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Pastor Reginald and Lady Juanita Pope
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
The Rev. Dr. Reginald A. Pope and Frist Lady Juanita Pope will be saluted by the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church congregation for their 36-year ministry in South Los Angeles.
The celebration will be held on Sunday, October 23, at 3:30 p.m., in the sanctuary at 10905 South Compton Avenue in L.A.
Pastor Lucius Pope of Greater New Vision Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest preacher. Also, Pastor A.D. Iverson of Paradise Baptist Church and Pastor Lester Heath of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church will participate along with their choirs and members.
"Bethel MBC is very thankful to God for our pastor. After 36 years, he still has his priorities in order. His priorities are God first, family second, and ministry third. He is always last. He always puts others before himself, always has and still does," said Mrs. Verneal Davis.
Throughout his ministry, Dr. Pope has focused on preparing believers to spread the 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," he said.
To accomplish this mission, he instituted Christian Bible Training, Youth and Young Adult Classes, Men's Fellowship, and Women's Fellowship. In addition, he founded an Evangelism School to aid members and the community in their spiritual growth.
According to Mrs. Davis, "Pastor Pope has expanded our knowledge of God by implementing Bible classes for all ages. Also, he is molding, training, guiding, encouraging and nurturing 12 associate ministers in preaching and teaching the Word of God."
Under his leadership, the membership renovated the edifice, added a balcony, purchased two nearby properties and burned the church mortgage. Bethel also distributes food and clothing to the needy each week, provides free Thanksgiving dinners every year, and holds an annual Health Fair for the neighborhood.
Dr. Popeis also actively involved in the Watts community. He received three mayoral appointments to terms on the Community Development Advisory Committee, serves on the Watts Cinema and Education Advisory Council, and is a consultant to the South L.A. Home Ownership Center. In 2020, he was enshrined on the Watts Promenade of Prominence Walk of Fame in honor of his work in the community.
For information about Appreciation Service, call (323) 566-5286 or visit bethelsouthla.org.