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Be Clean: Hepatitis A Outbreak Declared in Los Angeles

According to the LA Times, an outbreak of Hepatitis A was declared in Los Angeles County by Public Health Officials

Transmission of Hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus is transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route; that is, when an uninfected person ingests food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. In families, this may happen through dirty hands when an infected person prepares food for family members. Waterborne outbreaks are usually associated with sewage-contaminated or inadequately treated water.

The virus can also be transmitted through close physical contact with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Preventing Hepatitis A

To reduce your risk of spreading or catching the Hepatitis A virus, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, before eating or serving food, after using the restroom and when you come in contact with an infected person’s blood, stools, or other bodily fluid.

Avoid unclean food and water.

You should take the following precautions:

Avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish.

Beware of sliced fruit that may have been washed in contaminated water. Travelers should peel all fresh fruits and vegetables themselves.

DO NOT buy food from street vendors.

When Traveling overseas and Central America: Use only carbonated bottled water for brushing teeth and drinking. (Remember that ice cubes can carry infection.)

When Traveling overseas and Central America: If no water is available, boiling water is the best method for eliminating hepatitis A. Bringing the water to a full boil for at least 1 minute generally makes it safe to drink.

Heated food should be hot to the touch and eaten right away.

Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

People in the Houston, Texas Metropolitan area are suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, a storm of historic magnitude. There is a tremendous need for food, shelter, clothing, hygiene products, and volunteers.

We need donations and volunteers.

Learn more and donate!

Coordinating with federal, state and local emergency management officials, West Angeles Church and COGIC at large are immediately executing an aggressive strategy that includes a nationwide appeal for resources and an organized regional collection and delivery process that will maximize impact and speed up response and recovery. COGIC will focus on caring for as many people as possible satisfying the immediate need for emergency food and shelter. The efforts of West Angeles Church are being coordinated through Karen Downard with the CDC and DeLores Brice with the Skid Row Ministry.

Beginning on Monday, September 4 at 9 a.m. at West Angeles Church, we will begin collecting the following:

  • Toiletries
  • Non-perishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Female sanitary products
  • New undergarments (men and women)
  • Clean, gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing
  • Cleaning products
  • Baby formula
  • Plastic garbage pails
  • Shovels and tools
  • Plastic trash bags

All items can be delivered to the hangar located at the cathedral. For more information and to volunteer, please call the church office and ask for the CDC or Skid Row Ministry.

Bishop Blake to Headline CBCF Prayer Breakfast

Story originally published HERE.

Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. (COGIC), Charles Edward Blake Sr., and legendary GRAMMY® award-winning powerhouse, Pastor Shirley Caesar, are set to headline the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Prayer Breakfast, September 23, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This year’s ALC honorary co-chairs are Congressman Marc Veasey from Texas and Congresswoman Robin Kelly from Illinois.

Celebrating faith, freedom and resilience, this year’s event will introduce a creative worship experience with liturgical dancers Stacy J. & Unified Praise from Houston, Texas and will also feature a performance by the Great Commission Baptist Church Choir from Ft. Worth, Texas. The CBCF is honored again to have this year’s Prayer Breakfast sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

“People of all faiths, nationalities, and races are facing unprecedented attempts to take away basic civil and human rights. Our nation needs decisive leadership to overcome some of its most urgent challenges,” said A. Shuanise Washington, CBCF president and CEO. “The Prayer Breakfast is a time to unite and refocus our priorities on what is truly important, namely investments in our people. By doing so, we will ultimately prevail over those seeking to divide us.”

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., is the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., a 6.5 million-member Pentecostal-Holiness denomination. In 2009, Bishop Blake was invited by President Obama to serve on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. As founder and CEO of Save Africa’s Children, a program of the Pan African Children’s Fund, Bishop Blake helps to support more than 200,000 children in 400 orphan care programs in more than 23 African nations. Bishop Blake is an ardent advocate of education and academic excellence, holding multiple academic and honorary degrees from various educational institutions.

Pastor Shirley Caesar is a music icon. Known as the “Reigning Queen of Gospel,” Pastor Shirley Caesar is one of the most recognized names and voices of gospel. She has won 12 GRAMMY® Awards, 14 Stellar Awards, 18 Dove Awards, has been inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Music is my lifelong service in ministry. I am excited to be part of the CBCF’s Prayer Breakfast and hope that listeners will feel the love, embrace the strength and be inspired to keep rising through the tough times,” said Pastor Shirley Caesar.

Great Commission Baptist Church Choir’s main purpose is to touch people by ministering and imparting the gospel of Jesus Christ through song. This powerful ensemble from Ft. Worth, Texas, is filled with singers of various musical experiences and ages who celebrate music and spirituality. Under the direction of Excell Amos and backed by a talented ensemble of musicians, the choir’s spirit and harmonies bring audiences to their feet by making a joyful noise.

Stacy J. & Unified Praise want to change lives through dance. From Houston, Texas, this amazing and gifted group of liturgical dancers share their understanding of resilience through a cultural lens that is aimed at bringing glory to God through dance.

Proceeds from the Prayer Breakfast benefit the CBCF’s fellowship, internship, scholarship and research programs—and the foundation’s efforts to eliminate disparities in the African-American community. To purchase tickets to the breakfast and to register for the ALC, click HERE.

Don’t Let These 6 Things Steal Your Potential

Are there “thieves” in your life? Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake exposes the elements of our lives which rob us of our full potential in Christ Jesus.

 

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion – Luke 10:30-33(NKJV)

 

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teaches a lesson on the thieves which rob us of our potential.

We’ve heard many times the story of the good Samaritan.  Thieves came upon a man who was on a journey; the  man had a goal. Goals are essential to progress, but good goals must not keep us from the best goals in life.  In order to prosper and to reach high levels of renown and popularity, “good” can often be the enemy of “the best.”

In this scripture, the thieves beat the man and wounded him; they left him naked and half dead.  A wounded person cannot function normally until they have recuperated. Nakedness is a sign of disgrace and of poverty. To be half dead means being only half alive: and this man was destined to die without help.

The man who was devastated and wounded represents  us.

The priest who passed him by represents the rites and the sacraments of organized religion – which, in themselves, cannot save us.

The Levite who passed him by represents man’s moral and ethical efforts – which, by themselves, cannot save us.

And the thieves who beat him represent those things that potentially strip us and wound us and leave us half dead.

In this day and age, so many are moving  fast, but in reality they are really going nowhere. The man in our story had a goal.  He was on a journey; he had a destination.  Like him, men who were once exploding with dreams, goals and potential are now lying beside the road naked and dying. What happened to them?

Thieves happened.

 

6 THIEVES WHICH CAN STEAL YOUR LIFE

 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death – James 1:14-15 (NKJV)

The Bible teaches that sin is a thief. It’s a thief that destroys life and happiness on this earth, and also in the world to come.  The evil forces that would destroy us use various enticements, but the goal is to wound us, to strip us, and to leave us half dead.

God despises sin because of what it does to His children.  Romans 6 says that “the wages of sin is death”: that which is opposed to the will of God will kill us. And 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells us that:

Don’t Let These 6 Things Steal Your Potential: Sin keeps us from the fullness of Christ.

  1. Fornication and adultery  are thieves.  They spread diseases which cause sickness and death. They rob boys and girls of their childhood; making them parents while they are still children. They are the greatest factors in the abortion epidemic. They break up marriages and destroy families.
  2. Idolatry is a thief, causing men to serve the wrong God. Anything that separates us from God is an idol and is a sin.
  3. Homosexuality is a thief because it contradicts God’s image of what a family should be. It deprives society of needed mothers and fathers, and it sometimes recruits and draws children into that lifestyle.
  4. Covetousness is a thief. Excessive desire for material things places higher value on money and things than it does on people.
  5. Extortion is nothing more than a high-class thief.
  6. Drunkenness is a thief. Whether by alcohol or by drugs, the jails and mental institutions are filled with victims of substance abuse.

But verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 6 says, “and such were some of you: but you were washed, you were sanctified,  you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.”

That means, the better we become, the better our lives become.

 

JESUS IS THE WAY 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly – John 10:10

The man in the story was on a mission: he had a goal. But even a good objective can become a bad objective when it precludes God and shuts God out.  He was on a journey, but he made a mistake: he should not have traveled alone. It’s time for me to reveal who the good Samaritan is:

The good Samaritan represents Jesus.

Have you been stripped? Have you been disgraced? Are you going through a time of trouble and distress? Know that you don’t have to travel the road of life by yourself.  In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God tells us, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin.”  If you really want to live your best life, then it’s time to fall down before God and to repent for your sins.  Raise your hands and say:

“Lord, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord, for stepping in just when I need You most, and for turning my life around. Thank You for giving me Your power.  I need the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Child of God, if you’ve got Jesus Christ with you on the road of life, then God will be with you. You’ve got the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: stand up and say, “Power!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Luke 10:30-37, Psalms 95:6, 101,147:4; Isaiah 43:7, Philippians 3:7, Acts 17:28, John 3:16, 6:68, 10:7-10; Matthew 6:33, James 1:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 6.

Adapted from the sermon, “Thieves”, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Watch the entire sermon below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know what an idol is? Read our post titled, “WHAT’S AN IDOL?” HERE.

Featured illustration for Don’t Let These 6 Things Steal Your Potential by Pastor Kyle Reed, c/o Creation Swap.

Marriage Series: Lady Mae and the Power of Prayer

Part II of our series on marriage features our beloved First Lady Mae L. Blake, who shares with us the power and value of prayer in keeping a marriage strong.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul – Psalm 25:1

Praying is one of the most important things that we can do because it brings us into the presence of God. Prayer is recognizing that the Lord is right next to us all the time. It is said that prayer is quietly opening a door, and slipping into the very presence of God. It is simply the lifting up of our souls to Him.

When we pray and lift our souls to God, it gives Him an opportunity to do His will in our lives because we are putting ourselves in His hands. Now believe me…prayer can bring you though some very painful and difficult times in your life. And it will give you peace.

A HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

Not long ago, Satan thought he was going to destroy my family. He walked right up into the Blake household –

A household that loves and serves the Lord conscientiously,

A household that cares for others,

A household that does everything to build and preserve God’s Kingdom,

A household that is covered by the Blood of Jesus  –

and viciously and publicly attacked us. And Satan did not just send his demons or imps, he came himself, with the intent to kill and destroy my husband. Not only did Satan try to destroy the father, but he also tried to destroy the mother, the innocent children, and the grandchildren too. The devil does not care who he attacks!

No wife wants to see her husband attacked. But Bishop instilled in me a long time ago that he did not need me in the boxing ring to help him fight battles. He said, “I can stand my ground, thank you very much; there’s no need for both of us to get beaten up! So you just stand on the outside of the ring, in the corner by the ropes, and pray for me. And when I come to your corner wounded, just love me: pamper me, wipe my head, and tell me it’s going to be alright, and give me a kiss!”

So when Satan attacks my household:

You will not find me in a verbal fight telling someone off.

You will not find me with a negative attitude toward someone and not speaking to them.

You will not find me calling around and talking on the phone about a situation

You will not find me holding court in the midst of people, spewing anger.

Even though Bishop tells me not to jump in, I DO jump in another way, because I have a powerful weapon that I will not let go to waste. I do not fight standing up. I fight quietly on my knees and sitting at the feet of Jesus. I pull out my powerful weapon, which is prayer.

I jump in and help him fight through prayer.

I jump in and help him fight through fasting.

I jump in and help him fight through praises.

I jump in and help him fight through supplication.

I jump in and help him fight through interceding.

I jump in and help him fight by going to God on his behalf.

The Lord gave me the strength to throw some mean and powerful spiritual punches without opening my mouth, because if you hold your peace, prayer and the Bible can bring you through some difficult times. If Satan would dare walk into the Blake household with any mess, confusion, or dissension, he has a fight on his hands, because this household is protected by God and the precious blood of Jesus!

YOUR WAR HOUSE

I know you’ve heard of the movie “War Room.” In our house, not only do I have a little prayer closet, but also, each room is armed for battle against Satan. I have personally gone through and anointed each room in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. There is an arsenal of prayer in every room: making our entire house a war house! I pray for Bishop each night when he is asleep; I anoint him with oil and pray God’s protection over him. All married women should do this for their husbands.

Most days it’s just the 2 of us – God and me – against Satan and his entourage. But it doesn’t matter because, through prayer, we have a close relationship and bond. I talk to God just as I’d speak to a friend, because:

I have power that you can’t see.

Because God is living inside me.

I can fight any enemy,

Because God and me are a majority.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Psalm 25:1, Luke 3:22, Deuteronomy 33:12.

 

First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake is a phenomenal woman of God, and a gift to West Angeles. She is first, wife to the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ and second, the founder of the Women Affairs Organization. Under her direction, the organization sponsors and coordinates numerous dynamic activities for the edification of the church and its women, including the inspirational luncheon, “A Day In May With Mae.” She is a loving devoted wife to  Bishop Charles E. Blake and together they have three children and eight grandchildren. 

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Hear the creators, cast and crew of the movie “War Room” discuss the power of prayer below:

” Lady Mae and the Power of Prayer” is adapted from the Holy Convocation address, “The Power and Value of Prayer” by First Lady Mae L. Blake.

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.