A Dream” Speech is upon us. On Wednesday, August 28th 2013, America will pause to remember the legacy left by one of the most powerful and influential men in our country’s history.
50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a broken nation about an America that he envisioned, where all people could live together as one. As a visionary, he saw an America where the son of the slave and the son of the slave owner could sit together as equals. As a man of God, he reminded a nation of its Biblical mandate to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves, no matter if our neighbor is Black or White, Jew or Gentile. As a political figure, he believed in the vision that the Founding Fathers set for America when they wrote into the Declaration of Independence that, “all men are created equal.” And on August 28th, 1963, He challenged both White and Black Americans alike to live up to the promises of our nation. I believe, in that soul-stirring speech delivered 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. called all Black Americans to realize their full potential by actively pursuing their right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.
By living up to our full potential and reaching our goals, we are telling the world that the limits to what we can achieve are no longer determined by what other people think we can do, but are limited only by what we think of ourselves. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream implores all Americans to step out of the shadow cast by America’s dark past, and to boldly demand the creation of a brighter future—a future that we are still building even 50 years later.
In the coming week, let us all examine ourselves and determine if we are actively living up to Martin Luther King’s dream. Are you working to create a brighter future for America, for your community, for your family, for yourself?
Or…are you still stuck in the shadows?
Shara Stewart is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She is a long-time member of West Angeles Church, and a contributing writer/blogger for the West Angeles WebTeam.
Christians all around Egypt are cleaning up in the aftermath of a slew of attacks on 52 Christian churches and homes being torched, looted and burned down on Egypt’s anniversary of the revolution that overthrew longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Tuesday night, before the mobs attacked early Wednesday morning, a chanting was heard against Coptic Christians calling for Egypt to become an “Islamic state.”
Churches were reportedly set ablaze Wednesday beginning with St. George Church in Sohag, a city south of Cairo on the Nile River and continued down SouthEast of Cairo to target Prince Tadros Church in Fayoum.
580 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured were recorded by Egypt’s health ministry. CNN iReporter Amir Beshay, from Cairo, helped draw up a list of Christian churches and properties reportedly targeted. On it are sites in Alexandria, Arish, Assiut, Beni Suef, Cairo, Fayoum, Gharbiya, Giza, Minya, Qena, Sohag and Suez. They include churches and schools, as well as homes and businesses belonging to Coptic Christians. CNN has not been able independently to verify the reports.
Bishop Angaelos, a General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom tweeted:
Thursday morning while on a working vacation in Martha’s vineyard, President Obama said to NBC “Let me say that the Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the last several days; and to the Egyptian people, let me say the cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop.”
Here a few photos from Mosi supporters and Coptic Christian protestors.
Please join us in prayer as we intercede on our brother’s and sister’s behalf in Egypt. Let us lift voices of concern, of peace, and asking for the Spirit of the Lord to reign supreme. We are interceding for you Egypt.
Featured Image: HuffPost
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
We have all done it. Walked down that aisle, down the steps, to the alter and into the loving arms of God. The day you accepted Christ was the best day of your life–a step in the right direction, igniting the light inside and becoming a living example of God’s grace and his mercy.
Where ever you are and whatever condition you are in, we are excited that you are coming to being or complete your membership at West Angeles Church. We welcome you with loving arms and praise God for this new chapter in your life.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 6:00 P.M. in the Crystal Room, you will meet key leaders within the ministry and be supplied with tools to better equip your walk! Hope to see you there.
A politically and socially awakening driven sermon was delivered Sunday, August 4th, during the evening service at the North Campus Sanctuary. Elder Uleses Henderson, Jr., a 10 year member of West Angeles COGIC, Young Adult Ministry Truthseekers instructor, accomplished intellectual property attorney and General Counsel of the Church Of God In Christ spoke from the subject: Christ’s Case for George Zimmerman.
Who better than the lead legal advisor for the Church of God in Christ to deliver a historical look on racial profiling and the service of the church?
Over the past few weeks America has been divided over the fact that a teenager can be shot and killed over absolutely nothing. Elder Henderson reminds us that this very act is not a foreign subject to most blacks. Black-on-black crime seems to be at an all time high, as one can get shot over the simplest things: the color of their clothes, or over drugs that they don’t even control. 93% of all homicides for young black men between the ages of 18 and 30 are perpetrated by other blacks. Elder Henderson admonishes us, “that before we point the finger at other people let us first examine ourselves.” The facts are glaring and it makes no sense to protest injustice if we do not first value the lives of our own youth.
Under the U.S. criminal justice system, a person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Elder Henderson clarified that “to say that a person is not guilty under the law does not mean that the person is innocent. It only means that the prosecution has not presented enough evidence to prove it’s case and despite what the prosecution would have you to believe this bar of persuasion is not that high if YOU’RE not black.”
It appears as though the woman who balances the scales of justice has a bum shoulder because it seems that she can never uphold her weight when it comes to justice for black folks.
Most heard the interview on CNN of juror B29 in the Zimmerman case. Elder Henderson mentions that the juror wanted to convict Zimmerman of murder but she couldn’t under the law.
In 1963 Byron De La Beckwith gunned down Medgar Evers—a civil rights activist and member of the Church of God in Christ– in front of his wife and children in his driveway and it took them almost 30 to charge De La Beckwith. In 1989, Charles Stuart, a white man, shot and killed his pregnant wife in the head and shot himself in the stomach that lead to a massive man hunt resulting in the arrest of Willie Bennett, an innocent black man. It was not until Stuart’s brother “ratted him out” that the authorities would find out the truth—Stuart killed his wife and unborn child for insurance money.
And who can forget the tragedy of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth and member of the Church of God in Christ who was lynched in Money, Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Elder Henderson startles us as he reminds us that although there were laws to protect a white woman from black men, there were no law to protect our beautiful black women from being raped, pillaged, and abused by aggressive white men.
Elder Henderson then gives us a snippet of history from the inception of slavery in the early 17th century. Blacks were considered to be the property of their slave masters based on the belief that they were naturally an inferior people. They experienced brutal and inhumane treatment and were exploited for their labor. Following the Civil War, amendments to the Bill of Rights prohibited slavery and granted all people regardless of race equality and protection. Yet many states imposed Jim Crow laws, which the courts continued to enforce until the 1960’s. Let us not forget that a black man could not shake hands with a white man because it implied social equality.
Black and whites were not to sit, eat, or exist together without some sort of separation or partition between them. Blacks were not even allowed to show affection to one another in public because it offended whites. Jim Crow etiquette describes that blacks were introduced to whites, never whites to blacks, and courtesy titles were unheard of.
Jim Crow laws were established based on the misplaced belief that whites were superior in intelligence, morality and civilized behavior. And it seems that the Assemblies of God adopted this same mentality, as they have forgotten their roots: the Assemblies of God was birthed out of the predominately black Church of God in Christ. The Assemblies of God now prides itself as being the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, yet it came from the Church of God In Christ. And, several years ago, when former Presiding Bishop G.E. Patterson was invited to speak at to an Assemblies of God congregation, the pastor of the Assemblies of God church introduced Bishop G.E. Patterson and the Presiding Bishop of “our sister church;” but Bishop Patterson corrected the pastor by saying “the Church of God in Christ is your mama.”
Indeed, God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.
Here in our text, Jesus confronts the hypocrisies in the church.
The sermon’s base scripture is:
John 7:53-8:11 (NKJV):
53 And every man went unto his own house. 8 But Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken [or caught] in the act of adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone … and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said unto her: Woman, where are those…thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
The Pharisees interrupted Jesus’ teaching to accuse this woman who had been caught red-handed in the act of adultery.
It is important to know that God’s house is the only court we should be concerned with because with just one sentence, Jesus dismantles the prosecution: He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone. Anamartetos, means to be guiltless; without the desire to sin. Jesus then flips the script, and turns the burden on the prosecution: as the Bible says that these men were convicted by their own conscience.
Just as Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God, the same would be as the jury and courts are the Judge and God’s judgment is the one we hope and long for. In the text, Jesus looked at the woman and said: “If there’s nobody to accuse you, if nobody wants to prosecute, then the trial is over.” The woman was acquitted. One could ask, “How does God harmonize His justice with His mercy?” The answer would be because if God is a God of righteousness and a God of justice and a God of judgment, then by His holy nature this woman must die. But if God is a God of love and of grace …and of mercy and forgiveness…then this woman must live.
So how does Jesus harmonize these two principles? Judgment is vertical, grace is horizontal and they both meet at the cross. The cross was where justice and mercy harmonized. And this woman’s sin didn’t go unpunished, because when Christ died on the cross he bore all of our sins. So Jesus Christ became the mediator between justice and mercy, and through this mediation, this woman went away justified: Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Feel free to comment on the mediation of Jesus Christ and your thoughts on the Zimmerman Case.
You may also read Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s statement to the Zimmerman verdict here.
Most people who live under a time of influence of a natural leader, trailblazer, and hero—do not realize it until articles and books are published posthumously. Pastor to West Angeles Church and Presiding Bishop to the Church of God in Christ denomination, Bishop Charles E. Blake is arguably one of our modern day heros and we are proud to call him our spiritual leader.
Bishop Charles E. Blake is the epitome of a servant. His whole life is dedicated to loving his fellowman more than himself. He is first a husband to Mae Lawrence Blake. Together they have three children and eight grandchildren. He is the pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ with a membership of over 24,000. West Angeles is deeply involved in providing not only for the spiritual life of its people, but also it provides more than 80 programs for the psychological, social, and economic enhancement of the community.Bishop Blake is a humble humanitarian and communitarian. He is the chief executive officer of Save Africa’s Children, a program of the Pan African Children’s Fund. The group has assisted over 300 grassroots and faith-based projects in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching over 90,000 AIDS-affected children. Save Africa’s Children supports more than 100 thousand children in 340 orphan care programs throughout more than 23 nations on the continent of Africa.Bishop Blake was the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors for C.H. Mason Theological Seminary and has served as an Executive Committee member on the Board of Directors of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary. He also formerly served as an Advisory Committee Member of the Pentecostal World Conference.Charles E. Blake was appointed the seventh in succession as Presiding Bishop by the General Assembly of the 6.5 million member Church of God in Christ November 12, 2007. At the 101st Holy Convocation, during the quadrennial elections in 2008, Bishop Blake was re-elected as Presiding Bishop for another four-year term. As Presiding Bishop, Blake has become the new face of, and an international spokesperson for Pentecostalism as it is known today. Bishop Blake served as Jurisdictional Prelate of the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Southern California comprised of more than 250 churches for 25 years.
April 6, 2009 in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama tapped Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake to serve on his 25-person White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He was also tapped as one of four to speak at the Democratic National Convention’s first Ecumenical Service, where he pronounced his status as pro-life democrat and challenged both democrats and republicans to protect the rights of the unborn and born alike.
Bishop Blake has received numerous awards, commendations, and accolades. A few include: April 2007, the Distinguished Leadership Award presented by the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University, the 2006 Trumpet Award, the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award, the Greenlining Institute’s Big Heart Award, and the designated recipient of the L.A. Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Award for the year 2000. In 2003, Bishop Blake was awarded the Harvard Foundation Humanitarian Medal for his work with Save Africa’s Children and its mission to support orphanages throughout that continent. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors designated “Bishop Charles E. Blake Day”, February 5, 2004.
Happy Birthday to a man who has inspired many and continues to lead in humility, love, and worship.
As more young men are faced with harsh decisions daily, without the guidance of a strong male influence, it is the divine motivation of the Brotherhood Organization to motivate and equip young male adults with a strong Christian mentality that will better equip them with the tools necessary to live productive spiritual lives.
It is in this vein that the Brotherhood Organization was initiated and, through the leadership of God Almighty, the teachings of His Son Jesus Christ, and the Power of the Holy Ghost, that this ministry shall grow and prosper.
Join The Men of West Angeles Church for the Annual Men’s Weekend, October 18th and 20th. This exciting weekend begins with an elegant Gala at The beautiful Westin Hotel on Century Blvd and concludes with a spirit filled Men’s Day on the 20th. We are also asking each Man of West Angeles, to join us in giving $50.00 towards the retiring of the mortgage! Stop by The Brotherhood Tables on the Concourse to purchase tickets as well as to sign up to a part of The Men’s Day Choir, or serve as an Usher, or Ambassador