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Discipleship: Please Join Us for Movie Night!

The West Angeles Department of Discipleship would like to invite you to our April MOVIE NIGHT!

Witness the transforming power of forgiveness in the movie, THE GRACE CARD, where a police officer and part-time Pastor work together in life-threatening situations, even when they don’t see eye to eye on anything else.

Everything can change in an instant…and take a lifetime to unravel. Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships by extending and receiving God’s grace. Offer The Grace Card, and never underestimate the power of God’s love.

West Angeles Discipleship movie Grace Card

Join us at the West Angeles North Campus on

Friday, April 21, in Room 8 at 7 p.m.

Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Please Join Us on Resurrection Sunday!

PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES E. BLAKE, FIRST LADY MAE L. BLAKE

and the

WEST ANGELES WORSHIP AND ARTS MINISTRY with Dr. Judith McAllister

 invite you to worship with with us on

EASTER SUNDAY: RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

RESURRECTION Sunday2017

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE!

AND:

RESURRECTION concert 2017
Easter flyer 2017 copy

Morning Services at The West Angeles Cathedral
Address: 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Evening Concert at The West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary
Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

7 Steps to Persistence Through Christ

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you – Philippians 4:9

No matter which stage of life one is in, persistence will usually secure the desired experience. Whether it is an infant crying for a bottle, a child who is begging his parent for a particular toy, a teenager who asks to borrow the car, or one spouse entreating the other, all will find that being persistent will eventually gain the desired attention. Well, just as we are determined to acquire certain items or favors, we must be even more determined and persistent in what we demonstrate through our lives.

Determination, perseverance, resolve, diligence and tenacity are just some of the words that define persistence, and these must be our aim in living for Jesus each day. Here are 7 steps to living a life of persistence through Jesus Christ:

  1. We will arise to each new day with the desire to be a Holy Vessel for His Glory. Philippians 4:1-Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters stay true to the Lord. 4-Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

  2. We won’t allow any challenge to deter us from living for Jesus. Philippians 4:6-Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

  3. We will be mindful of the thoughts which we allow to linger in our minds, and we will only embrace those thoughts which motivate us to live even the more for Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:8-Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

  4. We will strive to obey Jesus, no matter how others treat us, talk about or ridicule us. Philippians 4:5-Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. 7-Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

  5. We must display the Spirit of Christ through our lives each day. We can’t just talk about being Christians, Followers of Jesus Christ, or Sons or Daughters of the Great High God, but we must truly live the Christian life. Philippians 4:9-Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. And Colossians 4:6 (ESV)-Let your speech always be gracious
  6. We share with others the joy and benefits of living persistent lives as Christians. John 20:21 – As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.
  7. We find that as we mature in the Lord, all that God requires of us not only advances the testimony of His Holy Kingdom, but also enriches our own lives. 1 Peter 1:8(NLT) – You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. John 14:27(NLT) – I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart.

Jesus wants us to share with the world the sweet truth of how He forgives us, no matter what we have done, and that we can do and complete whatever task He gives us. Better than milk, persistence in living for Jesus does the body, mind and spirit good.

There is nothing like it- the satisfaction of knowing that the Father is pleased with us, loves us unconditionally and displays His faithful love to us each moment of our lives. Thank you God for the invitation, and for the ability to live for Your glory and for the betterment of our lives both here and in the hereafter.

We Love You Lord! We Praise You Lord! We honor and bless Your Holy Name! God bless you my beloved Kingdom sisters and brothers!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years. She serves on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, along with other teaching venues.


Hear Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music perform “DETERMINED” –

Member Profile: Dr. Judith McAllister

West Angeles Church of God In Christ welcomes back Dr. Judith Christie McAllister as she leads West Angeles’ Music and Worship Arts Ministry into its glorious future. Read the latest interview with Dr. McAllister as she discusses her history, her vision, and her musical goals for the year ahead in a recent feature from the Los Angeles Sentinel.

Dr. McAllister, please tell us about your ministry, and your role in the church.

My name is Judith McAllister and the ministry I am honored to serve in is that of “Worship” in every sense of the word. As a Worship Leader, who makes others aware of the presence of God in those special times dedicated to “Praise and Worship” within the church, I have the responsibility to set, maintain and protect the atmosphere, to ensure that it is conducive for the glory of God to reside.

Through the lens of worship, I have the honor of governing in the servant leadership position of the International Minister of Music/President for the

Dr. Judith McAllister.

Dr. Judith McAllister.

Church of God in Christ, Inc., which boasts over 6 million members worldwide. In this role, I coordinate the musical presentations for all of our major conferences and services. I also have the responsibility to travel to various churches within the brotherhood to teach, train, instruct and impart to the constituents tools necessary for excellence in their presentation of worship and music. Also, I have once again been given the wonderful opportunity to serve as the minister of music, worship and liturgy at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, where Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., serves as senior pastor.
In addition, I am the CEO of three entities that enable me to mentor, train and empower the next generation in music and worship arts. Judah Music Group LLC, which served as the springboard for the following recordings – “Send Judah First” (2000), “Raise the Praise” (2002), “In His Presence” (2006) and “Sound The Trumpet” (2008); Never Ending Worship (N.E.W.) Enterprises LLC, which houses all ministry products, and Never Ending Worship Ministries, (NEW MIN.) which serves as the foundation for all workshops and ministry engagements.

How long have you been in ministry, and how did you get started in it?

I have been ministering for over 35 years and this ministry began in my home church in New York City, (The Manhattan Holy Tabernacle) where I developed a love for the hymns of the church. Matriculating through my foundational years of school, I was named a prodigy; a classically-trained pianist studying at the famed School of the Performing Arts in New York, (graduating at 16 years of age) which afforded the initial tools necessary to execute my craft with precision and excellence, which in turn opened many doors, allowing me to participate in piano recitals at some of the city’s most prestigious halls such as CAMI, Carnegie and Lincoln Center.

What role has God or your faith played in your ministry?

God is all to me. It is within Him that I live and move and have my being. I do all that I do, because of my love and sincere gratitude for His love, favor and grace upon my life. In being recognized as a trailblazer in the area of praise and worship in the African American Church, my faith allows me to provide new paradigms for kingdom excellence in ministry; and in addition to mentoring music ministers all around the globe, I trust and have faith that my instruction continues to impact the body of Christ by elevating the understanding of radical, reverent and revelational worship.
What is one of the most memorable moments or experiences during your ministry?

Following a very powerful worship service, a young single mother approached me to say that her child was moved to tears while I was singing and ministering in song. I looked at the young 7-year-old boy, who was still under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and spoke into his life that the hand of God was on him and that he too, one day, would be a servant of the Lord in ministry. It blessed me so to see his face light up with joy and the essence of the Holy Spirit overshadowing him. In that moment, I understood and was blessed by the knowledge that the Lord used me as a vessel to awaken something within him, something neither he nor his mother had ever witnessed before!

What are you doing or working on now, and what are some of your future goals?

I am currently working on the “Promises of God” Project, which is inclusive of a CD single, a daily devotional and other worship aids of the same name, scheduled for release June 2017.
One of my many aspirations is to build a School of Worship and Arts for those who desire to be excellent in their presentation, spiritually, musically and professionally. I also desire to utilize my record label to give young, anointed and integral worship leaders the platform to be exposed to the world; to open doors for them that I did not have the privilege of walking through when I was young and on fire for the Lord.

Finally, my life is aptly summarized by this personal mission statement: “To fulfill the purpose of God for my existence to its fullest capacity, to die empty: having maximized every gift, passed on every ounce of wisdom having been blessed to obtain, completed every assignment and accomplished all that God has ordained for my life.”

Adapted from “L.A. Women of the Gospel – Judith McAllister.”  Published March 15, 2017. Reprinted courtesy of the LA Sentinel.


Hear the West Angeles Mass Choir lead by Dr. Judith McAllister in a performance of “Great”; West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

Bishop Blake, Magic Focus on Advancing Black Males

Originally posted on LAsentinel.net.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson are partnering to offer advancement services to equip African American men to succeed in life.

During the official launch event on March 18 at West Angeles COGIC, the two leaders announced the initiative before an audience of 400+ men attending the church’s Brotherhood Organization gathering.

The program, billed as “Super Saturday,” featured breakfast and motivational speeches by Blake, Johnson and actor and entrepreneur Romell Witherspoon.

“This initiative was birthed out of a deep concern about poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, the desperate state of the African-American male and the breakdown of the family unit that plagues our cities, small and large, urban and rural,” explained Blake.

To combat those challenges, the advancement services will focus on education (access, excellence and  equity), economic development (job creation and training), crime prevention (reduction and  rehabilitation), family life (developing healthy men, women and children) and financial literacy (earning, saving, investing and spending wisely).

While West Angeles COGIC already offers 20 programs specifically for men, Blake noted the Super Saturday event strengthens the church’s effort to do even more to help African American males.

“This is kind of a special day to have Earvin with us now and Witherspoon, a very sharp entrepreneur, to share with us from a millennial perspective. Nobody’s a better businessman than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He’s taking us to another level and we’re going to continue as long as we are here,” said Blake.

Explaining that the initiative is another step towards community improvement, Johnson said, “The face of our community changed when Bishop built the church (West Angeles Cathedral).  I think people’s minds were changed, so now we have products and services and goods that we never had before in our community.

“We have had so many things happen that are positive in our community. This is what it’s all about. We’ve got to continue to take striving steps to make our community better.”

Johnson’s commitment to community development and empowerment is illustrated by his long history of establishing businesses and hiring people in underserved communities across the nation. In South L.A., he is heralded for opening a movie theater, several Starbucks and other businesses in the area. Through his Magic Johnson Foundation, he sponsors a number of philanthropic campaigns such HIV educational and  awareness programs.

A 25-year member of West Angeles COGIC and president of the L.A. Lakers, Johnson said, “I’m never going to change.  It’s not about my job or what I do, but who I am.  I will always be a man who will be involved.”

“His businesses that he manages here in Los Angeles and the economic opportunities he provides are in the hood or near the hood. So I’m very proud of him and his efforts to improve to enhance the community,” added Blake.

7 Promises of God That Will Motivate You Today

Behold: I am the Lord is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27 

The prophet Jeremiah ministered during one of the darkest periods in the history of the Jewish nation. God was displeased, and the Kingdom of Judah was preoccupied with great distress. Babylon, the greatest military force of that day, had launched a deadly attack against the nation of Judah.

God had revealed to Jeremiah that, although He had delivered Judah many times in the past, Judah was then to be defeated. Its land and its assets were going to be confiscated. Its people were going to be made slaves. Many had already been killed by the Babylonians. Others were facing starvation and great desperation.

But Zedekiah not only rejected Jeremiah’s counsel, he also put Jeremiah in jail (and Jeremiah, of course, was proven to be correct; Babylon did overwhelm Judah, Zedekiah’s kingdom).

However, let’s take note of God’s grace and God’s mercy, even in the midst of crisis and amid catastrophe. God, in the midst of their distress, gave Judah a promise. In Jeremiah 32, God let them know that He still had a future for them:

  1. I will gather them from all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to this place…I will cause them to dwell in safety (Jeremiah 32:37).
  2. They shall be my people, and I will be their God (Jeremiah 32:38).
  3. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them (Jeremiah 32:39).
  4. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good (Jeremiah 32:40).
  5. I will put my fear in their hearts (Jeremiah 32:40).
  6. I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul (Jeremiah 32:41).
  7. I will bring upon them all the good that I have promised them (Jeremiah 32:42).

Time and again, God says, ‘I will.’” Even in the midst of a terrible predicament, Judah received promises from the Lord.

NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD

Some of you are in a terrible predicament today. You’ve got bills, you’ve got creditors, and they’re pressing in on your from every side. The demons of hell are bombarding you with temptations designed to make you a slave, and to exile you from everything that’s valuable and important to you. The evil forces of the earth assault you with relentless fury so that your very survival is at stake. In the midst of it all, God seems distant or silent, and it seems you can go no further.

But I pray today that whatever state you’re in, that you will listen and hear God say, “I WILL.” We have a God who will keep His promises. God has made promises to us that can sustain us in the middle of our distress. If you believe God will keep His promises, give praise to the Lord.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Jeremiah 32:24-42, 24-57, 33:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20.

From the sermon, “Take Title When You Can’t Take Possession,” by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. 3-5-2017, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

WATCH NOW: Experience the entire inspiring sermon, “Take Title When You Can’t Take Possession,” HERE, on West Angeles’ LEGACY BROADCAST.


Hear “Nothing is Impossible” by Sinach Joseph, below:

Nothing Is Impossible performed by SINACH JOSEPH, Nigeria

8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Whether we know it or not, every thing, and everyone, has a purpose. But life can seem pretty hopeless at times if we don’t know what our purpose is. Sure, we all want to be happy, but what if we were to find out that our true purpose in life isn’t contingent upon our own happiness at all?

The dictionary defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”

But God’s word defines purpose in a higher way. Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) says,  

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

That means, in a nutshell, that our purpose isn’t our choice, it’s God’s. It’s got nothing to do with our parents’ purposes, or our connections, or a particular industry we may think our skills fit into. Our purpose is strictly between us and God, and that makes it pretty important.

DIVINE DESIGN

Now that we know that God has created us for a divine purpose, 8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose also know that the world will be a much better place when we all know what that purpose is, then focused on making it happen. But before we can understand how God’s plan for our lives is revealed, we must also know that the world is going to provide all sorts of ready-made ideas for us to claim a “passion” in life – ideas which can distract us and take us down the wrong path if we’re not careful.

That part of the journey can lead us to proclaim:

  • “I want to work in the ______ industry.”
  • “People like me on television  are doing_____, and I want to do it too.”
  • “_______looks like fun!”
  • “My (dad or mom) was a ______, so I’m going to be one too.”
  • “_______makes me happy.”

These reasons, though, probably have nothing to do with why God created us in the first place.

THE SECRET TO YOUR PURPOSE

To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out in order to embrace a whole new way of thinking. So if we’re serious about taking this journey, we’ve got to let go of our own egos and desires, then:

    1. Ditch the world’s idea of who you should be (Romans 12:2). This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps to finding our purpose. This may be hard to do: but take a “media fast”, in order to spend time with God. Social media, television, music: all can be distracting and soul-numbing, and can fill the soul with a million voices – none of which are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, musical performances, sports, news, and reality tv, God doesn’t need any of them to make His purpose for your life known to you.
    2. Listen to God (Isaiah 55:11). He speaks in a myriad of ways. Asking God, hearing and listening to Him, and following Him takes commitment. Fasting, praying, meditating on His Word…You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
    3. Keep a journal (Jeremiah 30:2). Record your dreams and visions. Let Scripture define each task you do.
    4. Go back to childhood (Jeremiah 1:5). Who you were and what you did best in the early days of your childhood can reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose. 
    5. Know that you are not your parents (Exodus 20:5-6). God doesn’t want you to take your parents’ issues into your future. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
    6. Understand it’s not about your happiness (Luke 22:42) – it’s actually about someone else’s. Finding your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes your faith will be tested.
    7. Get off the career ladder (Colossians 1:16). That’s society’s vision for you. You were born with gifts and skills to be used for a higher purpose.
    8. Listen to your elders (1 Timothy 4:14). Respected elders can see the vision for your life, and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23,

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  

and in John 15:13,

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

If you look at Jesus’ life, everything He did, all of the miracles He performed, He did for others; for those who needed Him. That’s the secret to unlocking the miracles in your purpose: it’s all about using your gifts for the benefit of uplifting others.

What voice or idea is unique only to you? What aspects of society drive you forward and turn on a light within you? Using your God-given gifts and talents to let the world know who God is, changes the world as only you can. Following God’s call puts you on the road to manifesting miracles found only in living out His purpose for your life.


BOOK Free To Dream by Bishop Charles E. BlakeDO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve?  Let  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.

PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.

Christian Life: 10 Essential Scriptures for Maintaining Your Cool

Have you found yourself in situations which threaten to challenge your patience, disrupt your peace, and encourage behavior which is counter to what God expects of you? Now, more than ever, saints are uplifting each other with the simple reminder that, no matter what is happening in the world, “God is in Control.” In our latest post on living your best Christian life, Dr. Tonya Lewis shares a list of 10 essential Scriptures for maintaining your cool in challenging times.

When we are confident with who we are and Whose we are, we learn we don’t have to fight each battle which comes our way. Insecurity, immaturity,  and not learning the value of living a peaceable life provokes us to think, say, and do whatever comes to mind, even though it is definitely not wise to do so. Most of the time, many of us feel that we must have the last word or action; we conclude that we can’t allow anyone to think that we are weak or afraid. We then want to blame others for our negative actions; even using the excuse “The devil made me do it!” (which legendary comedian Flip Wilson famous!)

Yes, while Satan and others may influence us, we make the final decision of how we think, speak, or act.  

As we mature in both age and spirit, we actually learn that we express more power by not engaging in each temptation of battle. We are told in Proverbs. 14:29, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness; and in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (NLT). Rather than lose self-control, we must take personal responsibility for our thoughts, our choices, and our actions.

We must commit to keeping our hearts holy and righteous so that BIBLE we reflect the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, both internally and externally. When we yield our lives to Christ Jesus, He empowers us to control what we think, speak or do.  

Below are 10 Scriptures which encourage us to maintain our cool and control under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior:

  1. James 1:19-20 (NIV)My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
  2. Proverbs 10:19Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
  3. James 3:2 (NLT) – Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
  4. Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (NLT).
  5. Prov. 21:23 (NLT) – He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
  6. James 1:26 (NLT) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.  
  7. Proverbs 28:25 (NASB) – An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper
  8. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  9. James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
  10. Matthew 12:34 – (NLT) For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

As Kingdom citizens who live under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, we can have the assurance of 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which states,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).

Such is not true for persons who are still trying to live life apart from the Lordship of Christ. In order for our spirit, soul and body to be blameless, we must stay in control! When we live according to the Word of God, we can rest assured that we will be kept blameless in what we think, say or do.

God bless you!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years, serving on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, and at other teaching venues.


Hear Jonathan McReynolds sing “MAINTAIN”, featuring Chantae Cann below:

Dr. Judith McAllister: We Shall Overcome

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.

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

 

(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 – similar to the one in which we now live – where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in 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. We must dig deeper and be resilient. 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.

So let your words today be filled with life, with hope, and with 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 also 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.

Education Enrichment: 3 Important Financial Aid Questions to Ask Now

Attention Class of 2017 Parents!         

Most people believe that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important part of the financial aid process. This prompts many to mistakenly ask, “How much will I get from FAFSA”? Many people also believe that the Federal Government provides the financial aid award.

Indeed, without the timely submission of a FAFSA, there will be no financial aid. However, there are three other elements of the application process which are of the utmost importance in determining the financial aid your student receives.

Here are 3 important questions to ask during the financial aid application process:

Please click the image to enlarge or download the Student Aid Report infographic.

Please click the image to enlarge or download the Student Aid Report infographic.

  1. What is the most important document in the Financial Aid application process? The document that is the most essential is the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is formed from the FAFSA, by the US Department of Education.

The most important number on the SAR is the Expected Family Contribution (or EFC), which is found at the top of the SAR. This EFC is the number (in dollars) that is the Department of Education’s estimate of what parents are expected to pay for college. In reality, however, it will NOT BE. Most colleges and universities in NO WAY rely on the EFC to determine what parents will pay. They do use the EFC to determine how much need-based Federal and State Aid that will be received.

In that way, the EFC is most important for lower income families (with incomes below approximately $46,000 per year). However, the EFC is irrelevant for most families whose students are NOT Pell Grant eligible.

 

  1. How do colleges and universities determine if they will award additional grants and scholarships if they are not looking at the EFC? The determination is made according to the laws of the state (in the case of state aid) and by the financial aid rules or policies of private colleges and universities. Incidentally, a University’s upper management, not its financial aid director, sets the policies that determine how institutional awards are given out to families. This is the reason why appeals for more financial aid are only actionable by the Financial Aid Office if something is wrong on the original SAR.

For example, in California, major grants such as university grants and Cal Grants are quite need-based, and are not available in a significant way above income levels of $55,000 for Cal State University and $75,000 for University of California. Other out-of-state public colleges and universities do have aid which meets all or most of the family’s unmet need based on the EFC, but most do not.

 

  1. Where else can significant college institutional funding come from? The answer? The student’s unweighted GPA and SAT/ACT scores, which brings us back to an important truth: because the EFC indicates to the college that they cannot award Federal or State Aid to a student –

Students must earn institutional (college or university) grants and scholarships to help their parents pay for college.

The EFC on the SAR should be read and known, but may not be truly relevant. Because of this, in the meetings and sessions of our program at West Angeles Church, we are helping our parents to determine what college will cost, before and after the financial award is generated. This is an important step in choosing and affordable college.

Feel free to join us in these sessions!

Please call the West Angeles Education Enrichment Program at West Angeles Church of God In Christ for more information. 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.


Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. To find out more about the various programs and services provided, please click HERE. 

Education & Enrichment Testimonials from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

Our thanks to Discover Student Loans for use of the cool infographic. West Angeles Church of God In Christ is not an agent of Discover Student Loans; nor is the use of this infographic an endorsement of Discover Student Loans.

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