Jordan, Black Athletes Aim to Smooth Racial Tensions

NBA legend Michael Jordan is the latest in a string of black athletes that have used their platform to speak out about racial tensions in America, namely between black men and law enforcement.

On Monday, the usually cautious Jordan, penned a letter that was featured on sports and social commentary website The Undefeated.

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan wrote. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”

Jordan, widely considered one of the greatest athletes of ever, pledged $1 million to two organizations in hopes of alleviating tension between the African American society and police: The Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Read Jordan’s full statement HERE.

Jordan is not the first prominent black athlete to speak out regarding the recent deaths of black men at the hands of law enforcement. On July 13, at the 2016 ESPY Awards, an annual ABC/ESPN awards show that honors excellence in athletic achievement, NBA superstars LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, opened the show by calling on athletes to used their popularity to promote change in our country.

“Let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves,” James said. “Speak up. Use our influence. And renounce all violence…We all have to do better.”

Watch the full speech below.

On Saturday, July 9, just a few days before the ESPY Awards, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx donned black warm-up t-shirts that paid homage to Philando Castille, Alton Sterling, and the Dallas Police Department, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We as a nation can decide to stand up for what is right, no matter your race, background or social status,” said Maya Moore, arguably the league’s best player. “It is time we take a deep look at our ability to be compassionate and empathetic to those suffering from the problems that are deep within our society.”

Read the full story HERE.



Happy Birthday, Lady Mae!

Please join West Angeles  in honoring the birthday of 1st Lady Mae L. Blake! Lady Mae can be described as a phenomenal Woman of God.  She is the wife of Charles E. Blake Sr., the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and founder of the Women Affairs Organization.


First Lady Mae L. Blake is featured in the Summer 2016 issue of The Whole Truth Magazine.

The Organization under her direction sponsors and coordinates numerous dynamic activities for the women of the church.  Many of these activities contribute to the beautification of West Angeles and the heart of the total woman.

  • “A Day in May with Lady Mae,” a luncheon in which the First Lady gives her annual encouraging message to the Body of Christ, and
  • “Women’s Day,” a full day of highly-anticipated, inspiring sermons by COGIC’s Missionary Evangelists, and featuring the Women’s Day Choir.  

Lady Mae is also the author of A Class Act, and A Class Act II, where she presents a message for women which is sprinkled with living examples and pearls of wisdom in a simple, yet, humorous and entertaining format. Lady Mae’s wit and wisdom keeps her readers fully engaged, holding on for her very last word, and leaving them wanting more.

Lady Mae, Bishop’s “Secret Weapon,” as he so lovingly calls her, is a gracious example of God’s gift in the earth and to West Angeles! She and Bishop Charles E. Blake share three children and eight grandchildren.

The West Angeles family offers a resounding “Happy Birthday” to First Lady Mae L. Blake on this 25th day of July!

Our own First Lady Mae L. Blake is featured in the summer edition of The Whole Truth Magazine! This issue also features the historic dedication of the Lelia Mason Building and Heritage Museum.  To purchase and subscribe, please click HERE.

(Re)birth of a Nation: 7 Things You Can Do for America

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

– John F. Kennedy

Summer is the season which Americans of all ages look forward to.  A time to relax and unwind, it signals the end of the school year, and the beginning of vacations, barbecues, outdoor concerts, and celebrations of American independence on the  Fourth of July.  This summer, however, I was summoned to participate in an aspect of being an American that is dreaded by many: jury duty.  


Until recent events in our history such as the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and unfortunately many others, I, like many Americans, may not have really understood the freedoms I enjoy, or my personal responsibility for them. Even in these troubled times, it seems that most of as Americans may not realize our power to have a say in what defines America as a nation, simply by being on a jury and using the power  each of us has on determining what the final verdict in trial is.  We, as Americans, may take much for granted.

We, as  Americans, may take much for granted.

I realized as I sat in the jury waiting room along with over 100 other potential jurors that I, here in my own local court of law, could now be faced with making the same heart-wrenching, soul-tearing verdict which other jurors across America have recently been faced with in these much-publicized cases: verdicts which seemed to go against what most of us believe we have seen, and  in our hearts, believe to be just. What’s going on in America?


In reflecting upon our trials, our triumphs, and the rights we’ve been granted, what do each of us really do to be American?  Can we really say that our lives are devoted to defending the values our forefathers fought and died for?  Are we doing all we can do with the gifts we’ve been blessed with, in order to create, uphold, and manifest  ‘the land of the free’[1] for all Americans? Most importantly:

Has our nation lived up to and become all that it was created to be? If not, what can we all do?

To maintain the our freedoms, to revive the American Dream for all, and to honor the principles we stand for, it’s important that we:

  1. Revive our dreams. (2 Timothy 1:6-7) The popular song may say that “The
    An African American Boy Scout salutes the flag for the Boy Scout oath, c. 1950's.

    An African American Boy Scout salutes the flag for the Boy Scout oath, c. 1950’s.

    children are the future”[2], but the Baby Boomers are the wealthiest and best educated generation, and are still the largest demographic of Americans who describe themselves as Christians.[3]. It’s also been shown that they have the strongest work ethic. The Boomers suffered a major blow with the recent recession, but by dusting off those old dreams and, by faith, getting back up again, this generation has the greatest potential to show that it’s also the mightiest (Job 42:10), and that it can set America back on track for its strongest era yet.

  1. Know our history (Matthew 5:14). Did you know that the original British colonists left Europe for America because of religious persecution? The North American colonies that eventually formed the United States of America were settled by men and women who refused to compromise their Christian beliefs. Their plan was to create God’s holy “city on a hill”[4], whose success would prove that God’s plan for his church could be successfully realized in the American wilderness. This was also the underlying framework of our constitution[5]. So, in order to uphold that for which America was founded and to fully understand the inspiration of our founding fathers and promise and potential of America, know your bible. It’s part of our American history, too.
  1. Know our rights. (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). The Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution of the United States on December 15, 1791. In 1941, on the 150th anniversary of the event, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed December 15 as Bill of Rights Day. He also articulated The Four Freedoms as an accessible version of the bill, to make Americans aware of their rights and to remind them of their duties as citizens of the United States. See the Four Freedoms here, and the Bill of Rights here.

    What do each of us really do to be American?

  1. Hold our leaders accountable. (Psalm 94:20-23). Disturbed by the decisions of the courts, 
    Students from Bedford Academy High School in Brooklyn lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the installation ceremony of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. June 17, 2015.

    Students from Bedford Academy High School in Brooklyn lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the installation ceremony of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. June 17, 2015.

    or the behavior of Congress, lawmakers or big business? Yes, it is important to vote, but our ability to make change isn’t limited to Election Day. We must remember that we are not powerless, and the First Amendment explicitly provides for the right of the people to peaceably petition the Government for a “redress of grievances.” America is a nation created not by politicians, but ”By the people, for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln reminds us.  

  1. Repent (2 Chronicles 7:14). The U.S. Constitution and the United Nation’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees freedom from oppression and repression for all human beings. Until America eliminates racism, and rights the wrongs suffered by Native and African Americans, it can never grow to be the  land of freedom for all that it was created to be.
  1.  Serve on a jury (Matthew 18:19, Acts 2:1). A judge recently told a story of an immigrant juror who shared with him that there was no jury duty in her country of origin. Where she came from, verdicts are handed down by whatever the country’s leaders decide, and the citizens, unfortunately, have no say at all. One person’s discernment in the jury room can indeed make a difference, and can change the course of someone’s life, if not history.
  1. Pray (Proverbs 21:1, Acts 4:31). Although there may be skeptics who attempt to cast doubt upon our spiritual origins, there’s no doubt that the strong Christian convictions of our founding fathers shaped the moral foundations of our nation and our constitution. As George Washington once said: “We are persuaded that good Christians will always be good citizens, and that where righteousness prevails among individuals the Nation will be great and happy. Thus while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support”[6]. The Lord’s Prayer asks that God’s Kingdom be manifest “on earth as it is in heaven.” Pray that our leaders follow God through Jesus Christ, and that we all remember to do His will.

It’s clear that, according to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the beliefs of our forefathers and leaders, America was created to manifest freedom, asone nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”[7]. These are the Biblical principles which set America apart from all other nations, and allow all races, religions, and cultures to coexist in equality and freedom (Luke 4:18).

As my name was called for a courtroom assignment, I prayed that this time, in this court, a change would come, and that it would start with me. It’s our turn as a generation to take the baton handed to us, continue the race of our forefathers, and, by faith, take America steadfastly into God’s vision and promise for its future.


SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Job 42:10,  Matthew 5:14, 18:19; Deuteronomy 16:18-20, Psalm 94:20-23, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 21:1, Acts 2:2, 4:31; Luke 4:18, Galatians 5:1, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 89:14, Job 28:28, 42:10; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

[1] – “Star Spangled Banner”, by Francis Scott Key.

[2] – From “Greatest Love of All”, written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed.  

[3] – Pew Research Center, “The Shifting Religious Identity of Demographic Groups”  Accessed July 12, 2016.

[4] -Matthew 5:14.

[5] – Library of Congress, “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic”. Accessed July 12, 2016.

[6] – “From George Washington to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, 19 November 1789″; National Accessed July 20,2016.

[7] – Francis Bellamy, “Pledge of Allegiance”.



  • Almost half of our founding fathers held seminary or bible college degrees.
  • Over 80% of our Founding Fathers were practicing Christians.
  • The rights to life, liberty and freedom as stated in our constitution are Christian principles.  See John 10:10, John 8:31-32, Luke 4:18-19,  Galatians 5:1, Romans 8:1-2.



Preamble of the US Constitution

Bill of Rights

FDR’s Four Freedoms.

United Nations International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Library of Congress is the home of the Congressional Research Service, the public policy arm of the US Congress.*PL%5B%3A%230%20%20%0A

The White House – The all events at White House are fully viewable live and online for the first time in US history. See all events here:
Photos: Top, Pete Souza; Boyscout, courtesy “In Our Own Image: Treasured African American Traditions, Journeys and Icons”; students, c/o, “AG Loretta Lynch’s Investiture Ceremony”, accessed July 20,2016.

, , ,

Bishop Blake: A Prayer Agenda for Fathers

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

West Angeles Church of God In Christ takes a look back to Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s sermon dedicated to fathers, titled, “Paul’s Prayer Agenda for Fathers.”

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“One great stock brokerage firm proclaims that when its brokers speak, people listen. And by this they imply that their advice is so good, their expertise is so great that other people need their advice and expertise.”

“There’s a great hunger, a great need for expert advice on today…Abject failures are clamoring to tell you how to succeed.”

“Bad advice is everywhere but good expert advice is hard to find.”

“Sometimes, advice is very expensive, but there can be no more important dimension than that which relates to God and to eternal life.”

“The best advice comes from the Word of God.”

“It is so important to read the Bible for yourself.”

“Isn’t it great to be caught doing good?”

“Doesn’t it seem a little strange that Paul would pray for a group that seems to be doing pretty good?”

“All of us know a good start, but few of us are able to persevere.”

“When you decide you want to do something excellent for God, that’s when the devil attacks.”

“If you’ve never had a run-in with the devil, it may be because you’re going in his direction.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“You ought to be further ahead and more accountable to God than you were last year.”

“Success imposes responsibility. Blessings impose responsibility.”

“When you are succeeding, it takes a strong, secure person to help you and not get jealous of you.”

“Many consider the apostle Paul to be the greatest preacher that ever lived, except for Jesus Christ.”

“When something is filled, it has no room for anything else. And when we are filled with the truth, there’s no room for error.”

“Paul did not just pray for knowledge, but for divine knowledge.”

“You don’t know a person because you’ve shaken hands with a person…you’ve got to stay around the person.”

“The most important associate you can ever have is God almighty.”

“Stay around the Lord.”

“The priorities of so many men are confused…They want the knowledge of God so that they can accomplish their will. It’s not our will, but God’s will.”

“Wisdom is practical knowledge.”

“A dumb question is better than a stupid mistake.”

“It’s not our will, but God’s will.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“How many of you know that God will guide you and direct you?”

“When you’re prayerful… the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will guide you and direct you.”

“My brother…if you would open your heart to the Lord, He was a way of directing you in His way.”

“Your outward life ought to bring credit to your master’s name…If you’re a servant of the Lord, your life ought to reflect that.”

“The Lord wants us to be fruitful.”

“We need the help of God.”

“’Wait’ means trust in God. ‘Wait’ means rely on God. ‘Wait’ means believe that God is going to strengthen you. And if you put your trust in Jesus, He has a way of showing up.”

“Lord, I need your power. I need your presence. If you call Him, he’ll show up!”

“Lord, fill me with your power!”

“Jesus is alive!”

“God will bring you though!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Your enemies may come against you to bring you down, but God will pick you up.”

“God will bring you out! God will bring you over! God will bring you though!”

“Patience is endurance; it’s the ability to hold out and not be blocked by any attack of the enemy.”

“Thanksgiving is a command of God.”

“God wants you to stand!”

“Joy is in the Word of God!”

“The Lord is good!”


SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Colossians 1:3-14, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 22:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Proverbs 14:12, James 1:5, Ephesians 5:17, John 14:26, Proverbs 3:6,2 Timothy 2:19, John 15:5, Galatians 6:9, Isaiah 40:31, 2 Timothy 1:7, Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49, Jeremiah 33:3, Luke 10:19, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 12:2, Jude 1:24, Revelation 22:13.

The West Angeles Counseling Center provides support and services to help strengthen every member of the family.  You do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.


West Angeles Counseling: Which Spirit Drives Your Family?

In Part II of our Focus on the Family series, the West Angeles Counseling Center shares the principles of developing a strong family: starting with the right spirit.


Is your family ruled by hope, or by fear? Do you empower your family? Do you express love and acknowledge love in your family? Do you teach and instruct with an even-handed approach?

These are important questions to ask. Sometimes in families, our actions feed and encourage fear, and not power, love, and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7 says that:

A mother and daughter enjoy Sunday fellowship.

A mother and daughter enjoy Sunday fellowship.

God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, love and, self-discipline (NLT.)

In this scripture, fear comes before power, love, and self discipline, and it can block us from achieving a Christ-like spirit.


When fear is present in a relationship, it can take our power or be used as a weapon to take someone else’s. Our personal fear comes from insecurities in our lives that we bring from childhood or from previous relationships into our families, and if we are not aware of them, they can feed the wrong spirit. These issues can affect our ability to:

  • Be able to be trusted
  • Discipline our children in a fair manner
  • Love one another as Christ loves us

In a relationship, arguments are often driven by our insecurities as we try to protect our fears and shame, but these feelings are not of God’s plan for us. They are events and situations that have happened in the past, but we always have the power and self-discipline to overcome them. Those situations can never rule us unless we allow them to.


Unhealthy communication is an issue in families because of the presence of anger. This is not love. We are instructed that love is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:5), and this is one of the core principles that Christ came to teach us. So, if we argue a lot or struggle with anger, then this blocks us from sharing and receiving love. Communicating feelings without blaming others, or addressing and alleviating personal stress in our lives can help a family to communicate and grow with a spirit of love, as opposed to being repressed by fear.


When you discipline your children, do you only focus on instilling fear in the child, or teaching the child that there are consequences to their actions? For example, if we only instruct our children to not touch the stove without teaching them why, then we are inadvertently instilling fear in them. A person develops self-discipline in their lives when they are free to think through experiences in their lives which help them measure the consequences of their actions. A child whom is taught that touching the stove will lead to a burn is more likely to not do it, and in the future they will make better decisions because their parents did their best to not allow fear to govern how they disciplined their child.

A father enjoys time with his 2 sons.

A father enjoys quality time with his two sons.


Challenging ourselves to embrace a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline as husband, wife, father, or mother, can aid in achieving the family harmony that Christ desires. The family we desire is in our spirit, because God has blessed us with it.

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is celebrating family strength and unity! Please join the West Angeles Counseling Center from July 15-18, 2016, as we launch Focus On The Family Weekend, a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation. Please CLICK HERE for more information!

West Angeles Church of God In Christ invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. The West Angeles Counseling Center provides support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. and you do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.


Focus on the Family: A Message To Fathers

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is committed to developing and nurturing strong, resilient families, and today, we focus on fathers. In honor of Focus on The Family Weekend, the West Angeles Counseling Center, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., has compiled a list of 11 qualities which can help a man to develop into a strong, noble father.

The definition of a father, according to the dictionary, is:

One who has begotten a child; a male parent. A male who has impregnated a female, thus a child is born.

There are other significant definitions of fatherhood, but first and foremost, a father is a provider: spiritually, emotionally and physically. He is, in essence, a watchman over his children. He sets the spiritual tone in the family, and whether that tone is good or bad, he is the one who determines what will transpire in the home. If you had a negative experience with your father, dare to be different and do not allow that negativity to take place in your home.

Here’s a list of 11 things which help to define a strong father:

  1. Be a role model. A father should not only make available provisions to supply the needs of his children – food, clothes, and a roof over their heads – but he should also provide a stable and loving atmosphere for his children to enjoy. There should be warmth and peace in the home. There should be constant encouragement and a will inside of that man, that father, to be the best person he can be. A father should be a role model to his children. No other person should be able to compare to their dad. Be positive and optimistic. You can do this.
  2. Find employment. A man who is a father should be gainfully employed. There are times when a father is met with misfortune and a job is not available to him for a time. However this father must pick up the pieces and find or create employment wherever he can to maintain a living for his family.
  3. Show love. A father, if married, should show love in the household for his wife and the children should see the
    A young father walks with his son.

    A young father walks with his son.

    affection between the parents. The children should not be exposed to arguing and fighting, whether verbal or physical. A real man will not abuse his wife…period! The home must be a safe haven and a sanctuary for the family.

  4. Be strong. A father should show quality strength and courage even in the midst of trouble and his family will see that and line up with that. A father should show good character and help and equip his children to live a successful life. A father must teach his children good morals and ethics so they can be fine upstanding citizens in society. A father should instruct his children to obey the law and show them if one goes against the laws of the land what will transpire if they disobey authority.
  5. Value education. A father should make sure that his children are schooled. He must also be a part of the school system in that he has a caring attitude for what his child does in class. Enjoy your children through games, sports and activities. Spend quality time with your children at home. Take them on outings and stay within your budget. Everything does not have to be big and excessive. Small things count.
  6. Love the Lord. Take your family to church and instruct them on the ways of God. You, father, show them the scriptures. Take time to pray with your children. Show them that a real man depends on God for direction and then live it at home. You, father, take time at breakfast and at dinner to talk about the day. Find out what happened at school and discuss with them where they are as they share with you. You might feel, “I don’t have time” or “There’s not enough time in the day,” but if you don’t find time to give spiritual guidance to your family, someone else will. You can do this.
  7. Set boundaries. Teach them to be obedient at home, to you and to their mom. Teach them to respect their siblings. Teach your boys to respect females in your family. Teach your daughters to respect the males in your family. This will help them to have a mutual respect for all people. Let them know as they get older that there will be a curfew. Give them rules and create guidelines for the home. Let them know that there will be chores to do. You can do this.
  8. Discipline your children. Discuss with your wife or the mother of your children how this can be done. If a father does not live with the family, then find a way to achieve a special bond with your child. Pay your child support, and honor and respect the mother of the child that you helped to produce. Be in the child’s life.
  9. Teach them about life. Provide whatever life lessons you can for your children. Do not let them grow up without knowing that you are their father. Teach your daughter what kind of man she should be attracted too. She will look for a man like you who is of good moral quality and who has an attitude of righteousness; a man of substance and of prayer, a man who is gainfully employed (he may or may not have a degree, but he should be a hard working man). Help your son take the steps from childhood to adulthood. Show him how to be a real man as he grows. Show him the pit falls of making bad decisions in life and how to choose good friends. Train him up right. Let him know the mistakes you made and direct his path as God leads you. You can do this.
  10. Teach financial literacy. Save money for them for college and let them know that they can be a success in life (but of course it is better to show them with your own life). You can do this because God will help you if you ask Him.  Make sure that you have life insurance for your family in case of an emergency. Make sure that you have car insurance and medical coverage for the family. There is no excuse for excuses.
  11. Redeem the time you have with your family if you made a mistake. Humble yourself and find out if it is possible to correct your error. Even if it is your fault, it can be rectified. Fathers never give up and never give in. You can do this!

God has blessed and enabled you to plant a seed. Make sure that you water that seed and nurture that seed so that seed will someday blossom into a beautiful flower and strong deeply rooted plant and these will be your children. Be proud of them, and thank God that He allowed you to be their father.

This is our message to fathers…be blessed!

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is celebrating family strength and unity! Please join the West Angeles Counseling Center on July 15-18, 2016, as we launch Focus On The Family Weekend, a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation.  Please CLICK HERE for more information!



A History of West Angeles

“If God could do this with a dilapidated furniture store, just think of what He could do with your life.” – Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Los Angeles Times, 2001


West Angeles Church of God In Christ is a 24,000-member Pentecostal-Holiness Christian church which is a member of the Church of God in Christ denomination. Its main place of worship, the West Angeles Cathedral, is located in the Historic Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, California, an African American ethnic enclave. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. serves as Chief Shepherd of West Angeles.

The Early Years

The church was founded in 1943 by Elder Clarence E. Church. The first sanctuary was located in the heart of Los

West Angeles Church at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, 1960's.

West Angeles Church at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, c. 1960’s.

Angeles in a small store front on Vermont Avenue.  A new and more permanent home was built at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, which opened its doors in 1955.

After Elder Church passed away in 1968, the search for a new minister began. At that time, a young Elder Charles E. Blake, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, had been serving in the ministry in San Diego under his father, Bishop J.A. Blake. He was appointed pastor of West Angeles in 1969.

Beginning with only a 50-member congregation, the dynamic leadership and ministry of the young Reverend Blake began to take form. The 1970s brought a membership explosion.  “Every year, the congregation would double in size,” remembers Bishop Blake, “and by 1976, we began looking for a new site upon which to build.”


Reverend Blake's 11th Anniversary Celebration at 3501 Adams.

Reverend Blake’s 11th Anniversary Celebration at 3501 Adams, c. 1980.

An old furniture store at 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles proved to be an ideal location for the new church.  “When we started building on Crenshaw,” said (now Presiding Bishop) Blake in a recent interview, “there were many people who doubted that we had the resources and the will and the ingenuity to do it…There were naysayers who said it would never happen.”

But in 1981, a 1,000-seat sanctuary, now known as West Angeles’ North Campus Sanctuary (pictured above), was built to house the growing ministry.

The rapidly growing membership wrought equally explosive ministerial growth:

  • In 1984, construction began on the Education Building, Crystal Room, and administrative offices.
  • The West Angeles Christian Emporium opened in 1986.
  • The West Angeles Bible College started its first classes in 1987.
  • The West Angeles Counseling Center was established in 1988.
  • The West Angeles Christian Academy, which was founded in the 70s, continued to thrive during this period of unprecedented growth.

The 1990’s

Reverend Blake became very active in the surrounding community.  The West Angeles Community

The beautiful West Angeles Cathedral.

The beautiful West Angeles Cathedral.

Development Corporation was established in early 1994 to expand the compassionate outreach and neighborhood development ministries of the church, which had by then grown to a 15,000-member congregation. But as the number of Sunday morning services rose to four, plus a Sunday evening service, Reverend Blake found that it was time, once again, to build.

The new location was just two blocks away at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards. The 5,000-seat Cathedral was built from steel, granite, travertine marble, multi-colored tile mosaics and stained glass, with an interior design by First Lady Mae L. Blake. The new building was dedicated in 1999, and the late Bishop G.E. Patterson, then Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ,  preached its first sermon on  April 28, 2001.


The New Millennium and Beyond

Bishop Blake stands outside of the West Angeles CDC complex, which includes units of senior citizens' housing.

Bishop Blake stands outside of the West Angeles CDC complex, which includes units of senior citizens’ housing.

The Lord is fulfilling His promise to this ministry as dozens of souls are brought into the Kingdom of God each week at the West Angeles Cathedral, the North Campus Sanctuary as well as its many outreach ministries. Under Reverend Charles E. Blake’s Blake’s leadership, the church has grown from 50 members to over 24,000. On March 21, 2007, Bishop Charles E.Blake became Presiding Bishop of the Church of God In Christ. He continues to serve as Head Pastor of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, while leading its vision firmly into the future.

Through partnership with Wells Fargo Bank and the West Angeles CDC, plans are underway for new units of senior citizens’ housing in the community. Construction of West Angeles’ Family Life Center will extend the current Cathedral site to include West Angeles’ offices and new, modern educational facilities.

West Angeles Church of God In Christ, with its anointed, visionary Pastor, dynamic ministry, and extensive outreach services, has been recognized as one of the most influential churches in America today.



COGIC Statement and Prayer on Recent Violence in Our Land

“The Church of God In Christ denounces in the strongest way possible the murderous sniper attack on the police in Dallas. This vicious act perpetuates the cycle of violence and injustice that it ostensibly sought to address. We absolutely reject this brutal attack on the police, and we repudiate the notion that it is in any way excusable, even in the face of the recent homicidal behavior of police officers in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights. It seems to us impossible to justify the execution-style killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. This is true even though that young man was armed and known to the police. Execution by police force on the streets does not constitute due process in the United States. 

We urge the community to maintain peaceful vigilance in pursuit of justice in this case; however we will not rush to judgement despite how things look. The tragedy of Philandro Castile’s death at the hands of another police officer is also deplorable. There must be justice in this case also. We commend the Dallas police force for their heroism in ending the attack. And we support the prosecution of any co-conspirators to the full extent of the law. Our prayers are with the families of all victims at this time.”


Presiding Bishop Blake followed the statement by a moment of silence and prayer:

Dear Lord,

How desperately our nation needs you at this troubled time. Dear Lord, the foundations on which our nation is built are not focused on hatred between races and violence between the various entities of our nation; they’re based on freedom, respect for one another, and the right of every person to pursue happiness and liberty. Dear God, turn the plague, the pandemic of violence that sweeps across our nation. Let everybody understand that violence is not the way. Love is the way. Mutual support and commitment are the way. Bless us, oh God, as we join together to make of our great nation even greater. May our conduct, dear Lord, be turned toward righteousness, and toward love, and toward support. Be with us now.

Oh God, for ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord;

Thank God, Amen.   

8 Verses to Help You Through Suffering

A story about a recent tragedy has been populating my Facebook news feed over the past week.

Over and over, I see the photo of a young black family. In the photo, a father and mother stand on a playground. A blue slide and yellow monkey bars serve as the backdrop for the photo.

The father holds his young daughter in his right arm and his left arm hugs his wife, the mother of his children. The mother places her right arm around her husband and her left hand is placed gently on the chest of her first born daughter, who stands wearing a pink dress, toy in hand.

This picture has been circulating social media as the cover of several news stories and for the family’s GoFundMe account. On that day, the mother gripped her family close. Soon after, her grip was lost.

The father and two young daughters passed away in a car accident this past weekend.

I don’t know this family personally, but the anguish I felt when reading about this story was enough to make me sit back and shake my head in disillusionment. My thoughts were:

What could anyone possibly say to this young woman to comfort her in this time of tremendous grief?

How can she possibly overcome this?

What will it take for her to move forward with her life?

Many of those that commented on the Facebook posts were also at a loss for words, saying as much in their comments. And with the recent tragedies that have taken place in our country, many have been at a loss for words on several fronts.

With that said, there is always one place to turn…turn to Him.

As many continue to suffer with finding justice or looking for an explanation, here are eight verses about dealing with suffering:


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18


July 15 – 18: Focus on the Family Weekend


This coming weekend is


At West Angeles Church of God In Christ, we define “family” in different ways. Examples might include:

  • Single parents and their children
  • An elderly couple
  • Two parents, their children, and their parents
  • A foster family
  • Your ministry family, such as your small group at church

This coming weekend, July 15-18, 2016, West Angeles is celebrating family strength and unity. Please join us as we launch “Focus On The Family Weekend,” a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation:



Friday, July 15 – A Day of Family Prayer

Families are encouraged to participate “together” in one of the West Angeles Prayer Groups on that day:  6 a.m., 12 p.m., and/or 6 p.m.

LOCATION: North Campus Sanctuary.



Saturday, July 16 – A Day of Family Fun

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.FFW7-16

Families are invited to participate in the activities for the day: “FunShops” in the North Campus and Crystal Room, Water Splash Zone on the Youth Center Playground, and a Basketball Tournament and Dunkin’ Booth on the 30th Street Parking Lot.

And of course, FOOD IS FREE!

LOCATION: North Campus and Crystal Room, Youth Center Playground, 30th Street Parking Lot.



Sunday, July 17 – A Day of Family Worship

8:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. servicesFFW7-17

It’s “No Pumps, No Suits, No Hat” Day!

Families are joining together for a day of worship in Cathedral. Families are encouraged to dress in identifiable ways that help others to recognize their families.

The Cathedral Concourse will be filled with an array of family highlights, such as families greeting worshipers entering the Cathedral, sponsorship opportunities for a “Family Night of Comedy,” Vacation Bible School information, details about family dining reservations in the fabulous West Angeles Crystal Room and other surprises.

LOCATION: West Angeles Cathedral


Monday, July 18 – A Day of Family Time


West Angeles Church will close at 5 p.m. so that families can go home and share quality time with each other.

Families will have received a “FunShop” packet that supports their quality time with family activities and menus for the whole family.

Activities are planned for all families throughout the weekend. Please join us as we celebrate family.


But Jesus said, “Now, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been.”

– Mark 5:19