Top Religion Stories in 2021 – LA Faith Community Sees Change – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Top Religion Stories in 2021 – LA Faith Community Sees Changes

Apostle Frederick KC Price (loaned photo)

The Los Angeles faith community endured another tumultuous year in 2021, yet retained faith in the goodness of God. As in 2020, churches and ministries handled the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to closed campuses, reduced donations and the death of many parishioners.

But a light emerged with the distribution of vaccines to fight the virus along with the implementation of protocols to reduce the spread of the disease. As a result, some ministries of personal worship reopened and resumed selected outreach services to help people in need.

The year also featured new faces on the great pulpits, another woman elected AME bishop, and the passing of many giants of the faith who paved the way for others to excel in spreading the gospel. The following is a list of the best stories covered in the LA Sentinel Religion section.

February – Apostle Frederick KC Price Fits: The founder of the world-famous Crenshaw Christian Center died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 89. The mega-church builder headed an international ministry that first spread through television, radio and books, and in the century, through various social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube Live, AppleTV, ROKU and Amazon FireTV. His Ever Increasing Faith television program (EIF), which debuted in 1978, is one of the longest running, continuously running Christian educational programs on television.

Pastor Ken Walden (With courtesy photo)

March – Walden appointed Holman UMC pastor: The pastor Dr. Ken Walden was previously president of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as leading churches in California, Michigan and North Carolina. The author of the three books, he earned his master’s degree from Duke Divinity School, his doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation, and a master’s and doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology.

Father Anthony Bozeman (Courtesy photo)

April – Bozeman appointed to the Transfiguration Catholic Church: Father Anthony Bozeman is the first pastoral leader of the Church of the Transfiguration since 2014. His appointment will help the congregation further establish itself as a black Catholic church. Before becoming a priest, he served 16 years in the military. Since his ordination in 2000, Bozeman served in Philadelphia, Washington DC and New Orleans before being transferred to Transfiguration in January 2021.

Madeline Thompson (Richard Nichols photo)

June – Thompson, last original Ward singer, dies: Madeline Thompson, the talented, elegant and creative vocalist, died at the age of 78. The last original member of Clara Ward Singers, Thompson joined the legendary group in 1960 and extended their fame for decades beyond the death of its famous namesake. She was a Philadelphia resident and was known for her rendition of “Travel Shoes,” which she performed while dancing across the stage or in the hallways of the sanctuary.

July – Mega churches reopen for worship: City of Refuge, Faithful Central Bible Church, and West Angeles Church of God in Christ resumed all personal worship services on Sunday, July 4th. They join the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, which reopened Sunday, June 6th. personal worship compliments the virtual services that each ministry sponsors via the web, Facebook Live and YouTube.

Bishop Francine Brookins (With courtesy photo)

July – Brookins elected AME Bishop: Rev. Francine A. Brookins, Esq., Was elected 141st bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church under 51 denominationst General conference held 6. -10. July. Brookins, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Fontana, is the fifth woman to be elected to the AME Episcopal Level. She follows in the footsteps of her late father, the right-wing pastor H. Hartford Brookins, who served decades as AME bishop. She has been awarded on the 18thth Episcopal District, which covers Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and part of Mozambique in Africa.

Rev. Dr. Solomon L. Drake (file photo)

August – Dr. Solomon Drake consists of: Drake, Emeritus Pastor of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, died on August 18 at the age of 90. He served in the Greater Ebenezer for nearly 34 years. During his tenure, he led the membership in expanding the building, purchasing additional properties, opening a kindergarten, and establishing an advanced library. In addition, part of South Denker Avenue was designated as ‘Pastor Drake Square’ by the City of Los Angeles. Prior to his ministerial career, he played professional baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.

Pastor Darrell Wesley (With courtesy photo)

August – Wesley awarded to Phillips Temple CME – The pastor Dr. Darrell J. Wesley was appointed senior pastor of the Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Paul AG Stewart, presiding priest. Wesley, a former pastor of Amos Temple CME Church in Riverside, is a writer and retired captain in the U.S. Navy. He earned his BA and MS degrees from Abilene Christian University, Master of Sacred Theology at Yale Divinity School; Doctor of Ministry at United Theological Seminary and Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate University.

Missionary Lillie Benbow Jackson (Cora J. Fossett / LA Sentinel)

August – Missionary Lillie Benbow Jackson’s Life Feast – The community celebrated District Missionary Lillie Benbow Jackson’s life on the 27th-28th. August. She was known in south Los Angeles for instructing the 88th St. Temple Church of God in Christ’s Food Program for many years, which distributes fresh vegetables and groceries every Friday. She was a skilled organist and played in 88th Temple and for the Southern California First Jurisdiction Youth Choir. She was also co-chair of the jurisdiction’s Youth Sunshine Band, and served as chief pastor of the Women’s Department Light District. The daughter of the late Bishop Bennie Robert Benbow, missionary Jackson, credited “generational blessings” for her spirit of giving back. During the Sentinel interview, she said, “I never retire because I’m purposeful, and if God sends you, you can handle it. I think I’re chosen for this job.”

Archbishop Carl Bean (stock photo)

September – Archbishop Carl Bean succumbs to: Bean, a pioneering AIDS activist, pioneer in the LGBTQ church movement and international advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, died on September 7th. He was 77 years old. Bean was known in Los Angeles for establishing the Unity Fellowship Church of Christ (UFC) in 1982 and implementing the Minority AIDS Project (MAP) in 1985, the first organization of its kind started in a period when the disease was relatively new.

Bishop Charles Blake and Pastor Charles Blake II (Rickey Brown Photo)

November – Blake II appointed West Angeles Co-Pastor: Presiding Bishop Emeritus Charles E. Blake announced the elevation of his son, Elder Charles Blake II, as co-priest. The appointment was a collaboration between Bishop Blake, Jurisdiction Bishop Joe Louis Ealy, and the West Angeles Board. Formerly, Elder Charles served as assistant pastor and director of community relations in West Angeles. He graduated from Oral Robert University and received his Master’s of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center.

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