God uses busy people and the Rev. Mark Whitlock illustrates the truth of that adage.
With a full schedule as husband, father and pastor of the 2,500-member Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR), he also serves as executive director of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at the University of Southern California training ministers and nonprofit staff in community development and civic involvement.
Then two weeks ago, he accepted yet another position as the Western Province Chaplain of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
His appointment by Western Province Polemarch Samuel B. Knight indicates the organization’s confidence in Pastor Whitlock’s capabilities to provide spiritual guidance to thousands of Kappa members in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Japan, Korea, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
A daunting task for some, but the Rev. Whitlock is up to the task. “The Lord is good and I think God gives us energy, resources and spirit to fulfill the goals of God’s kingdom.
“I’ve wanted to be a Kappa since I was 14 years of age. Kappas achieve excellence in every field of human endeavor. We do that by serving as a moral compass to teach our young men how to live right, work right and worship together.
“So, it’s not about how much time I have, but how much time is needed to make a difference in the community,” he said.
Based on his record at COR, Pastor Whitlock embraces opportunities to make a difference. The church, located at 46 Maxwell Street in Irvine, offers multiple ministries and outreach services for all ages. Also, COR regularly presents free community sessions on job placement, leadership training, home financing, business development, and health care.
Similar programs are sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi such as Guide Right, where chapters provide mentoring support for local youth; Kappa League, which helps male high school students develop leadership skills; and the Kappa Foundation, the fraternity’s philanthropic arm that assists chapters with establishing scholarship efforts and after-school programs.
Pastor Whitlock is active locally in the Irvine-Anaheim Chapter that he co-founded and currently serves as treasurer or exchequer, the formal title. The Los Angeles Chapter also selected him as the recipient of its 2011 Man of the Year – Community Service Award.
The Kappa membership rolls contain several notable men in the Los Angeles area such as late Mayor Tom Bradley, Attorney Johnny Cochran, Composer Jester Hairston, and NBA star Wilt Chamberlain. Prominent local members include Sentinel Contributing Editor Danny Bakewell, Jr., Assemblyman Mike Davis, former Lt. Governor Merv Dymally, Bishop Noel Jones, TV Judge Kevin Ross, LA City Executive Reginald Jones-Sawyer, and Broadcaster Tavis Smiley.
“We want more men and more preachers to get involved in Kappa Alpha Psi. I invite them to call me at my church at (949) 955-0014,” said Pastor Whitlock.
“We have chapters in LA, Riverside, South Bay, and Inglewood and we’ll be more than happy to work with them. We have hundreds of thousands of members, but we can always take one more man.”