Rev. Dr. Reginald A. Pope and First Lady Juanita Pope
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
A great love for Christ guides the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Reginald A. Pope. As pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles, he aims to prepare believers to spread that gospel message.
“Primarily, I see my job as equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry based upon Ephesians 4. We equip them in-house to go out into the world to demonstrate and be an influence for Christ,” said Dr. Pope.
To aid members in their spiritual growth, Bethel offers a wide-ranging curriculum, said the pastor. “We have several classes such as Evangelism training, the Bible book-by-book, Sunday School, Christian Bible Training, Youth and Young Adult Classes, Men’s Fellowship, and Women’s Fellowship.”
Other activities instituted under Dr. Pope’s leadership include prayer workshops, health fairs, and the Ernest Killiam Jr. Scholarship Fund. Also, the church holds a Mother-Daughter Luncheon each May and a Father-Son Luncheon every June.
“The luncheons illuminate what the Bible says about mothers training young women and fathers training young men as well as being that father figure to those who don’t have one on the premises,” explained Dr. Pope.
Bethel has been located in South L.A. since 1965. Dr. Pope is only the fourth pastor in the church’s 64-year history. Assuming the office in 1975, he is also actively involved in the Watts community. He received three mayoral appointments to terms on the Community Development Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Watts Cinema and Education Advisory Council. In addition, he is a consultant to the South L.A. Home Ownership Center.
Looking back over his ministry, Dr. Pope said, “It’s been very fulfilling and rewarding. My satisfaction comes from seeing people that I minister to succeed. That’s real rewarding.”
Bethel is located at 10905 South Compton Avenue. Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. For information, call (323) 566-5286 or visit bethelsouthla.org.