Plugged In: Follow These 15 Women

Social media is about more than posting pictures of what we eat for lunch that day or photos from our kids’ weekend soccer games. Although both of those things are great, for some, social media is used to accomplish different objectives.

In many instances, social media users get everything from their daily news to their daily laughs via their Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter feeds. Others use social media to find inspiration, for everything from weddings to birthday parties to clothing choices.

There are millions of powerful voices on social media, those who can tell stories or provide news in the most unique and creative of ways. And in light of International Women’s Day (March 8), we picked out 15 influential women, using their social media platforms as a means of empowering society. Have a look at our selections below!

Financial Empowerment






Female Activism




Black Family Inspiration





Celebrity Activism





Political Activism




MEN: Join us for SUPER SATURDAY, March 17


  • All male members of WEST ANGELES are encouraged to be present
  • Ladies are encouraged to send their fathers, husbands, sons, etc. (ages 8-80)
  • Bring friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, etc.


Super Saturday is when we come together and feature some of the numerous outreaches that exist at West Angeles Church, created to focus on empowering men.

This year, our focus will be on our Bishop’s 5-point Urban Initiative:

  1. Education  
  2. Crime prevention
  3. Financial literacy
  4. Family
  5. Economic empowerment



8a – Breakfast ($12)

9a – North Campus Sanctuary

11:30a – Lunch ($12)

(Breakfast & lunch combo tickets available for $20)

1p – Breakout Sessions (Two 50-minute sessions)


Bishop Charles Blake

  • Senior Pastor West Angeles Church and Chief Apostle
  • Presiding Bishop of Church of God in Christ

Earvin “Magic” Johnson

  • NBA legend & President of Basketball Operations Los Angeles Lakers
  • Business owner and Entrepreneur
  • Successful Leadership Speaker

Courtney B. Vance

  • Emmy Award Winning Actor
  • Writer, Producer, Director

Hosted by Romell Witherspoon (Former collegiate athlete, Chaplain of the Los Angeles Lakers, actor and motivational Speaker)

The Vision of COGIC Urban Initiatives

The vision of COGIC Urban Initiatives is to build healthy individuals, families and communities for a successful future.

The Message Behind the Vision

COGIC Urban Initiatives is the vision of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, birthed out of his deep concern about poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, the desperate state of the black man and the breakdown of the family that plagues our cities – small and large, urban and rural.

COGIC Urban Initiatives will assist our 12,000 churches within the United States by making available to them programs and strategies that address:

  • Education (Access, excellence and equity)
  • Economic development (Job training and job creation)
  • Crime prevention (Reduction, prevention and rehabilitation)
  • Family life (Developing healthy men, women and children)
  • Financial literacy (Earning, saving, investing, and spending wisely)

Attacking the problem from these interrelated perspectives simultaneously will maximize the likelihood of success.

COGIC Urban Initiatives will provide all churches, regardless of size or location, with encouragement, inspiration, information, consultation and programs to achieve real and measurable change.

The bishop’s goal is to have one program for each initiative in place at each church, equaling 60,000 programs in total.


The Mission of COGIC Urban Initiatives is to empower the local church to implement programs that address education, economic development, crime, family and financial literacy. Those programs will result in measurable improvement in the quality of life for individuals, families and communities served by the Church of God in Christ. We will do this by identifying and replicating best practices from our churches as well as external resources, and making them easily available to all churches utilizing technology and other resources.

Please CLICK HERE to visit our URBAN INITIATES PAGE for more information.

COMMAND YOUR DAY: How to Connect with God in 7 Simple Steps

There’s a simple method of 7 easy biblical steps which will give any Christian the power to connect with God at any time – even in the middle of chaos. Read below about how you can “log in” to God’s transforming power by learning the simple disciplines of Scripture meditation and prayer.

Are our lives busy, and getting busier day by day, or what? These days, most of us are:

  • Staying connected to the ever-present digital world of social media, online-publications, shopping, entertainment and even work, through the internet and our smart devices
  • Navigating through rush hour-packed freeways in nerve-racking traffic to work and home; shuttling our kids here and there
  • Working long, hard, exhausting hours on our jobs
  • Striving to keep ourselves healthy by eating right and exercising
  • Trying to keep our homes clean and in order and running household errands

This whirlwind of activities, noise, information, attractions, and distractions of our post-modern lives can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, and disconnected from God. How do we find calm centers in the storm to stop and focus on God?


Connect with God

Our Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we must not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. And Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Therefore, we must discipline our physical minds to think on and thereby connect with the amazing spiritual blessings we have in God, through Christ Jesus.

The Good News about Jesus Christ is that the power of His Holy Spirit is always available, always ready. We’re always connected to the Lord, even if we feel we are not! There are 7 simple biblical steps to easily connect with God, at any time, in any place:

  1. Find a space – Find a quiet place at work or in your home where you’ll go to pray daily, without distractions.  Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This is the best advice, but additionally, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then where you are, Jesus Christ is within you. Therefore, turn your focus to Him in you and you in Him, whether you are in the grocery line, caught in traffic, involved in work or with your family.
  2. Choose a time: or choose “now” – Set aside time to encounter God in the scripture. Before you start your day can be a great time to start (Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:33); turn off the television, computer, and phone. Again, this is best, but, wherever you are in your life’s activities, stop – and take a few moments to connect with God through a small verse of Scripture, God’s Word. God is the “I AM”; always present in the eternal “now.”
  3. Read the Word – Find the Words of Jesus and His Good News (Gospels and Epistles). Read a small section of Scripture until something grabs your attention. TIP: Read slowly! Read out loud! Read so you can hear it and your eyes can see it. Read that small section over and over. It’s like eating something good: chew on it and savor the flavors. Read it over and over, while listening to God speak it to you, through His Holy Spirit.
  4. Meditate on the Word – Mentally reflecting and imaginatively pondering is the powerful aspect of Scripture meditation. Reflect on what you’ve read, and begin to think about what God is saying. Biblical meditation begins with thinking God’s Word continuously to ourselves. We begin to internalize God’s Word inside our mind and our heart. Now, God starts downloading! Listen to God’s voice…God is now talking to you personally!
  5. Respond: Talk to God in prayer through the words and images in that Scripture. Thank the Lord for what He is revealing to you! Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness! Ask God to touch you, to form and conform you to be more like Jesus! Tell God, “I’m reading because I want You to read me; form me change me, make me like You.”
  6. Receive from God – Jesus said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Abide and rest in the Lord; contemplate Him. Now it is the time for the Lord to communicate with you. Listen. Enter into a deeper place with God. A place of intimacy; in His presence. This is a special time between you and the Lord. One-on-one with God. Give Him room; this is the time that God is blessing you. Let the Lord Bless you. Receive from the Lord and receive the Lord Himself, who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! God is now working within you, renewing your thoughts in the knowledge of Jesus, activating the mind of Christ in you. You are actively connecting with God and God with you.
  7. Take action – Ask Father God to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do what Jesus, the Living Word, has revealed to you. For example, in relation to God, the Lord may be asking or reminding you to trust, love, believe, obey or stop disobeying Him. In relation to other people, the Lord may be asking you to forgive, love, pray for, accept, help or bless them. Ask our Holy Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the help, our Lord Jesus has promised. Now continue in your day, walking by faith and connected to our loving Lord who is with you and in you, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!


Keep on meditating on the words of Scripture that the Lord has drawn you to, throughout the rest of your day, wherever you are. Keep meditating, praying, thanking, praising, rejoicing and worshiping the Lord in your spirit, heart, mind, and soul: whatever you are doing in your life. Do this until you can center in on the presence of the Lord in His Word.

God is now working on your mind. Your thoughts are renewed in the mind of Christ. You’re now “logged in” to God through Scripture meditation and prayer! Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: John 3:16, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 1, Psalm 63:1, Psalm 119, Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 31:6, Philippians 4:8, Timothy 4:15-16, Romans 10:17, Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:2,  1:21, Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 3, 2 Peter 1:2-8.


Elder Oscar Owens has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord! He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Systematic Theology. He is currently studying for his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.

worship unplugged




GET BIBLE APPS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE! Now you can take the Bible wherever you go. has a link to the You Version app. You can download it HERE.



TODAY IS THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER.  Please join Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and the West Angeles Prayer Ministry for a moment of prayer on this International World Day Of Prayer 2018, as we pray for our neighbors, for our nation, and for our world.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 


We come to you first thanking you for being the One who can heal the land. You alone have the power and sovereignty to bless our nation, Lord. Forgive us for our shortcomings and for the times that we have failed you as a people, God. Help us to draw nearer to You, Lord, and strengthen us as a nation to serve and honor You in all that we say and do.

We praise You in advance for guiding us, and for giving us wisdom and discernment in all of our endeavors. We pray for Your “peace that surpasses all understanding” to quicken all hearts and minds today, Lord. You alone have commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Help us to begin within our own hearts. Give us the courage to spread Your Love, whether it be with our neighbors across the street or with lost souls across the globe. Work through us Lord, for without You we can do nothing!

In Jesus Name! Amen!

Evangelist Yvonne Gibson Johnson

Director, West Angeles Prayer Ministry

What Are Negro Spirituals?

Dr. Judith McAllister: We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome:

-From “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Negro National Anthem, by  James Weldon Johnson.

We have come, over a way that with tears has been watered.

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.



(Please click the images below to enlarge the slideshow).

OUR HISTORY is resplendent with examples of ancestral strength, unimaginable faith, and a powerful vision of a day.  They are similar to the one in which we now live.  This is where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in a beautiful Cathedrals such as this.  

Our forefathers and mothers; the unbearable pain they shouldered, the profound injustice they endured. They sacrificed their lives, their energy and great strength to overcome: and yet we are overcoming.

Now, we, as a people, must stand in unity, with the holy resolve to keep fighting, keep marching, and keep succeeding until we have indeed overcome.  

We literally come from kings and queens: Mansa Musa, Nzingha, Shaka Zulu, the Queen of Sheba – royal stock who, when bowed and broken, possessed a resiliency and an impenetrable determination to move beyond the hardship, to reach beyond the injustice, and to push past the dark veil of hopelessness to the promise of better day.   

We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – and that same thread runs within each of us. As a race, we must be resilient and dig deeper. We may bend, but we will not break!

 We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – for we must know that our true greatness lies not only in our ability to withstand oppression and survive, but also in our ability to hope, to trust, and to put our future in the hands of our Eternal God. He is strong to save. He who knows every detail of our victorious future. And it is within Him that true greatness lies!


A father leads his 2 sons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.

A grandfather leads his 2 grandsons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.


We have overcome, but yet we are overcoming – for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. Through the storm, through the strain, through hardship, through pain, we have overcome, and we yet, are overcoming.

In conclusion, let your words today be filled with life, hope, and strength. Share with someone the testimony of what you have been through, so that they will know that if you made it through, they can too!

For together-

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome some day.

Oh, deep in my heart

I do believe

We shall overcome someday.


Hear Dr. Judith  McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir perform “We Shall Overcome” below: 


“We Shall Overcome” – Lyrics derived from “I’ll Overcome Some Day”, Charles A. Tindley, 1900.

Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Negro National Anthem, by  James Weldon Johnson, 1899; music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.

Dr. Judith McAllister, COGIC's International Minister of Music.

Often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship,” Dr. Judith Christie McAllister is probably best known for her impact as one of the forerunners of the Praise and Worship movement in the African American Church. Having served as Worship Leader at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ under Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., as the church’s Executive Director of the Music and Worship Arts Department, and also as Minister of Music/President of COGIC’s International Music Department, she developed a style and approach to Praise & Worship earning her accolades from coast to coast. A wife, mother, author, prolific Bible teacher, prophetic psalmist and a Grammy Award nominee, Dr. McAlister is the CEO of three entities which enable her to mentor, train and empower the next generation in the ministry of music. Judah Music Group LLC,  Inheritance of Judah Ministries and Never Ending Worship (N.E.W.) Enterprises LLC, provide the foundation for all of her workshops, seminars, ministry services and products.

Soon and Very Soon: West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae’ Crouch

"Soon and Very Soon": West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae' Crouch


Born July 1, 1942, vocal arranger, songwriter, choir leader and pastor Andrae Crouch bridged the worlds of church and mainstream music for more than 50 years.  Dubbed as “The Father of Modern Gospel Music,” Crouch brought a contemporary sound and melodic sensibility to gospel.  This made him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences during the early days of the countercultural “Jesus Movement,” and it also brought him attention beyond the church.

A California native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel song at age 14. That song, “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” went on to become one of Crouch’s signature hits, gracing churches everywhere.

His contribution to the worship of the church include songs such as:

  •  My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)
  • Bless the Lord Oh My Soul
  • Through it All
  • Let the Church Say Amen

His recordings garnered him 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple, and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Crouch’s career was formed during a period of great unrest in America. The Civil Rights Movement, assassinations, the Vietnam War, race riots and a rising drug subculture defined the times, as did the Jesus Movement. Crouch left college and went to work for Teen Challenge, a Christian organization which rehabilitated drug addicts and gang members. He formed the Addicts Choir there and began writing songs to comfort and encourage the troubled teens he counseled.

Soon and Very Soon Andrae Crouch

Bobby Jones, Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Bebe Winans as the Donnie McClurkin & The Disciples Tribute Ensemble at the Andrae Crouch Memorial service at West Angeles Church, January 2015.

During the same period, Andrae and his sister Sandra formed Andraé Crouch and the Disciples from members of his church. In 1969 they were signed to Light Records, a mainstream Christian label. Crouch was inspired as much by contemporary pop, rock, and R&B as he was by traditional gospel.  The crossover appeal of the group and Crouch’s contemporary gospel style also garnered them popularity on the white church circuit. It catapulted the group to prominence during a time when the nation was in need of a clear message of hope.

The Disciples’ contemporary style also brought some criticism from some gospel music purists who challenged the authenticity of Crouch’s contemporary sound. The popular gospel style of the day followed the more traditional gospel sound, such as that of the Reverend James Cleveland; also a driving force in modern gospel music. Still, because Crouch’s songwriting followed familiar gospel music structure and reflected traditional church doctrine, his music’s purity has earned a place in hymnals around the world.

It wasn’t long before Andrae Crouch also caught the attention of the pop music world. He was best known to the mainstream music audience for his choral work on Michael Jackson’s hit Man in the Mirror (1988), Madonna’s Like a Prayer (1989) and the soundtrack to the Disney film The Lion King (1994). His passion, however, would forever be for creating the music that expressed his faith and for preaching and teaching at his parent’s home church in Pacoima, California.  He passed away on January 8, 2015, at the age of 72.

“That’s all I want in life is to be remembered as a guy that really loved God” – Andrae Crouch

Introduction, Dr. Judith McAllister.  History, Karen Lascaris.

Hear West Angeles’ Revelation Choir, under the direction of Brother Ron Taylor,  honor the anointed work of Andraé Crouch by singing one of his most heralded songs entitled, “Soon & Very Soon”:


021818_Andre Crouch Tribute from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.