Anointed, dynamic, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. is recognized as one of the great preachers of this generation. Join westa.org as we celebrate Bishop and Lady Mae’s 50th Anniversary in ministry.
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service – COGIC’s Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and his “secret weapon”, First Lady Mae L. Blake.
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. is the pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, CA, one of the largest churches in the Western United States. He is recognized as one of the greatest preachers of this generation.
As our Presiding Bishop celebrates his 50th year in ministry, let’s take a look back at Bishop’s stellar career and accomplishments.
A LIFE OF MINISTRY
Born in 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Charles E. Blake answered the call to ministry on July 25, 1957, preaching his first sermon at the age of 16. He received a B.A from California Western University and was ordained in 1962. He also received his master’s degree from The Interdenominational Theological Center, where he served as student body president. It is here where he mobilized his school for civil rights demonstrations; lead protests in Selma, Alabama and gleaned wisdom from the Reverend Andrew Young.
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service – The new Pastor and Mrs. Charles Blake, with their parents on their wedding day.
During this time, Pastor Charles Blake also met the beautiful Mae Lawrence while attending the COGIC Youth Congress in Denver, Colorado. After a brief courtship, they were married and gave birth to their first child, Kimberly. In 1969, after serving in the San Diego ministry of his father, the late Bishop J.A. Blake, a young Elder Charles E. Blake moved his young family to Los Angeles to serve as pastor of West Angeles Church of God In Christ. The 50-member church, through the Blakes’ dynamic leadership, experienced a membership explosion throughout the 1970s. By 1982, Bishop was selected by Ebony magazine as one of the “15 Greatest Preachers in America”.
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service -Pastor Blake in his first office.
A new 1,000-seat sanctuary (now known as the “North Campus”), had been built for the growing congregation, as West Angeles firmly planted its roots within the surrounding community. Over the next two decades, West Angeles’ campus and ministry grew to include:
In 1999, Bishop, Lady Mae, and the now 15,000-member West Angeles congregation built the beautiful new 5,000-seat sanctuary called the West Angeles Cathedral at 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard. The late Bishop G.E. Patterson (then Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ) delivered its first sermon on April 28, 2001.
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. with former President Barack Obama at the White House. As COGIC’s Presiding Bishop, Blake oversees churches in over 82 countries and a membership of nearly 6.5 million.
WEST ANGELES’ WORLDWIDE MINISTRY
With his ever-growing Los Angeles congregation settled into its new home, Bishop Blake turned attention to the world’s most vulnerable citizens. In 2001, in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, Bishop Blake founded the Pan African Children’s Fund (PACF). One PACF program, Save Africa’s Children, provided support to over 420 orphan care programs, 200,000 children and 24 nations throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
On November 12, 2007, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. was elected Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Incorporated, a position in which he is currently serving his 3rd four-year term. And on April 6, 2009, in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama sought Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake to serve on his 25-person White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He was also chosen as one of four individuals to speak at the Democratic National Convention’s first Ecumenical Service.
Bishop Blake’s many positions and appointments include:
- Founder and Co-chair of the interdenominational Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress (LAEC)
- Advisory Committee Member of the Pentecostal World Conference
- Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the C.H. Mason Theological Seminary and Member of its Board of Directors
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service – The beautiful West Angeles Cathedral.
- Executive Committee Chair of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary[/caption]
- Member of the Board of Directors of Oral Roberts University and of International Charismatic Bible Ministries
Bishop Blake’s awards and accolades are also numerous. A few includes:
- The Los Angeles Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Award
- Harvard Foundation Humanitarian Medal
- The Trumpet Award
- The Distinguished Leadership Award of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University
- The Salvation Army’s William Booth Award
- The Greenlining Institute’s Big Heart Award
And in 2004, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors designated February 5 as Bishop Charles E. Blake Day.
Bishop Blake’s 50 Years of Service –Presiding Bishop Blake & First Lady Mae L. Blake, with their children, grandchildren.
50 YEARS OF SERVICE TO GOD, FAMILY & COMMUNITY
West Angeles Church of God In Christ, now with a membership of over 25,000, now offers more than 80 ministries for the psychological, social and economic enhancement of its members and of the greater Los Angeles community. Bishop has said, however, that his most treasured accomplishments are those of a devoted husband to the beautiful First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake, a loving father to their three children, Charles Blake II (Jr.), Lawrence Blake, and Kimberly Blake, and grandfather to their eight grandchildren.
Together, Bishop and First Lady Mae Blake’s ministry has brought together people of various racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, and has reached and transformed souls throughout the world.
To find out more about Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., please click HERE.
WATCH NOW as Bishop Blake preaches to the congregation in this video clip from the 1980s at West Angeles COGIC, below: