There was a wonderful, uplifted spirit of excitement and anticipation in the air at the West Angeles Cathedral on Thursday morning, as hundreds of pastors from across America converged on Los Angeles for the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference. After registration, the registrants enjoyed guided tours of the magnificent West Angeles Cathedral building, and lively conversation over a continental breakfast provided by the West Angeles Food Services department.
At 10 a.m., attendees boarded beautiful coach buses for the journey to the West Angeles North Campus morning session of the Conference. Lively praise and worship led by David Daughtery and the Cathedral Chorale greeted attendees as they entered the sanctuary. Pastor Michael Golden, Legacy Conference Chair, gave the welcome greetings and opening remarks; Mother Francis Harris presented a heart-felt introduction and biography of First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake. First Lady Mae presented a wonderful, fascinating history of her life and journey alongside Bishop Blake, from childhood to marriage and children; and through the growth of their ministry as they experienced both trials and triumphs.
After the Morning Session and a delicious lunch served in the beautiful West Angeles Crystal Room, 1st Assistant Presiding Bishop Phillip A. Brooks introduced Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, who, during the Afternoon Session of the Conference, provided attendees with an impartation of wisdom mined from his decades in ministry.
Highlights and quotes from Day 1 of the Bishop CE Blake Legacy Conference follow:
Lady Mae Speaks: The Journey
“Women, we must develop a vital prayer life.”
“To all the pastors’ wives out there: no matter how outrageous an idea may seem, if the Lord gave it to your husband, it will succeed.”
“The Blake household has an artillery of prayer, and every room is armed for battle.”
“The more widespread your ministry, the more you will be talked about.”
“God’s hand was on Bishop Blake…He has represented COGIC well. Job 1:6.”
“Bishop, you are a Superstar of a man.”
Elder Charles Blake II: The Legacy
“As African Americans, it is we who will have to redefine our identity.”
“In ministry, my father told me, ‘Always bring it back to Jesus. That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”
“My father has taught me that if you give your all to God, God will give His all to you.”
“We need to redefine what it means to be a man if we are going to take back our community.”
“A man who stands for God is a man who stands for justice.”
“We, as a church, are going to have to find new ways to minster to those who are hurting.”
Elder Lawrence Blake: The Legacy
“Sons and fathers sometimes clash. It’s not the fault of the father, but of the son who thinks he has all the wisdom.”
“After my shooting, I went to a very dark place…but God saved my life.”
“I had too much pride to go home, but my father had enough love to come to where I was and bring me back.”
“I have never heard him say a disrespectful thing…I know God because my father lives a Godly life.”
“I thank God for such a Godly example in my father.”
“Thanks to Bishop Charles Edward Blake, I can see a future…We just want to thank you and Lady Mae for who you have been in our lives. We love you.”
The Presiding Bishop Speaks
“A group of young ministers came to me to ask that I impart wisdom from my decades in ministry. This conference was not my idea.”
“Your church can be bigger than you’ve ever dreamed it could be.”
“Acts 18:8 – Many Corinthians heard and believed…You have many people in your city: you just have to speak the Word, and believe.”
“Your community ought to know that your church is there.”
“If the President can run the whole country, you can run, and minister to, a big church…Isaiah 54:2.”
“I believe that the church should be a big ‘supermarket’ of services.”
“Don’t give up on the people who are against you…They can turn out to be supporters for life.”
“Pastors, release your wife! She’s your most valuable asset. No one loves you more than she does.”
“Tell 5 people: ‘There’s no limit to the size and magnitude of your ministry.’”
“It’s God, it’s God, it’s God!”
The Afternoon Session concluded with a lively and informative panel discussion which showcased the wisdom of West Angeles’ COO, Gladys Ross; Executive Director of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, Grant Power; West Angeles’ Director of Technology, Evan Farmer; and Coordinator of the West Angeles Technology Sector, Alex Stewart. The panel provided valuable information; panelists answered questions from the attendees on topics such as best hiring practices, finance, and social media platforms.
Bishop Jerry Macklin delivered the benediction, concluding Day 1 of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference.
There’s still time! Attend the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference! Onsite registration for Day 2 is available at the North Campus Sanctuary starting at 7:30 AM on Thursday, March 17th.
DVDs of the Bishop CE Blake Legacy Conference is now available for pre-order! Details to come on Westa.org.