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The Rev. Teka L. Barber is taking a rare action. She’s leaving the A.M.E. Church on good terms.
Receiving the blessings of the A.M.E. Church Annual Conference, and her pastor, the Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, she will step out on faith as the senior pastor of Light of the World Wisdom Ministries.
The inaugural service takes place on Sunday, October 13, at 11 a.m., at the Double Tree Hotel, located at 90 Pacifica in Irvine.
“If you love the Lord and love the gospel and looking for other options in Orange County, come fellowship with us,” said Pastor Barber, who will be joined by her husband, the Chief Executive Pastor Herman Barber, in the new ministry.
Limited opportunities in the A.M.E. Church, both for women pastors in Southern California as well as multi-cultural diversity, influenced Pastor Barber to start Light of the World. Some A.M.E. congregations, such as Christ Our Redeemer (COR) in Irvine, encourage a multi-racial environment, but the denomination mainly emphasizes African American culture and experience.
“We love the A.M.E. Church. We’re not going for any negative reasons, just for more diversity and multi-racial worship,” explained Pastor Barber, who was ordained an itinerant elder in the A.M.E. Church in 2008.
“I have served under Pastor Whitlock since 2010 and while COR truly promotes a multi-racial environment, my non-Black, non-AME colleagues don’t feel a sense of diversity when they visit even though they love the worship, the Gospel, the music, and the Word.
“We feel like we can lead a more diverse, multi-racial church being non-denominational Christians versus Methodist Christians,” she said.
Expressing his support, Pastor Whitlock said, “It is a delight to welcome Rev. Teka to the pastoral ministry in Orange County. She is a good preacher, pulpit worshipper and ministerial leader. We are so honored to have served her and Herman at COR.”
Light of the World will offer traditional ministries such as Sunday School as well as outreach programs like financial literacy, re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated, and a mobile phonics library for children ages two to 12.
For more information, call (757) 831-7842 or visit lightoftheworldwm.org.