education

April is West Angeles Sponsorship Month

Attention: West Angeles High School Seniors & Continuing Students! April is West Angeles Sponsorship Month! Stop by Table 7A in the Concourse for sponsorship information!

West Angeles Family: We all know how challenging it can be to meet rising college expenses. Please stop by our table to see how you might be a blessing to the West Angeles Scholars who have qualified for a sponsorship.

For further details, please contact Le’Nese Burks in the Education and Enrichment Office at (323) 733-8300 ext. 2629 or [email protected]

The Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., is where Gen. William T. Sherman held meetings with black Christian ministers, creating the plan later known as "40 acres and a mule."

40 Acres, Reparations, and the Black Church

As the debate continues regarding reparations for African Americans, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the truth about the “40 acres and a mule,” and its origins in the Black church.

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves. It’s a staple of black history lessons, and it’s the name of Spike Lee’s film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today, the federal government’s massive confiscation of private property — some 400,000 acres — formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven’t heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.

It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was. As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, “Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.” Try to imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced; had the former slaves actually had access to the ownership of land, of property; if they had had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth. After all, one of the principal promises of America was the possibility of average people being able to own land, and all that such ownership entailed. As we know all too well, this promise was not to be realized for the overwhelming majority of the nation’s former slaves, who numbered about 3.9 million.

What Exactly Was Promised?

Today, we commonly use the phrase “40 acres and a mule,” but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section One bears repeating in full: “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States. We have been taught in school that the source of the policy of “40 acres and a mule” was Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865 (That account is half-right: Sherman prescribed the 40 acres in that Order, but not the mule. The mule would come later). But what many accounts leave out is that this idea for massive land redistribution actually was the result of a discussion that Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held four days before Sherman issued the Order, with 20 leaders of the black community in Savannah, Ga., where Sherman was headquartered following his famous March to the Sea. The meeting was unprecedented in American history.

“Imagine how profoundly different race relations in the US would have been had the former slaves had access to the ownership of land…to build, accrue and pass on wealth.” – Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Section Two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: “… on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such.”

Finally, Section Three specifies the allocation of land: “… each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”

With this Order, 400,000 acres of land — “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast,” as Barton Myers reports — would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves. The extent of this Order and its larger implications are mind-boggling, actually.

Who Came Up With the Idea?

Here’s how this radical proposal — which must have completely blown the minds of the rebel Confederates — actually came about. The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution “to break the back of Southern slaveholders’ power,” as Myers observed. But Sherman’s plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black [leaders], at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street (pictured). In its broadest strokes, “40 acres and a mule” was their idea.

Stanton, aware of the great historical significance of the meeting, presented Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous brother) a verbatim transcript of the discussion, which Beecher read to his congregation at New York’s Plymouth Church and which the New York Daily Tribune printed in full in its Feb. 13, 1865, edition. Stanton told Beecher that “for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves.” Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather “the leaders of the local Negro community” and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: “What do you want for your own people” following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.

Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before). The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became “contraband,” and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them.

“Sherman’s plan only took shape after meeting with black ministers. 40 acres and a mule was their idea.” –  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, “when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver,” as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been “in the ministry for thirty-five years,” and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.

And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! “The way we can best take care of ourselves,” Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, “is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.” And when asked next where the freed slaves “would rather live — whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves,” without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that “I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … ” When polled individually around the table, all but one — James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore — said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

What Became of the Land That Was Promised?

The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”

And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

Reposted from PBS.org “The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross.” http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/the-truth-behind-40-acres-and-a-mule/.  Accessed 2/24/2016.

Hear NPR’s podcast, “The Story Behind ’40 Acres And A Mule'” on All Things Considered here:


 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865,  Andrew Johnson, his successor, overturned Special Field Order No. 15.
  • The freedmen were forced off of the land granted to them by Special Filed Order No. 15, including the Skidaway Island establishment.
  • Today, Skidaway Island, GA is one of the most affluent communities in the United States. Less than 0.9% of the inhabitants are the descendants of African slaves.

Rendering of the future West Angeles Family Life Center.

The Family Life Building Campaign Has Begun!

By Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

We have embarked upon a significant journey in the life of our ministry that will take us to new heights of God’s call and purpose for our lives: THE FAMILY LIFE CENTER BUILDING CAMPAIGN.

God has served us well, despite our limitations, but it is now time to finalize the vision:

  • To pay off the mortgage of our Cathedral
  • To build the Family Life Center; and
  • To leave an endowment for our future generations.

I urge you to earnestly seek God’s guidance in committing your part in what God is challenging us to do. I will wholeheartedly appreciate whatever it is you and God decide.

Pledge Cards may be picked up from representatives in the church lobby. Please consider and make your pledge today.

WE CAN DO THIS!

I am proud to be your pastor,

Bishop Charles E. Blake


  • Payments for your FAMILY LIFE CENTER PLEDGE can be made during regular collections at all services or online.
  • DONATE TODAY to the West Angeles FAMILY LIFE CAMPAIGN!  To pay your Family Life Center pledge   online , please click HERE.
An African American man prays at the West Angeles candlelight service.

Elder Charles Blake II on the Importance of the Black Church

As a part of our Elder’s Corner series, Elder Charles Edward Blake II took time to reflect on the history and importance of the black church. 

“Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety, praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout hallelujah. (They were) rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad, bunkers for the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. They have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church” – President Barack Obama, in the eulogy for Clementa C. Pinckney, Pastor of Emmanuel AME Church.

As I listened to our President deliver this historic, heartfelt [speech], I was especially drawn to his comments on the historical significance of the black church in American history. I have believed that the black church is as our president described: the beating heart of the black community. The first African American schools, hospitals, farming co-ops, workers unions, and many more aspects of our community, came out of the black church. After the Civil War and slavery had ended, the church was the only institution the black community had to protect our civil rights during Reconstruction.

Years later, however, after the Civil Rights Era, other secular African-American organizations did our civil rights work for us. Today, it would now seem that many of the rights that we gained during that time have either slowly eroded, or have not been realized at all by our community.

“The Black church is as our President described: the beating heart of the black community.” – Elder Charles E. Blake, Jr.

In light of what the church has been to our community in the past, we must continue to question: “Who are we as the church in the present?”

Impacting Our Future

As the church, we have the power to impact nations and transform cities. Yet many of us have not allowed ourselves to be transformed by the Gospel into something new that God can use to help someone else. We praise his name and the Spirit of the Lord is here…there’s no doubt about it! But while this Word, this truth, this gospel is widely believed and agreed upon and we praise the Lord for it, it is a truth we widely take for granted. We have to really ask ourselves: “Is the world a better place because we are in it? Is this a better church because I’m a part of it?”

We are called not only to worship Christ, but also to truly follow him. So, how do we do that? Mark 10:43-45 says:

43 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

We have to remember beloved, that as members of the body of Christ, we have all been called as missionaries, evangelists, and ministers (Ephesians 4:11). We are here to follow Jesus’ example, to serve even those who we may feel don’t deserve it, in order to be a light to others. The church must be a better church because we are a part of it. The world must be a better place because we are in it.

Like the apostles themselves, we don’t deserve what Christ did for us when He died on the cross. But when we serve others and live our lives with integrity, God can look at our lives as an investment and pour out His blessings. We then honor the price that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid for us, and we begin to do our part to become the church He created us to be.

 

Elder Charles Edward Blake II serves as Assistant Pastor and Director of Community Relations of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. He received his BS in Marketing from Oral Roberts University, and studied for his MD at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Elder Blake also serves as the General Manager of the Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress.  He and wife DeAndra are the proud parents of two sons. 

Pay your pledge online!  To donate to the West Angeles FAMILY LIFE CAMPAIGN, please click HERE.
CAM29355-L

Bishop Blake Shares Black History in the Bible

“We need to reach back to our homeland, reach back to Africa.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares a Black History Month lesson that transcends the ages, beginning in Africa, thousands of years before the birth of Christ. He shares the stories of Moses, the Queen of Sheba, and Joseph; the slave trade, and the roots of Pentecostalism, revealing the connection between people of African descent and the roots of Christianity.

See this entire Black History celebration on West Angeles’ Gospel On Demand hereHighlights from Bishop Blake’s “A Sermon for Black History Month” 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 Ethiopian 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 report in his book, The Black Church in the U.S., that 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 U.S.”

“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.”

“After all we went through, God blessed us to be productive; to rise above our oppression and attain excellence.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“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!”

“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 woolly 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.”

“If Joseph were here, he would say, ‘Don’t ever give up on your dream.'”  – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“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 1900s.”

“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 is not a white man’s religion. It’s not a black man’s religion…it’s just man’s religion.” – 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, Numbers 10:29, Numbers 12:1-9, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:28; Romans 8:31-39, Matthew 6:33.

by faith

Bishop Blake on Faith, Power, and Being Born Again

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. presents a Biblical lesson in worship,  faith, and what it really means to be born again, in his February 7, 2016 sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know.”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. delivered an insightful sermon based on John 3, which tells the story of Jesus’ instruction of Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council.

“Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him,’” read Bishop Blake. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”

Before the sermon, Bishop Blake prayed, “Nothing is beyond His power. Nothing is beyond His wisdom. Turn it over to Jesus; He’s going to handle it on your behalf. Halleluiah! Halleluiah!”

Presiding Bishop Blake’s full sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know” is available HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“All of those who wrote in the Old and New Testaments were Jewish people. Even Jesus himself, according to His earthly nature, was a Jew, as was Paul and all of the disciples.”

“Especially the Pharisees among the Jews were known as the most devout individuals in that nation. Animal sacrifices and blood atonement had been the very foundation of the Jewish faith.”

“The Old Testament contained very strict instructions and guidelines, not only regarding their sacrifices, but also the nature in which the sacrifices were presented, and also where the sacrifices could be offered up and where Israel was to worship before the Lord.”

“The Greeks ruled over Jerusalem and Judea, then Romans ruled over Jerusalem and Judea…The ability of the Jews to really practice their faith was frequently disrupted, and finally they gave up on temple worship and sacrifices all together…This explains the obsession of the Jews with Jerusalem and the spot where the temple was formerly located.”

“Nicodemus…represents not only himself individually, but he represents all of the Pharisees, and his Jewish bretheren, and he even represents all of us.”

“God judged them, and rejected any human effort they might make to…be in the favor of almighty God.  Isaiah reflects this in chapter 1:11-15, and again in Psalm 14:2.”

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood” – Isaiah 1:11&15

“Is there anybody here who has seen a human relationship totally devastated?…Is there anybody who knows what it means to be through? God was through!”

“All the books of the New Testament were written after the crucifixion, after the burial, and after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  Each of the New Testament writers wrote with a vision of the crucified and ascended Lord before their eyes.”

“Many of the things which Jesus spoke of …would be understood and realized only after His resurrection.”

“Resurrection bodies are designed to be ascended and caught up into the presence of God.”

“His resurrection body was affected by time and place… Jesus is now available to everyone at the same time.”

“Unless He left them physically, He could not come to them spiritually.”

“We walk by faith and not by sight.”

“Are there any worshipers in the house?”

“I know you’d get more excited if you saw Jesus walking up and down these aisles; I know you’d clap your hands and shout if you could touch Him and see Him physically, but listen: we walk by faith! In faith God is pleased!”

“Nicodemus didn’t know that Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God said, ‘I’m taking this thing over now!’”

“Without faith, the Bible says it is impossible to please God.”

“Nicodemus didn’t know that Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world; he did know that Jesus was going to rise up from the dead.”

“We know that Jesus is alive. His spirit is at work in the earth.”

“The resurrection of Jesus is the key event informing us that Jesus is the Son of God.”

“Jesus is unique among all men in that He died and arose, never to die again.”

“Jesus performed other miracles that affirmed His divinity, but His resurrection was a definitive statement regarding His Lordship over everything.”

“If Jesus can defeat death, then Jesus can defeat anything.”

“If He’s got power over death, then He has power over everything; power over sickness, power over infirmities, power over the devil, over any force that may come against us.”

“Because He lives, we shall live also.”

 “The more you read the Bible, the more you know about God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“If you hear of my home-going, don’t worry…Go ahead, roll me down the aisle. Go ahead, take me to the burial place. Go ahead, eat the fried chicken! Have a good time! Don’t worry about me! I shall rise again!”

“No other religion can make that claim. We can point to the grave of Mohamed, of Buddha, and they’re still occupied. But [Jesus’] grave is empty! My savior is alive!”

“Through Jesus we have peace with God. Because of Jesus we have life.”

“Jesus was not just instructing Nicodemus. When you accept Jesus, you become a new creature.”

“You’re old but you can still be born again.”

“If you feed the flesh, the flesh will grow. If you feed the spirit the spirit will grow.”

“You feed the spirit man when you read the Word of God.”

“The more you read the Bible, the more you know about God.”

“I am what the Word says I can do! I am everything the Bible says I am!”

“The Word says it and I believe it! Come on and praise Him!”

“Whatever the problem is, take it to Jesus!”

“Jesus is unique among all men in that He died and arose, never to die again.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“You feed the spirit man when you receive the Holy Ghost.”

“Raise your hands and say, ‘Lord, fill me with the Holy Ghost! Lord, I need your power!  I want your presence! I want your blessing!”

“When you feed the spirit man you feed Him by worship and with praise.  When you praise Him, you’re fueling up; you’re building up the spirit man.”

“When you praise him, God shows up in a special way. He said, ‘I am enthroned in the praises in My people. When they praise Me, I show up in power; I show up in might. I bring miracles, I bring blessings, I bring deliverance into their lives.’”

“Child of God will you throw up your hands, open up your mouth and praise Him?”

“Nicodemus didn’t know all of this, but we know it!

“Tell two people, ‘I know what God can do; I know there’s power in the name of Jesus! I know I can be healed! I know I can be set free! I know!’”

“God is moving! Halleluiah!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 3:1-16, Joshua 1:8, Leviticus 1&2, 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:13, Isaiah 1:11-15, Psalm14:2, Romans 3:23, 6:23, John 7:37-39, 20:17, 16:7, 14:23, John 4:23, 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 50; 1 John 5:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Psalm 119:105, Acts 1:8.


 

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s full sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know” is available on CD and DVD at the West Angeles Emporium.

Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
BlkHist1

Bishop Blake: God’s Place In Black History

Reposted from ChristianityToday.com, February 19, 2016.

By Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

When you are in the throes of doing what is right for righteousness’ sake, little time is taken to appreciate or envision the historical imprint your actions may have on the country. You don’t stop to ponder how your actions will alter the course of your life.

In college, I found myself watching and reading about events that were being characterized as civil resistance and civil disobedience. I often went to God in prayer to ask how I could be an instrument of change in what was happening in Alabama at the time. I didn’t realize then that the civil rights movement would become so richly commemorated and celebrated during Black History Month.

It is crucial to continue to remember not only those days, but all the ideas and events that have shaped the history of African Americans and our nation. And none is more important than this: the place of God in all of it.

In 1976, as part of the United States bicentennial, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon America to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Long before President Ford’s official recognition of Black History Month in 1976, African American, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and prominent, African American minister Jesse E. Moorland founded an organization, known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The ASALH was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans. The organization sponsored the first national Negro History Week in 1926, selecting the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, February 12 and February 14, respectively.

Woodson said, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated…”

By the late 1960s, thanks in no small part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness and pride in black heritage, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month.

The nonviolent protests and movements of today are inspired by the strategies of the civil rights movement. Despite the separation of decades, I see great similarities in the cries for justice and against police brutality. What is obviously different today is this: the civil rights movement was visibly God-centric in its motivational speeches; there were many calls for prayer and appeals to the biblical justification of the movement.

In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written April 16, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.”

As I look at the genesis of the African American and note our heroic journey traveled as a people—through enslavement, oppression, rejection and segregation—the greatest constant, on the path to the freedoms enjoyed today, was the presence of God-loving, God-fearing, and God-worshiping men and women.

Black history reveals that slaves suffered undeserved dehumanizing treatment as they toiled at Southern plantations in the blazing sun. And yet, they worshiped God. They met secretly for Bible classes. The timeless Bible stories of bondage, slavery, and the suffering of Christ evoked a response of faith and hope which were expressed in lyrics like:

My father, how long,
My father, how long,

My father how long,
We’ll walk de miry road Poor sinner suffer here
Where pleasure never dies. And it won’t be long,
We’ll walk de golden streets And it won’t be long,
Of de New Jerusalem. And it won’t be long,
Poor sinner suffer here.
My brudders do sing De praises of de Lord.
We’ll soon be free,
De Lord will call us home.
We’ll fight for Liberty
When de Lord will call us home.

Former slave Harriet Tubman, the 19th-century “Moses,” never lost a person along the Underground Railroad and attributed her success to her staunch faith in God. Just as she began to engineer one of her freedom quests, she would pray, “I’m going to hold steady on You, an’ You’ve got to see me through.”

On the broad shoulders of slaves, African Americans of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s stood for justice and marched for equality. Every time “We Shall Overcome” was sung, it became a declaration of faith in God’s ability to empower his people. As historian Albert Raboteau stated, “The civil rights movement became a religious crusade.”

Churches played a pivotal role in the movement. Churchgoers relied on God’s guidance as they fought racism, hatred, discrimination, and injustice. Sunday morning pulpits became soapboxes to commingle God’s Word with inspiration and information regarding civil rights initiatives. Similarly, marches took on the characteristics of church services with prayers, sermonettes, and songs.

As student body president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, during some of the most intense days of the struggle for civil rights, I joined my fellow students in an insatiable urge to be part of something that we knew was bigger than ourselves. We knew the words of King—“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”—were absolute. We chartered buses and traveled from our campus in Atlanta to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, to lend our voices, our minds and our bodies, if necessary, to fight for the civil rights of all African Americans. We were added to the number of thousands upon thousands who played just a small part in bringing about a big change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same Jesus who heard the songs of the slaves and the chants of the civil rights marchers will hear the prayers of those who now cry out for justice throughout our country. It is imperative that religious leaders continue to advise all to pray for peace and protest with purpose.

Black lives have always mattered to God. However, as black history shows, it’s not by power nor by might but by the spirit of God—the wisdom, authority, power, and presence of the Most High God—that freedom, equality, and justice will come.

Every day is history in the making. As African Americans continue to march and rally in response to the senseless deaths of young black men at the hands of the police, the poor communities victimized by government choices, and whenever overt racism rears its ugly head, in all this, God must continue to be sought for counsel, direction, and protection. With God’s help, we shall overcome.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, is the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the world’s fifth largest denomination, and pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, in Los Angeles California, with a membership in excess of 25,000 parishioners.

POWERonearth

Black History Performance: “Power On Earth”

PoweronEarthLA (1)

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Experience the electrifying journey on the pathways to freedom

as actor Darryl Van Leer presents

POWER ON EARTH

The Adventure of a Lifetime

A one-man show performed at the West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre.

There will be one show only,

Saturday, February 20

at 7:00 p.m..

Tickets are on sale at the West Angeles Theatre box office.

Call 323-733-8707.

Bishop Pate

SERMON: Bishop Pate Prophesies “Timeless Testimony”

Bishop Dwight Pate’s prophetic sermon brought the West Angeles congregation to their feet in thunderous applause on Sunday, January 31, 2016. He began with a vision he received over 40 years ago in which Black men and women in inner city America rise up to “set the moral standard for the end of time.”

The sermon began with scripture from the book of Mark in which a woman honors Jesus by pouring valuable oil over him. “It’s time to break the box!” said Bishop Pate, who prophesied that Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and West Angeles Church of God In Christ are “going to play the paramount role in what God is about to do in America” and throughout the rest of the world.

This complete sermon is available on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“If you’re going to have a timeless testimony, you’re going to have to be willing to break the customs and traditions of men.”

“Every one of you in here has a place where God wants you to be.”

“You are the message that will echo through eternity.”

“An echo becomes louder as it leaves you.”

“God told me today He’s going to create miracles in this house.”

“People are going to get saved by your life.”

“You cannot let what other folks stop you…from finding your place with God.”

“You cannot let the generation before you stop you from being all that God called you to be.”

“I prophesy that all your seed after you is going to be saved.” – Bishop Dwight Pate

“It’s time to interrupt religious meetings…when men honor the customs and traditions over the will of God.”

“She broke the box!”

“It’s time to break through and find your place in God.”

“I want a testimony that’s going to save my children, and save my grandchildren.”

“I prophesy to all of you who aren’t afraid to get wild. I prophesy that all your seed after you is going to be saved and meet you in heaven, because they’re going to read about your life and how you served God and how you didn’t compromise. And they’re going to get saved because your testimony’s going to be like an echo. It’s going to be just as real to them 100 years from now as it is to you today.”

“You cannot allow other folks to define who you are.”

“You cannot allow people to put labels on you, and put limits on you.”

“I am who God says I am.”

“Sometimes the generation before you doesn’t want you to go further than them.”

“Whoever controls definition controls destiny.” – Bishop Dwight Pate

“The power to define is the battle of the ages.”

“Whoever controls definition controls destiny.”

“There are some folks in this room…you’re going have the power to define a generation.”

“You’re going to have the power to redefine your community.  You’re going to have the power to redefine your business. You’re going to have the power to redefine the anointing that’s on your life.”

“Tradition keeps you full of fear. Why? Tradition has judgement in it.”

“To come out of debt, you cannot fear taking chances.”

“That meeting isn’t for women but the meeting is for purpose. I’m going in this room and fulfill my purpose.”

“Tradition creates a spirit of condemnation.”

“Have you ever been around folks who all they’ve got to speak is what you can’t do?”

“It’s time to break away from the crowd… You’re in a class all by yourself.”

“You are the message that’s passing from time to eternity.  You are the epistle that’s going to be read of men.”

“You cannot allow other folks to define who you are.” – Bishop Dwight Pate

“When you show up, the answer just showed up… When you walk in the room, courage just walked in the room. When you walk in the room, a fearless spirit just walked in the room. When you walk in the room, the power of God just walked in the room. Hallelujah!”

“I prophesy you will be the testimony talked about at the end of time.”

“If Jesus tarries, they’re going to say that these are the days of Bishop Charles Blake; there was a church called West Angeles, and that man and that assembly changed the course of the 21st century.”

“If God can do it for Bishop Blake, He can do it for you!”

“When you understand that God has a plan for your life and a purpose for your life, you can’t let anyone else think for you.”

“God gave you life, but your living comes from your mind.”

“Stop blaming your mess on the devil!”

“If you want it right now, God’s getting ready to ‘ploomp’ you!”

“You are the message that will echo through eternity.” – Bishop Dwight Pate

“You’ve got to seek to be controlled by the Holy Ghost.”

“When you get saved, the power of God moves in your spirit. Everything you’ll ever need is going to come from the inside, because God doesn’t trust anyone else with your destiny but you and Him.”

“I wish there was somebody in here that wasn’t afraid to stand all by yourself. I wish there was somebody in here not afraid to be first!”

“I think somebody’s getting a breakthrough!”

“You’re about to go places where other folks never thought you’d be.”

“It’s time to break the bank and send this ministry around the world.”

“Treasures and hearts end up in the same place.”

“It’s time for God’s people to have the best.”

“Faith gives what it doesn’t have.”

“When you start sowing seed right, God will make the devil leave you for a season.”

“I prophesy that God has saved the best for last: and you’re the best up in here!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Mark 14:1-9, Revelation 12:11, Daniel 3:28-29, Mark 16:17-18, Proverbs 21:7, Philippians 1:7, 2:5.


Bishop Dwight Pate of Baton Rouge, LA is an anointed man of God and a preacher for 37 years. He is Pastor of Church Point Ministries, which now includes on its campus a theater for Christian plays. Bishop Pate has been distributing over 13 million bottles of anointed oil which has been a blessing to many. Over the years he has conducted revivals at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, where he also met his wife, Sandra.