February 23, 2015 (Los Angeles, CA)-Leaders from six global Pentecostal denominations, representing over 90 million members combined, recently met in Los Angeles to discuss a wide range of international and domestic topics.
The Pentecostal Leaders Summit convened for three days last week in Los Angeles, California, to discuss a number of topics including the effects of terrorism, the church’s role in racial harmony, religious freedom, and same-sex issues facing the church, among other topics.
The leaders in attendance included Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God; Dr. Glenn C. Burris President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent/Presiding Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer, Church of God; Rev. Randall A. Bach, President, Open Bible Churches and Dr. Jack W. Hayford, former President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Additional persons in attendance included elected officials from each organization.
A goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for each leader to listen and discuss the various national and international crises facing Christians around the globe, while also seeking to help bring unity to the Body of Christ globally.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “This gathering of Pentecostal leaders has provided each person with a unique opportunity to come to Los Angeles and dialogue with their contemporaries in other denominations, with similar beliefs, about issues that are confronting us all.” He further states, “This summit has shown us what we, as Christian leaders, have said and known for some time now: We are all better when we come together as one.”
Dr. George O. Wood states, “This was truly an historical meeting. We are all the grandsons and granddaughters of the Azusa Street revival, and in these days, the Holy Spirit is drawing us together in united witness, fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the world would know us by our love for one another.”
Dr. Glen Burris emphasized, “There is a strong sense that the conversations among us have resonated much like the early church, that experienced a ‘one accord’ dynamic. An African proverb says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Finishing the Great Commission will require all of us.”
The last discussion topic of the summit revolved around how the six denominations can continue in dialog with one another and provide opportunities to include additional Pentecostal denominations and enlarge the representation from each group.
Bishop Doug Beacham says, “People are so thankful that we are meeting like this. Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country and for revival . . .”
Dr. Mark L. Williams declares, “Our shared history along with the collegiality and genuine respect we have for one another holds great promise and unlimited potential for fulfilling the mission for which Jesus died. Only a united church can reach a divided world. We must be one.”
Rev. Randall A. Bach explains, “It is always meaningful to gather with leaders of like faith. It is particularly joyful, however, to fellowship and collaborate with leaders of like experience, who love and pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our family of ministers and churches embrace and value our sister fellowships with love and respect. Unity in the Spirit glorifies the Lord.”
This is the first time in history a conference of this kind, with these leaders representing such a large and diverse membership, has ever taken place.
“Blessed are they which die in The Lord from henceforth: That they may rest from their labour and their works do follow them” Rev. 14:13
Elder Marion Green
June 6, 1916 – February 23, 2015
It is with heavy hearts that Bishop Charles E. Blake and West Angeles Church announce the passing of Assistant Pastor Emeritus Elder Marion Green.
This great soldier transitioned this morning to join his beloved wife Lady Celestine Green and the Church Triumphant.
For over 40 years, Elder Green stood by the side of Bishop Blake in unwavering support, leadership, strength, grace and humility. He found his purpose in God and completed his assignment with integrity and dedication.
As a decorated veteran of World War II, Elder Green brought the same discipline and loyalty to his callings as Minister of The Gospel, husband, father, friend and staff member.
We lift up the entire Green family as they both mourn and celebrate their beloved Patriarch.
We honor this Mighty Man of Valor for his service to and for the Body of Christ!
Final arrangements are as follows:
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 11:00AM in the West Angeles Church North Campus Sanctuary,
3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.
Bishop Charles E. and Lady Mae L. Blake
West Angeles Church of God in Christ
Mandela: Let Freedom Reign
The One Man Play
Mandela retells his story from early life to becoming leader of the ANC. He delivers his famous “I Am Prepared to Die” speech at his treason trial and receives a life sentence.
He describes the 27 dark years in prison, but also how the Apartheid regime is forced to contend with the unstoppable international outcry. At the climax, he delivers his Inaugural Presidential Address in which he urges all in the new Rainbow Nation to “Let Freedom Reign.
Mandela: Let Freedom Reign
The One Man Play
Performing Arts Theater
3020 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles , CA 90016
We invite you to join your Brothers in Christ for the Monthly Brotherhood Breakfast in The Crystal Room, Saturday, 21 at 8:30 a.m. This month, we celebrate love with special guests, Bro. J. R. and Sis. Precious Williams.
You don’t want to miss this dynamic young couple speak from their hearts on finding love through Christ! All are invited!
West Angeles Crystal Room
3045 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca
Tickets will be available at the door for $12.00.
“We need to reach back to our homeland; reach back to Africa.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
For Black History Month, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake took the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ back to school with a Black History lesson that transcended the ages. He began his sermon in Africa, thousands of years before the birth of Christ, with the stories of Moses, the Queen of Sheba, the slave trade, and the roots of Pentecostalism, to reveal the connection between people of African descent and the roots of Christianity.
Bishop Blake was also inspired by the story of Joseph in Genesis, who married an Egyptian woman, and cited parallels between Joseph’s journey and the historic journey of African Americans.
See this entire Black History celebration on West Angeles’ Gospel On Demand here.
Highlights from the sermon follow:
“Two thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Moses traveled to Midian, in the southern part of the fertile crescent. There, Moses married a dark-skinned Midianite woman. Moses married an Ethiopian, and Ethiopia people in her family became counselors and advisers to Moses.”
“Almost 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the queen of Sheba –also known as Kush or Ethiopia – visited King Solomon. She came from Africa with many camels, spices, gold, and precious stones. Her nation and her culture had obviously existed long before that time.”
“The Ethiopian Piankhi established the 24th Egyptian Dynasty. And at least four Egyptian Kings ruled over Egypt from 730 BC until 66 BC…great nations, great civilizations, great cultures existed in Africa centuries before Jesus Christ was born.”
“One of the greatest generals of all time was a man by the name of Hannibal from the city of Carthage in Northern Africa. Hannibal frequently defied and defeated Rome between 219 and 203 BC.”
“In 1498 AD, Portuguese explorers wrote that they found along the east African coast tall stone towns of comfort and of wealth. They found people who were highly civilized and skilled in the use of the compass, and in reading charts.”
“Timbuktu was a magnificent city where merchants made greater profit from the sale of books than from the sale of any other commodity.”
“In the areas of science, art, medicine, government, law, and culture, many of the nations of Africa were competitive with, and in many cases more advanced than, the other nations of the world in Europe and Asia during that period. All of this was devastated by the slave trade; by slavery, and by Colonialism.”
“William Banks gives us the following report in his book, ‘The Black Church In The US’: nearly 20 million Negroes were made captive over the span of some 300 years, from 1517 until 1840. They were crammed …into ships like sardines in a can, and brought across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Guinea to the New World. The trip that they made was called ‘The Middle Passage’. It’s estimated that perhaps 12 million Blacks landed in South America and Latin America, and about 2 million of them were brought into the US.”
“What happened to the millions that were taken away from Africa? Some died resisting capture. Some died in captivity. While waiting in Africa to be shipped out, some committed suicide, not willing to be captured. Others, beaten and too weak to continue the trek, were abandoned to die.”
“Most of the loss of life came during the Middle Passage, that journey across the ocean from Africa to the New World. Perhaps not more than half of the slaves which were shipped out from Africa ever became effective workers in the New World.”
“What was the impact of the loss of 20 million of its inhabitants on the culture and the nations of Africa? How many died trying to defend their families in the violence associated with the slave trade?”
“After the slave trade came the horrible period of Colonialism, in which horrible invaders did to Africa’s resources what those before them did to Africa’s people. What was the value of the people and of the resources that were taken from the continent of Africa?”
“After all we went through, we still produced a Benjamin Banneker, maker of the first American clock; Sojourner Truth; George Washington Carver; Charles Drew… Benjamin O Davis; Ralph Bunche; Booker T. Washington; Marion Anderson; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcolm X; Colin Powell; Barack Obama!”
“After all we went through, God blessed us to be productive; to rise above our oppression and attain excellence.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
“During the dark day of the Crucifixion, the Jews were condemning [Jesus] and calling for His death. Europe, represented by the Roman Centurions, drove nails into the hands of feet of Jesus. But Africa, represented by Simon of Cyrene, a Black man from Northwest Africa, stepped in when everybody else was stepping back…Simon of Cyrene shared history’s most significant moment with the Christ: he bore the Cross of Christ up Calvary’s Hill.”
“Jesus will not allow you to bear your cross by yourself. If anybody out there needs help with your cross, give praise to the Lord, and He will help you to bear your cross!”
“God chose black hands and wooly hair to perform an act that all the truly wise and all the truly great…Godly men of the earth would have been overjoyed to perform: bearing the Cross of Jesus Christ.”
“The Ethiopian secretary of the treasury was to pass in his chariot…this Ethiopian nobleman heard and believed the gospel, and after being baptized, this nobleman went back to Ethiopia to form the Abyssinian Church that exists until this day. He was the first Gentile of record to be saved: a Black man.”
“Historian Dean (Henry Hart) Milman has said, “It was Africa, not Rome, which gave birth to Latin Christianity. Africa gave three of the greatest scholars of the church to the church. Augustine, Tertullian, Cyprian, were all born in Northern Africa.”
“Anyone who says that Christianity is a white man’s religion and not a black man’s religion really doesn’t know anything about Christianity.”
“Christianity is not a white man’s religion it’s not a black man’s religion: it’s just man’s religion! Halleluiah!”
“Black men have the privilege of being among the first leaders and participants in the Pentecostal and Charismatic revival that swept across the church in the early 1900’s.”
“(Historian and author Dr. H. Vinson Synan says that) Charles F. Parham, a white man, and William J. Seymour, a Black man, share roughly equal positions as founders of modern Pentecostalism.”
“A key man in that contagious spread (of Pentecostalism) was a man by the name of Charles Harrison Mason, a Black man and the father of founder of the Church Of God in Christ. In 1907, Elder Mason went to Los Angeles and participated in the Azuza Revival and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.”
“Scores of white ministers obtained ministerial credentials from Elder Mason from the Church of God In Christ. One group in Alabama and Texas received permission to use the name of the church in 1912, and this continued until 1914, when they organized and called their predominantly white organization the Assemblies of God.”
“When Bishop Mason passed in 1961, he left behind him one of the largest Pentecostal bodies in the world.”
“Christianity belongs to all of us! Aren’t you glad that you know Jesus Christ?” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
“There are many parallels between [African Americans] and the experience of Joseph. In jail, Joseph held on to the dream. Black people held on to the dream in slavery. We believed that God was going to deliver us, and praise God: God did deliver us. We held onto the dream!”
“Somebody in here is going through something evil, but I want you to know God meant it for good! God is going to turn it around!”
“We need to reach back to our homeland; reach back to Africa.”
“If you pursue the purpose of God, God is going to work everything out for your good.”
“God worked it out for it us, and God is gonna work it out for you: but you’ve got to hold on to the dream!”
“Does anybody have a dream in here? Anybody have a vision? Do you have something you’re reaching for? Listen: God is going to bring it to pass!”
“If you hold on to God, if you trust God: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of god and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you.”
“Child of God, I just came by to tell you that God has great miracles in store for you!”
“If Joseph were here, and if he could testify, he would say to you, ‘Don’t ever give up on your dream: don’t ever give up on your vision.”
“God has Blessed us, but I don’t believe God is through with us yet”.
“The story of Joseph can be your story. The story of your people can be your story…Praise God for your future!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 37-50, Num10:29, Numbers 12:1-9, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:28; Romans 8:31-39, Matthew 6:33.
“How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners” – Psalm 1:1 (HCSB)
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake was inspired by Pharrell Williams’ hit song for his Sunday, February 8 sermon, simply titled, “Happy.”
Within the song’s refrain are the lyrics, ‘Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.’
“That’s a profound statement,” said Bishop Blake. “But Jesus said in John 8:32, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,’ and Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
Psalm 1 was the scriptural focus of Bishop’s sermon, where he explored mankind’s ideas of happiness versus God’s true definitions of happiness.
Some of our favorite passages from the sermon are as follows:
“Happiness is something everybody wants. Not everyone agrees on what it is, or how it can be obtained, but everybody wants it.”
“There are those who have everything that money can buy but they still are not happy.”
“One earthly desire fulfilled always creates another earthly desire unfulfilled.”
“When desire governs, it becomes a giant whose appetite can never be satisfied.”
“Happiness is a predominant state and a predominant sense of well-being.”
“We cannot insist or fall into the trap that demands that everything be in precise accord, or falls into our wishes and our desires, before we will be happy.”
“If you’ve got Jesus in your life, then the good overwhelmingly outweighs the bad.”
“You might be in the right place for a miracle!”
“I proclaim by faith: ‘It is well!’”
“God, being the Creator, has the right to tell us how to live.”
“God, who made us, understands us, and is aware of the principles and factors that make for our happiness.”
“God, being all-wise and all-knowing, knows the future and is alone qualified to plot the course of our lives.”
“God, who made us, loves us and wants us to be happy, and His love calls Him to reveal the road and way of happiness unto us.”
“Scornful folk are the ones who practice sin and aggressively proclaim their aversion to God, and their aversion to righteous people.”
“A person who’s involved in evil cannot be happy. A person who’s involved in sin cannot be happy.”
“You might try to drug your conscience…so it will not testify against you, but even your conscience will say, ‘I might be drunk, but you know you’re wrong!’”
“God understands us, and is aware of the factors that make for our happiness” – Bishop Charles E. Blake
“Sin causes thing to go wrong.”
“When you are in sin, you’re alone, all by yourself.”
“The Lord’s Word is more than a list of do’s and don’ts.”
“There’s nothing that God does not know.”
“God has a way of making things fall in place.”
“The Lord knows how to take you higher!”
“The Bible is a map; a way to joy, a way to safety, the way of Gods will and blessing.”
“I don’t know about you, but I’m living in prosperity; I’m praising in prosperity!”
“Put the newspaper down, put the magazine down, and grab the Word, because in the Word, you’ll find Life.”
“Child of God, you stand before an audience of One. Don’t worry about what people say. If you please God, God will take care of everything.”
“Is there anybody who’s happy just to know Him? Happy to do His will? Happy just to walk in His Way? Happy just to hear Him say, ‘Well done?’”
“Child of God, don’t let anything discourage you. Don’t let anything block you. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not blessed.”
“The safest place in the whole wide world is in the Will of God.”
“I’m happy to know Him, to know His Word, to have His love, to praise Him, to Bless Him! Way down in my soul, I have JOY!”
“Nothing can satisfy but God!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Psalm 1, John 8:32, John 14:6, Proverbs 27:20, Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, Philippians 4:11-12, Philippians 3:8, Matthew 5:1-12, 2 Kings 4:26, Habakkuk 3:17, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Corinthians 1:25, Psalm 147:4-5, Psalm 42:1, Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28, Job 23:10, 2 Corinthians 5:8.
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