Looking back over 2012, the faith-based community witnessed dramatic changes in many local churches including the passing of Bishop H. Hartford Brookins, Bishop Gregory Dixon, and Bishop Carl Stewart. Yet, through it all, praises to God continue to rise at a fervent level. The following are some of the memorable events occurring this year.
January – KJLH Wins Stellar Award
Radio Free KJLH-FM received a 2012 Stellar Gospel Music Award for being the Best Radio Station in a major market. Aundrae Russell, KJLH Program Director and host of ‘Spread the Word,’ accepted the statuette on behalf of Station Owner Stevie Wonder and General Manager Karen Slade.
March – Macedonia Installs Scott
The Rev. Shane B. Scott became the new pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, 1751 East 114th Street in Los Angeles. Vowing to spearhead change in the area, he said, “My vision is to be an agent of transformation. I think this Watts community has been neglected and if spiritual and economic growth is to occur, it will be because of the church.”
April – Bishop Stewart & Bishop Dixon Pass Away
Homegoing services were held for two religious leaders. Bishop Carl W. Stewart, founder of Greater Emmanuel Temple in Lynwood, died at the age of 76. He constructed the magnificent edifice during his 47-year pastoral tenure and was later appointed Diocesan of the State of Hawaii by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. His son, the Rev. Nisan Stewart, succeeded him as pastor.
Bishop Gregory L. Dixon, pastor of the First Church of God - Center of Hope, unexpectedly passed at the age of 55. As senior pastor of the 3,500-member congregation in Inglewood, he was highly regarded for his Biblical knowledge and community advocacy. Also, he spearheaded the church’s purchase of the former Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood. His son, the Rev. Geremy Dixon, was appointed pastor in August.
May - Masters Leaves Holman for Texas
After 11 years of ministry in Los Angeles, the Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, pastor of Holman United Methodist Church, was named spiritual leader of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Dallas. On July 1, the Rev. Kelvin Sauls preached his first sermon as pastor of Holman United Methodist Church. Recently, he noted, “Creative partnerships with other churches, faith traditions, businesses, and elected officials must come together to advance the equity and vitality of the Crenshaw, Jefferson Park, West Adams, and adjoining communities with economic development.”
June - Bishop H.H. Brookins Eulogized
Thousands paid last respects to Bishop H. Hartford Brookins at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, an edifice he built more than 40 years ago. Internationally renowned for his dynamic preaching and courageous social activism, he left an enduring legacy of service and dedication to God and community. Bishop Brookins was 86 years old.
August - Rev. Sharpton Visits WBSC
The Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, president of the Western Baptist State Convention, welcomed the Rev. Al Sharpton as guest speaker during the WBSC 122nd Session. Clergy and laity throughout West Coast attended the week-long conference.
October - A Taste of Gospel
The presence of God burst forth with power as artists from ages 8 to 80 electrified the audience with a range of song, rap, praise dancing and mime acts. Adrianne M. Moore, MFTI, served as executive producer of the stage hosted by A Home For Us Counseling Center. She said, “I believe all in attendance experienced renewal, revival and recommitment to the Lord.”
November - New AME Pastors
Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., appointed new pastors to lead five local A.M.E. churches. The Rev. J. Edgar Boyd was assigned to First, the Rev. Taurus Myhand to Ward, the Rev. Gregory McLeod to Brookins Community, the Rev. Sean Tarkington to St. James and the Rev. Michael Eagle to Grant – Long Beach.
December - FAME Takes Action
Pastor J. Edgar Boyd and First A.M.E. Church filed a civil lawsuit on December 4 attributing the former pastor, the Rev. Dr. John Hunter; his wife, Mrs. Denise Hunter; and several church officers, with gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. Pastor Boyd said the church will “re-tool and reorganize. I am committed to this congregation.”