Keith Murray and Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr.Pastor Mark and Rev. Hermia Whitlock
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Witnessing history in the making, Pastor Mark Whitlock and the members of Christ Our Redeemer (COR) A.M.E. Church cheered as the mortgage on the building was burned during a special worship service on October 23.
The joyous occasion marked COR's remarkable achievement of paying off the $3 million mortgage in five years as well as its fifth anniversary in the building.
Bishop T. Larry Kirkland Sr., presiding prelate of the 5th District of the A.M.E. Church, joined the celebration along with Rev. LaGrant Moore, presiding elder of the Los Angeles-Pasadena District of the Southern California Conference (SCC); Rev. Roosevelt Lindsey, presiding elder of the Los Angeles-San Diego-La Vegas District; Rev. Felicia Bagneris, coordinator of the SCC Women in Ministry; and Rev. Jonathan Maxey.
Bishop Kirkland conducted the burning ceremony with assistance from Trustee Pro Tem Wade Keith and Steward Pro Tem Keith Murray. As the paper caught fire, the crowd broke into jubilant shouts and applause."This is an exciting time in the life of Christ Our Redeemer and demonstrates that even in a bad economy, God will bring forth a good blessing," said Pastor Whitlock. "We thank everybody, especially all of the A.M.E. churches, who helped us get into this place."
Among others recognized for assisting COR were Keith Drake, the Bank of America official who approved the loan, and Dr. Tom Parham, vice chancellor of the University of California - Irvine, who located space for COR Church on the university campus in 2000.
Also in attendance were Assemblyman Don Wagner who presented a resolution from the State Assembly; Bill Lewis, president of the 100 Black Men of Orange County; Lori Hayes, president of the 100 Black Women of Orange County; and Robert Stewart representing Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church is located at 46 Maxwell Street in Irvine. For information, call (949) 955-0014 or visit corchurch.org.