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Bishop Blake and John Hope Bryant at the historic Mason Temple, Memphis, TN. 1-2017.

Bishop Blake Discusses Financial Literacy and a New COGIC Partnership

EXCITING NEWS! The Church of God In Christ is partnering with John Hope Bryant and OPERATION HOPE to edify the community with financial literacy, as part of the COGIC Urban Initiatives.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

 

Since its inception, OPERATION HOPE has served more than 2.5 million individuals, teaching the building blocks of financial literacy and directing more than $1.8 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities. HOPE maintains a growing army of 22,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. Bryant founded OPERATION HOPE immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots.

 

The partnership between OPERATION HOPE and the Church of God In Christ will be administered through the COGIC Urban Initiatives, which will in turn empower each church to create programs which build upon the principles of financial literacy and economic development within its constituents, in order to create thriving families and communities.

 

OPERATION HOPE also operates the HOPE Inside Atlanta at Ebenezer Church, located on the campus of the King Center. Both the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., were focused on making free enterprise a reality for all.
Watch this inspiring conversation between our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and Operation Hope CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant in this edition of “CIVIL RIGHTS STRAIGHT TALK” below, where they discuss the power of financial literacy for the underserved, and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement:

COGIC Urban Initiatives – The vision of COGIC Urban Initiatives is to build healthy individuals, families and communities for a successful future.  Our mission is to empower the local church to implement programs that address Education, Economic Development, Crime, Family, and Financial Literacy. The programs will result in measurable improvement in the quality of life for individuals, families and communities served by the Church of God in Christ.


Compton son John Hope Bryant is a financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of the nonprofit Operation HOPE.  Bryant was appointed to the U.S. Community Development Advisory Board [10] for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and as vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush. He continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC). He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC Bryant was selected to be a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also a best-selling author of several titles on economics and leadership, including How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. 

 

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#GIVING TUESDAY – Support West Angeles Family Life Center Campaign!

An architectural rendering of the future West Angeles Family Life Center.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. has a God-centered vision for you and your family to live the best life God intended!

The West Angeles Family Life Center will provide the Crenshaw community and the city of Los Angeles with a center devoted to the education, edification, enrichment and equipment of God’s people, based on the principles and spirit of Jesus Christ.

West Angeles equips the whole family through its over 80 ministries, programs and departments, including:

  • The Brotherhood Organization
  • The Young Women’s Christian Council
  • Youth & Young Adult Ministry
  • College Prep (Education Enrichment)
  • Drug & Alcohol Ministry (Free N One)
  • The Prison Ministry
  • The West Angeles Christian Counseling Center
  • The Skid Row Ministry
  • Christian Education

Please click the photos below for a slideshow of some of the West Angeles Ministries:

 

President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton have praised Bishop Blake and the West Angeles ministry model as a shining example of Christian ministry and community-building at its best.

Be a part of the first edifice of its kind in Los Angeles, CA.  PLEASE CLICK BELOW to give to the Family Life Center Campaign today.

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Remember to add #GIVING TUESDAY!

The historic West Angeles North Campus sanctuary on Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles.

A History of West Angeles

“If God could do this with a dilapidated furniture store, just think of what He could do with your life.” – Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Los Angeles Times, 2001

 

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is a 24,000-member Pentecostal-Holiness Christian church which is a member of the Church of God in Christ denomination. Its main place of worship, the West Angeles Cathedral, is located in the Historic Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, California, an African American ethnic enclave. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. serves as Chief Shepherd of West Angeles.

The Early Years

The church was founded in 1943 by Elder Clarence E. Church. The first sanctuary was located in the heart of Los

West Angeles Church at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, 1960's.

West Angeles Church at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, c. 1960’s.

Angeles in a small store front on Vermont Avenue.  A new and more permanent home was built at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, which opened its doors in 1955.

After Elder Church passed away in 1968, the search for a new minister began. At that time, a young Elder Charles E. Blake, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, had been serving in the ministry in San Diego under his father, Bishop J.A. Blake. He was appointed pastor of West Angeles in 1969.

Beginning with only a 50-member congregation, the dynamic leadership and ministry of the young Reverend Blake began to take form. The 1970s brought a membership explosion.  “Every year, the congregation would double in size,” remembers Bishop Blake, “and by 1976, we began looking for a new site upon which to build.”

 

Reverend Blake's 11th Anniversary Celebration at 3501 Adams.

Reverend Blake’s 11th Anniversary Celebration at 3501 Adams, c. 1980.

An old furniture store at 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles proved to be an ideal location for the new church.  “When we started building on Crenshaw,” said (now Presiding Bishop) Blake in a recent interview, “there were many people who doubted that we had the resources and the will and the ingenuity to do it…There were naysayers who said it would never happen.”

But in 1981, a 1,000-seat sanctuary, now known as West Angeles’ North Campus Sanctuary (pictured above), was built to house the growing ministry.

The rapidly growing membership wrought equally explosive ministerial growth:

  • In 1984, construction began on the Education Building, Crystal Room, and administrative offices.
  • The West Angeles Christian Emporium opened in 1986.
  • The West Angeles Bible College started its first classes in 1987.
  • The West Angeles Counseling Center was established in 1988.
  • The West Angeles Christian Academy, which was founded in the 70s, continued to thrive during this period of unprecedented growth.

The 1990’s

Reverend Blake became very active in the surrounding community.  The West Angeles Community

The beautiful West Angeles Cathedral.

The beautiful West Angeles Cathedral.

Development Corporation was established in early 1994 to expand the compassionate outreach and neighborhood development ministries of the church, which had by then grown to a 15,000-member congregation. But as the number of Sunday morning services rose to four, plus a Sunday evening service, Reverend Blake found that it was time, once again, to build.

The new location was just two blocks away at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards. The 5,000-seat Cathedral was built from steel, granite, travertine marble, multi-colored tile mosaics and stained glass, with an interior design by First Lady Mae L. Blake. The new building was dedicated in 1999, and the late Bishop G.E. Patterson, then Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ,  preached its first sermon on  April 28, 2001.

 

The New Millennium and Beyond

Bishop Blake stands outside of the West Angeles CDC complex, which includes units of senior citizens' housing.

Bishop Blake stands outside of the West Angeles CDC complex, which includes units of senior citizens’ housing.

The Lord is fulfilling His promise to this ministry as dozens of souls are brought into the Kingdom of God each week at the West Angeles Cathedral, the North Campus Sanctuary as well as its many outreach ministries. Under Reverend Charles E. Blake’s Blake’s leadership, the church has grown from 50 members to over 24,000. On March 21, 2007, Bishop Charles E.Blake became Presiding Bishop of the Church of God In Christ. He continues to serve as Head Pastor of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, while leading its vision firmly into the future.

Through partnership with Wells Fargo Bank and the West Angeles CDC, plans are underway for new units of senior citizens’ housing in the community. Construction of West Angeles’ Family Life Center will extend the current Cathedral site to include West Angeles’ offices and new, modern educational facilities.

West Angeles Church of God In Christ, with its anointed, visionary Pastor, dynamic ministry, and extensive outreach services, has been recognized as one of the most influential churches in America today.

 

 

TABLE of bread

SERMON: The Table of Bread

On First Sunday, as Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake prepared to continue his series on the tabernacle of meeting, West Angeles Church of God In Christ was surprised by a prestigious guest: Former President Bill Clinton.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continued his series on the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting and their symbolic meanings in a sermon called, “The Table of Bread”, in keeping with the June 5, 2016 Communion Sunday service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. But before he could begin the sermon at the 11AM service, West Angeles was honored to receive a most prestigious guest: Former President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton.

Clinton praised West Angeles’ extensive community developments; having been to the church long before the Cathedral was built.

“I was here before you all were in such fancy digs,” the former President joked with the congregation.

But he also acknowledged that West Angeles’ success should be mirrored throughout America.

“If we did what you’ve done here; if we did it everywhere in America, could we restore upward mobility? Could we help bring people back from the depths of despair? I believe we could,” stated Clinton.

Bishop Blake said that he welcomed the opportunity to share with President Clinton the importance of Christians’ right to worship freely, without compromising doctrine.

“I shared with [Former President Clinton] how important it is that the church be allowed to pursue its mandate from Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Blake, “to preach Biblical principles and holiness and righteousness, without being discouraged.”

As the Presiding Bishop of over 12,000 COGIC churches, as well as the Co-Chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), Bishop Blake spoke of former President Clinton’s visit to West Angeles as an honor.

“We are honored by his presence here, and happy for the opportunity to remind him that there are some things that the church just cannot bow to. Let’s praise God for his coming to us today.”

To see this entire service and more, please click HERE to visit West Angeles Gospel on Demand, or call the West Angeles Christian Emporium at (323) 731-3012. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “The Table of Bread” follow:

“As you enter into the Holy place just to the right, there’s a furnishing called the “Table of Bread.”

“It was made of acacia wood, which is a very strong, durable wood, and it was overlaid with pure gold.”

“Gold was the most beautiful and valuable of all metals. The bronze altar and the bronze laver were made from brass.  One symbolized the atoning work of Jesus Christ; the other, the cleansing work of the Spirit of God.”

“Everything in the Holy place was either made from gold or it was overlaid with gold.”

“It’s always disappointing to be moved from a higher level to a lower level.”

“Most people try to see to it that they either rise higher and higher or they at least maintain the highest level that they’ve reached. That ought to be the same in our walk with the Lord.”

“If we want to go from silver to gold and gold to platinum in our frequent flyer clubs and credit cards, how much more should we want to go higher and higher in our relationship with the Lord?”

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord?” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord? I don’t want to be where I was last week…As I go through this Christian walk, I want to go higher and higher and higher.”

“The wood in the table symbolized the human and the gold in the table symbolized the divine. The table symbolized the coming together of, and the interaction of, the human and the divine.”

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, divine, took on humanity that He might bear us to and before God the Father. The table, then, represents Jesus the Son of God, who was both human and divine.”

“There was also a frame; a band, an elevated edge around the table, about the width of a man’s hand. It was designed to keep the bread from falling off the table…Israel was, and believers are, the bread; and thus, the elevated edge is there to let us know that God has put some provisions in place to keep us from falling.”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You just don’t have to fall.’ God has made so many IMAGE Cliff Jude24provisions for us to survive in Him, that it takes special effort to fall away from the will and the plan of God in our life.”

“So many are worried about their spiritual survival, so many worried about slipping over the edge. But God does not want us to be worried and anxious.  He’s not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.”

“Most commentators feel that the 12 loaves represent the 12 tribes of Israel, and that the table of bread communicated God’s desire to dwell with His people, and that His people should dwell with Him.”

“They said, ‘Lord bring us back together again; let us be as one in You.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘God wants you in His face.’”

“We focus our attention on Him. We realize that He’s our source, and that all must come through Him.”

“When you praise Him, chains are broken.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“It’s not just about the place. It’s about entering into personal relationship with the Spirit of God: always before Him, always reaching out to Him, always yearning for the more of our God.”

“My soul thirsts for God…for the living God.”

“When you do what you should do for God, God takes care of you.”

“We’re here today because the Lord has provided, and because we know the Lord will provide.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’”

“I assure you, my brother, my sister, if you put your trust in God. If you put God first, the Lord will make a way somehow.”

“Let the people bring bread. Let the people bring fine flour. Let the people bring that which is made from the best of wheat: and I’ll take care of them in the wilderness. I want their best, so I can give them My best.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

““Every time she took something out, God put something in.”

“When you give [to God] what you might enjoy, what you might consume, then you are investing in your covenant with the Lord.”

“Child of God, you never lose when you Bless the work of God.”

“They gave bread from the earth and God gave them bread from heaven.”

“This manna, this bread made from wheat that they provided, not only nourished the priests on their behalf, but it set the covenant aright and firm in the heart and mind of God and of the people.”

 “The Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives Light to the world.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The manna was in many ways symbolic of Jesus Christ.”

“’Most assuredly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven,’ for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and give light to the world.”

“Jesus is bread to us, and we are bread to Him.”

“Jesus is blessed by our praise…Praise Him for who He is. He’s worthy!”

“When you praise Him, miracles start to happen. When you praise Him chains are broken; yokes are broken. When you praise Him, He takes you higher than you’ve ever been before. Clap your hands and praise Him!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Leviticus 24:5-9, Philippians 2:9-10, 3:12, 4:19; Exodus 25:25, 30, 40:23; Jude 24-25, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 42:1, Matthew 6:33,   John 6:31-35, 55, 15:7; Numbers 11:7, 1 Kings 17:13, Psalm 22:3, Romans 14:11.


Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop ENCOUNTERING GOD bookCharles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire…will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.


Photo of Sutton Bank: courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.

Image of the Table of Showbread: courtesy, Tabernacle Ministries.

 

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SERMON: God’s Motive and God’s Objective

For his Sunday April 10 sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. continued a series he began on Sunday April 3 which is taken from his book “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence.” Bishop Blake’s often humorous delivery of his sermon, titled “God’s Motive and God’s Objective,” was met with laughter as he compared God’s relationship with us to the relationships we have with others.

“God loves you, He’ll do anything for you,’ said Bishop, “but He’s got to have His R-E-S-P-E-C-T!”

Last Sunday Bishop Blake was led to speak about the Arc of the Covenant and its symbolic significance in the NT and for our life in God even today.

“Years ago when I began to study about the Arc and the other furnishings of the tabernacle; the holy days, the high priests and the various sacrifices, all of these things came to my attention…The Tabernacle was a symbol; an image of Jesus Christ.”

This entire service and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow: 

“The study of the Arc of the Covenant and the Tabernacle present to us Old Testament examples and shadows of New Testament realities.”

“If you study the history of a person or a relationship, you will better understand that person…and the nature of that relationship.”

“The understanding of a person’s history will help you deal with that person.”

“Jesus frequently said that He came to fulfill the law, and the Bible frequently affirms that the Old Testament, the Tabernacle, the priesthood and the sacrifices served as shadows and examples of heavenly things.”

“What was it that God wanted? What motivated Him to reach out to man? What was God’s objective?”

“In order to live effectively with a person, you need to know your objectives for dealing with that person, and you need to know that person’s objectives for dealing with you.”

“It’s very wise to ascertain the expectations the other party has of you, prior to committing to a relationship.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Everybody that smiles at you…who treats you nicely, does not want a relationship with you.”

“Everybody who treats you rudely or harshly is not responding to something you are or even something you have done. Some people are just rude; some people are just harsh…and they are that way to everybody they meet.”

“Most people are just trying to get from one day to the next day.”

“Maybe to your great disappointment, you need to know that everybody does not spend a great deal of time thinking about you.”

“Some will want to be your friend, but others will desire a favor from you; a loan, or some benefit from you.”

“There has been a tremendous amount of pain and confusion in the world because people who want relationship have been dealing with people who only wanted relations.”

“If you want a Godly, honorable relationship, you’ll have a terrible time dealing with somebody who only…wants to use you and throw you away.”

“If you are to deal effectively with a person, you need to understand that person…You need to know their goals; their objectives.”

“God will do anything for you, but He’s got to have His R-E-S-P-E-C-T!” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“It’s tough to be with a person who mistreats you, who doesn’t care how you feel or what you think.”

“Some folks wear you out just being around them.”

“You need a good understanding of yourself. Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you understand yourself?’”

“Don’t be tricky. Don’t be deceptive.”

“If you’re struggling with homosexuality brother, don’t mess up some poor lady’s life. And lady, don’t marry somebody, thinking that you’ll be able to change him from gay to straight.”

“There’s got to be mutual admiration and respect. This is absolutely necessary and essential for a lasting, satisfactory relationship.”

“Relationships that are deficient in communication are doomed to much unhappiness and failure.”

“People need to talk – and people need to listen.”

“Some people – even friends – have a big ol’ orangutan of a problem sitting right in the middle of their relationship and they won’t recognize that it’s there.”

“You can’t just look at people and know people…Can I get a witness?”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Try again…and again, and again.’”

“Don’t let your emotions and your animal drives cause you to make a fool of yourself.”

“Remember that personality and character do not frequently change.”

“The best way to tell what a person will do is to look at what a person has done, and that will tell you what you can expect.”

“In discussing God’s purpose regarding His relationship with us…the principles are the same whether with God or with men and women.”

Deuteronomy 28:1 (NKJV) Blessings on Obedience –  “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”

“Down through history, God’s purposes regarding his relationship with mankind has been the same…but because of our sin…God has chosen to deal with mankind in different ways during different periods.”

“After 400 years of slavery (in Egypt), God delivered Israel from Egypt. This was, in essence, their introduction to the Lord. Four hundred years of domination by Egypt had almost erased the every memory and image of God from their minds.”

“Even Moses himself knew so little about God, he had to ask God, ‘What is your name?’ And he had to teach the people how to do the same.”

“God’s motive for dealing with us is love.”

“I don’t care who you are…I don’t care what you have done, God is in love with you.”

“Most parents don’t want anything from their children. They just want to see their children to do well; to succeed. They want them to be prosperous. And their great despair is after they’ve invested so much into their children, they often see them waste and ruin their lives.”

“That’s all God wants for you. He wants you to be productive. He wants your life to be fruitful. That’s why God came into your life in the first place, ‘that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.’”

“God loves us, but if we’re going to have a relationship with Him, we have to know who He is.”

“God’s motive for dealing with us is love” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“It’s alright for you to come to God, but when you come, don’t bring mess and sin into the presence of the Lord.”

“Whatever you do for God, it ought to be greater. It ought to be more. It ought to be higher!”

“God said, ‘I am a jealous God…Don’t worship me today and Allah tomorrow!’”

“God’s objective is to love us, and to be loved by us.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Neighbor, I’m blessed going in and coming out. I’m blessed by the power of God!”

“There’s nobody like God!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 6:4; Amos 3:3, Exodus 3:5, 13-15; Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16, Psalm 35:27, 149:4; John 10:10, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:11, Psalm 150:6, 1 Peter 1:16, Psalm 136:1, Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Jeremiah 29:11,  Psalm 100:4.


 

  • Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.’s book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence” is available at the West Angeles Christian Emporium. Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012
  • To read highlights from last week’s sermon titled, “Components of a Testimony,” please click HERE.
  • Is Ethiopia the site of the Arc of the Covenant? Watch as COGIC’s International World Missions President Vincent Matthews shares historic facts about Ethiopia’s Christian heritage:

https://www.facebook.com/BishopVincentMathews/videos/1787441411477427/

  • Please join us for the 21st WORLD MISSIONS CONFERENCE! Please click HERE for more information.

 

 

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SERMON: Presiding Bishop Blake, “Components of a Testimony”

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. began a new series, teaching from his book, Encountering God. The sermon was taken from scripture surrounding the Arc of the Covenant, the tabernacle of Moses, and the Israelites, who did not trust God in spite of miracles He performed on their behalf.

“Sometimes we’re losing because we don’t trust God,” said Bishop Blake. “The God that we serve has already made a way…God will take care of you if you only believe.”

This entire service and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“The Arc of the Covenant was in the Tabernacle of Moses. In the court of the Tabernacle it stood before the Brazen Altar where the sacrifices were offered up to God to atone for the sins of the people.”

“The Bronze Laver [is] where the priests were first washed by Moses and where subsequently they washed themselves as they performed the various rites of sacrifice in the courtyard.”

“The showbread…was made from wheat. It symbolized God’s people in His presence, and in fellowship with Him and one another.”

“The lamp stand, with its seven flames…symbolized God’s spirit at work…It symbolized God’s Word. It symbolized Jesus Christ. It symbolized the church of Jesus Christ.”

“The golden altar of incense…ignited by God’s fire, represents the praises and the worship of God’s people. It also represents the pleasure that the praises of God’s people bring to God.”

“God enjoys our praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Behind the veil is the most Holy place or the Holy of Holies. Within the Most Holy place is the Arc of the Covenant, which is also called ‘The Arc of the Testimony.’”

“The Arc of the Covenant was a wooden chest or box…This wooden chest was overlaid with sheets of pure gold, both within and without.”

“On the lid of the Arc was a plate of pure gold…That plate was called the mercy seat. At the ends of the Mercy Seat were two statues of golden angels.”

“For many reasons, the Arc of the Covenant is the most important piece of furniture in the tabernacle. It’s important, as far as I can tell, because the Arc…is the only item of tabernacle furniture that will be in heaven.”

“I don’t really understand how the Arc of the Covenant will be in heaven – whether it will be there materially or spiritually –  but the Bible says it will be there. And if God will retain the Arc of the Covenant alone for Heaven, then the Arc of the Covenant must be very, very important.”

“Arc of the Covenant was the first item of furniture to be described and placed in the Tabernacle.”

“Each of the three items were the result of miraculous occurrences and miraculous actions on the part of God.  Each of the three items were an expression of the love of God”

“The fact that each of these items is a response [of] God to negative behavior on the part of Israel is unfortunate.  Negative behavior caused each of these items to be placed before the people of God.”

“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.”

“God was working through Moses. Moses was obeying God’s directions.”

“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Moses…was already free. He was already doing well, but he returned to Egypt to bring God’s people out of slavery.”

“Murmuring is offensive and alienating…even a murmurer doesn’t want to be around another murmurer.”

“Murmuring is counterproductive because it makes future favors unlikely.”

“Murmuring is an indication of a lack of trust.”

“You got help and assistance before, what makes you think you have to murmur now?”

“The opposite of murmuring is praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“One of God’s worst judgments came down on Israel because of her complaining…The cause of their complaining in this case was a declining food supply.”

“Your blessing may require some work.”

“Your miracle does not excuse you from working while the miracle takes place.”

“Sometimes what you snatch against the will of God spoils and breeds worms.”

“What you invest in God won’t spoil.”

“How many of you know you have to rely on God every day?”

“They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.'”

“There was manna in the Arc.”

“’ 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense,’ and the next day all the congregation of Israel murmured…I think I would have kept my mouth shut!”

49 But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Look at your neighbor and say, ‘I think God doesn’t like murmuring!’”

They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food.  ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“So many folks are against you, but God’s going to bless you anyway.”

“If God chooses you, there’s nothing that anybody can do about it!”

“That Aaron’s rod would blossom, that it would bear fruit, is assurance that God can bring dead things back to life again.”

“How do I know God can bring dead things back to life? Because he brought me back to life again! Halleluiah!”

“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!”

“If anything has died in your world, God can bring it back to life again!”

“The tablets contained God’s Commandments for his people. They contained his will regarding their behavior.  But the fact that they were in the Arc was proof that God gave them a second chance.”

“This is the day of the second chance. I don’t care who you are and what you’ve done, God is a God of a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance.”

“Neighbor, you may have messed up, but God through Jesus is giving you a second chance.”

“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“The arc was a testimony.”

“God will take care of you if you only trust Him, if you only believe.”

“They put the manna in the Arc so you remember that I provided for you in the desert…put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when there was no rain and no sowing and no reaping, I fed you with bread put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when you run out, I step in.”

“If God has done it before, God will do it again. God can heal again. God can provide again.”

“Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you have a pot of manna in your testimony?’ Can you remember a time when God miraculously provided for you?”

“When things seem dead and hopeless, God is still able!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 16:32 , Numbers 17:10; Deuteronomy 10:1-9; Hebrews 9:3-4, 1 Kings 8:9, Exodus 16:2-32, Revelation 11:19, Numbers 16, Numbers 17:1-4, Romans 17:8, Exodus 31:18, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 27:10, Hebrews 4:14-16

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Presiding Bishop Charles Edrward Blake, Sr’s book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence” is available at the West Angeles Christian Emporium. Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012


 

god's power

SERMON: Bishop Blake Says “Use Your Badge”

In his March 13, 2016 sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. reminds us to use the power we have in Jesus Christ.

“I’ve got power that you can’t see; I can fight any enemy, because God and me are a majority!” preached Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. during his March 13 sermon, encouraging the congregation to use the badge of power and strength found only through Jesus Christ.

Before the sermon, Bishop Blake, who’d just returned from delivering fresh water to residents in Flint, MI, shared the scripture from Luke 17 about 10 men who begged Jesus to heal them of leprosy as He traveled to Jerusalem.

“They called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ begging him to heal their bodies of leprosy. They were cleansed; cured at the Word of Jesus Christ. Nine of them rushed in the opposite direction of their families of their jobs. But one of them said, ‘I’ve got to go back and thank God for what He’s done for me.’

“Thank you for being great and for doing great things. Give thanks,” added Bishop Blake. “God does great things…We are blessed.”

This entire service and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do…If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” –  John 14:13-14

“A deputy is a person appointed as substitute; with the power to act. It is an impressive thing when you read the scriptures that imply that we are deputies of God and of his son Jesus Christ.”

“All these privileges…powers and rights are conferred upon believers; and you cannot confer authority upon others unless you have established authority within yourself. Our authority comes from God.”

“If Jesus could master death, there’s nothing Jesus cannot do; there’s nothing that Jesus cannot master.”

“I am what the Bible says I am; can do what the Bible says I can do.”

“Jesus Christ gives us our badges. Our badges imply that we are empowered and authorized to act on His behalf.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Hello, deputy! You’re authorized to act on behalf of Jesus Christ!’”

“Are you washed in the blood? Are your garments white?”

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – Luke 10:19 (KJV)

“There are some who try to impersonate officers of the law. They will paint their cars as close to that of a police officer as they can, putting on some kind of phony uniform, trying to act like they are an officer of the law. But listen…trying to act like an officer does not make you a policeman.”

“There are some conditions around us that will not yield until we command them in the name of Jesus!”

“Individuals respect the badge to the degree that they respect the power behind the badge.”

“Is there anybody in here who needs to change their situation? Is there anybody who knows that God can change things?”

“People and devils will not respond to us. But when we go forth in the name and the power of Jesus Christ, we can change our situation.”

“God can change things. Is there anybody who’s a witness?”

“Samson was guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer of the law. He laid his head on the wrong lap, and sought after pleasure, rather than the will of God.…he woke up one night and shook himself, but the power was gone. The anointing was gone. God had confiscated his badge.”

“I don’t care what you have. If you don’t have love, you have nothing.”

“If God can love you, if god can have favor on you, if God can forgive you, then you ought to be willing to forgive your bother in the name of Jesus.”

“Don’t try to walk the earth on your own authority.”

“The word is power!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“You are an agent of the Kingdom. Grab your neighbor by the hand and say, ‘You are somebody. Don’t live beneath your privilege.’”

“If you’re a saved person, you’ve got authority.”

“Don’t let problems discourage you.”

“Sometimes our answer is detained; sometimes the miracle we want does not happen right away.  But I just came by to tell you that He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be right on time.”

“Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your badge. God will show up in your life. Halelluiah!”

“Our God is a mighty God. Our God can do anything.”

“The power of your authority is in the Word of God.”

“The Lord said, ‘I’m not just going to give you authority, I’m going to give you power! The Holy Ghost is your back-up!’”

“Holy Ghost power is what we need in this day and time. Raise your hands and say, ‘Lord, I need your power! I need your might! I need your anointing!’”

“Child of God, stretch out your hand and say, ‘Father, I stretch my hand to thee. No other help I know. If you withdraw your help from me, where will I go?’”

“Use your badge!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“If you hold up your badge, Jesus will show up!”

“Use your badge in the face of your troubled marriage…Tell the devil, you can’t have my marriage. Devil…step aside you’re under arrest!”

“Sickness in your body, but use your badge and claim your healing.”

“There might be a habit that’s controlling you, but if you use your badge God will give you control over it.”

“Prayer is the key to the kingdom, and faith unlocks the door.”

“If you stand on the word, the devil has got to back up and step aside in the name of Jesus!”

“If you’ve got a message for the devil, write it on the bottom of my shoe, because the devil is under my feet!”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I’ve got angels all around me!’”

“I command you, Satan: take up your weapons and get out of here! The Holy Ghost is here! Power is here! Deliverance is here!”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Hold on! You’ve got the victory: in the name of Jesus…Come on and say it: ‘In the name of Jesus! Be set free! The Lord is here, and when the Lord shows up, everything is alright!’”

“You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You are an agent of the Kingdom!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 14:12-14, 16:15; Luke 9:1, Mark 16:15-17, Matthew 10:1-7; Luke 10:19, Matthew 16:19, 18:20, 10:40; Ephesians 6:16, Exodus 12:23, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Revelations 1:5, Matthew 6:31, Acts 19:13, Luke 9:23, John 13:34, Judges 16, Daniel 10, Hebrews 14:12, Matthew 22:29, Ephesians 3:20, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:31, Acts 4:13-31, Jeremiah 33:3, Daniel 3:19-26, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:7, Isaiah 40:31.


Only 2 more days before the start of the Bishop C.E. Blake LEGACY CONFERENCE.  Please click HERE to register today!

 

nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month: Here Are 8 Verses to Inspire You

March is National Nutrition Month, but it’s important to make healthy eating a priority every day. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and high blood pressure have become too common in modern American life – but we can start on the road to a healthier lifestyle by managing our nutrition today.

Does God want us to be healthy? Absolutely! We were created by Him for His purpose, and maintaining our physical being gives glory and honor to God (Romans 12:1).  Our walk; how we eat and live can inspire others to live healthier too: especially our children.

Here‘s a list of eight scriptures to inspire you to the road optimum nutrition and health:

Genesis 2:9 – And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Deuteronomy 8:7-8 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey

2 Samuel 17:27-29 27 Now it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the people of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds, 29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Proverbs 3:7-8 – Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.

Psalm 103:2-3 – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases

Romans 12:1  Living Sacrifices to God – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

3 John 1:2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

 

This post is not a substitute for the care of a doctor or nutritionist. “National Nutrition Month” is a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All verses, New King James Version.


Have you heard about the FREE MEAL offer at the beautiful West Angeles Crystal Room?  In appreciation of your continued patronage, we are offering a FREE meal to you, our loyal customers. Pick up your Loyalty Member Card and begin adding up your meal credits. For more information, please call (323) 733.8300 Ext. 2352.

Look for healthy recipes on Westa.org! Search “Recipes”, or click HERE and HERE.

 

The Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., is where Gen. William T. Sherman held meetings with black Christian ministers, creating the plan later known as "40 acres and a mule."

40 Acres, Reparations, and the Black Church

As the debate continues regarding reparations for African Americans, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the truth about the “40 acres and a mule,” and its origins in the Black church.

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves. It’s a staple of black history lessons, and it’s the name of Spike Lee’s film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today, the federal government’s massive confiscation of private property — some 400,000 acres — formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven’t heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.

It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was. As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, “Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.” Try to imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced; had the former slaves actually had access to the ownership of land, of property; if they had had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth. After all, one of the principal promises of America was the possibility of average people being able to own land, and all that such ownership entailed. As we know all too well, this promise was not to be realized for the overwhelming majority of the nation’s former slaves, who numbered about 3.9 million.

What Exactly Was Promised?

Today, we commonly use the phrase “40 acres and a mule,” but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section One bears repeating in full: “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States. We have been taught in school that the source of the policy of “40 acres and a mule” was Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865 (That account is half-right: Sherman prescribed the 40 acres in that Order, but not the mule. The mule would come later). But what many accounts leave out is that this idea for massive land redistribution actually was the result of a discussion that Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held four days before Sherman issued the Order, with 20 leaders of the black community in Savannah, Ga., where Sherman was headquartered following his famous March to the Sea. The meeting was unprecedented in American history.

“Imagine how profoundly different race relations in the US would have been had the former slaves had access to the ownership of land…to build, accrue and pass on wealth.” – Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Section Two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: “… on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such.”

Finally, Section Three specifies the allocation of land: “… each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”

With this Order, 400,000 acres of land — “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast,” as Barton Myers reports — would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves. The extent of this Order and its larger implications are mind-boggling, actually.

Who Came Up With the Idea?

Here’s how this radical proposal — which must have completely blown the minds of the rebel Confederates — actually came about. The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution “to break the back of Southern slaveholders’ power,” as Myers observed. But Sherman’s plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black [leaders], at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street (pictured). In its broadest strokes, “40 acres and a mule” was their idea.

Stanton, aware of the great historical significance of the meeting, presented Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous brother) a verbatim transcript of the discussion, which Beecher read to his congregation at New York’s Plymouth Church and which the New York Daily Tribune printed in full in its Feb. 13, 1865, edition. Stanton told Beecher that “for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves.” Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather “the leaders of the local Negro community” and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: “What do you want for your own people” following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.

Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before). The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became “contraband,” and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them.

“Sherman’s plan only took shape after meeting with black ministers. 40 acres and a mule was their idea.” –  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, “when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver,” as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been “in the ministry for thirty-five years,” and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.

And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! “The way we can best take care of ourselves,” Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, “is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.” And when asked next where the freed slaves “would rather live — whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves,” without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that “I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … ” When polled individually around the table, all but one — James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore — said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

What Became of the Land That Was Promised?

The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”

And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

Reposted from PBS.org “The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross.” http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/the-truth-behind-40-acres-and-a-mule/.  Accessed 2/24/2016.

Hear NPR’s podcast, “The Story Behind ’40 Acres And A Mule'” on All Things Considered here:


 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865,  Andrew Johnson, his successor, overturned Special Field Order No. 15.
  • The freedmen were forced off of the land granted to them by Special Filed Order No. 15, including the Skidaway Island establishment.
  • Today, Skidaway Island, GA is one of the most affluent communities in the United States. Less than 0.9% of the inhabitants are the descendants of African slaves.

An African American man prays at the West Angeles candlelight service.

Elder Charles Blake II on the Importance of the Black Church

As a part of our Elder’s Corner series, Elder Charles Edward Blake II took time to reflect on the history and importance of the black church. 

“Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety, praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout hallelujah. (They were) rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad, bunkers for the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. They have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church” – President Barack Obama, in the eulogy for Clementa C. Pinckney, Pastor of Emmanuel AME Church.

As I listened to our President deliver this historic, heartfelt [speech], I was especially drawn to his comments on the historical significance of the black church in American history. I have believed that the black church is as our president described: the beating heart of the black community. The first African American schools, hospitals, farming co-ops, workers unions, and many more aspects of our community, came out of the black church. After the Civil War and slavery had ended, the church was the only institution the black community had to protect our civil rights during Reconstruction.

Years later, however, after the Civil Rights Era, other secular African-American organizations did our civil rights work for us. Today, it would now seem that many of the rights that we gained during that time have either slowly eroded, or have not been realized at all by our community.

“The Black church is as our President described: the beating heart of the black community.” – Elder Charles E. Blake, Jr.

In light of what the church has been to our community in the past, we must continue to question: “Who are we as the church in the present?”

Impacting Our Future

As the church, we have the power to impact nations and transform cities. Yet many of us have not allowed ourselves to be transformed by the Gospel into something new that God can use to help someone else. We praise his name and the Spirit of the Lord is here…there’s no doubt about it! But while this Word, this truth, this gospel is widely believed and agreed upon and we praise the Lord for it, it is a truth we widely take for granted. We have to really ask ourselves: “Is the world a better place because we are in it? Is this a better church because I’m a part of it?”

We are called not only to worship Christ, but also to truly follow him. So, how do we do that? Mark 10:43-45 says:

43 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

We have to remember beloved, that as members of the body of Christ, we have all been called as missionaries, evangelists, and ministers (Ephesians 4:11). We are here to follow Jesus’ example, to serve even those who we may feel don’t deserve it, in order to be a light to others. The church must be a better church because we are a part of it. The world must be a better place because we are in it.

Like the apostles themselves, we don’t deserve what Christ did for us when He died on the cross. But when we serve others and live our lives with integrity, God can look at our lives as an investment and pour out His blessings. We then honor the price that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid for us, and we begin to do our part to become the church He created us to be.

 

Elder Charles Edward Blake II serves as Assistant Pastor and Director of Community Relations of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. He received his BS in Marketing from Oral Roberts University, and studied for his MD at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Elder Blake also serves as the General Manager of the Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress.  He and wife DeAndra are the proud parents of two sons. 

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