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Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr.
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
The NAACP, the nation's foremost civil rights organization, arrives in Los Angeles next week for its 102nd Annual Convention and the local faith community will be well-represented. The conference, set for July 23 to July 28, will bring thousands to the city to meet at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A.
Second Baptist Church will host a revival to open the convention on Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m., at 2412 Griffith Avenue in Los Angeles. The revivalist will be Bishop T. Larry Kirkland Sr., the presiding prelate of the 5th Episcopal District and president of the General Board of the A.M.E. Church. The Rev. Dr. William S. Epps is the host pastor.
The Right Rev. Charles E. Blake Sr., presiding bishop of the worldwide Church of God in Christ Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the Religious Leaders Luncheon on Tuesday, July 24, at 12:30 p.m. Bishop Blake is the senior pastor of West Angeles COGIC.
Rev. Dr. Melvin Wade, pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church, will chair the ‘Gospel Extravaganza' concert on Wednesday, July 27, at 8 p.m. He will also be active throughout the event participating in various business sessions.
Dr. Rodena Preston, internationally celebrated musician, will serve as musical director for the extravaganza as well as for the opening musical on Sunday, July 24, at 6 p.m., and the Late Night Worship Service on Tuesday, July 26, at 10 p.m.
Both Dr. Wade and Dr. Preston are reprising roles they held in the past. "I chaired the Gospel Extravaganza when the NAACP last came to town in 1992. Rodena conducted the Mass Choir at that convention and the organization decided they wanted her again," said Dr. Wade, who serves with Dr. Preston on the Gospel Music Workshop of America National Board of Directors.
"We are assembling the Mass Choir from churches of all denominations throughout the area. We'll sing Sunday night when Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the Board of Directors, speaks and this will be historic because this is the first time a woman has been NAACP Chairman," he said.
Encouraging vocalists to participate, Dr. Preston said, "Our goal is to amass 1,000 people to sing in the Mass Choir. We invite all interested persons to attend our rehearsals on Mondays at 7:30 p.m., at Mount Moriah, located at 4269 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles."
For information about the NAACP Convention, visit www.naacp.org. For choir rehearsal details, call (310) 397-1171 or (323) 846-1950.