From left are Rev. Dwain Jackson, Rev. Carolyn Baskin-Bell, the Rev. Dr. Larry Campbell, Dianne Lewis of Alkebulan Cultural Center of Pasadena, Freddie Muse Jr., of The Men’s Cancer Network of Los Angeles, Rev. Darryl E. Walker and the Rev. Dr. Kelvin Calloway. (photo courtesy of Freddie Muse, Jr.)

During the season of lent, eight AME churches united to present the Community Lenten Caravan (CLC), a series of services held in L.A. and Pasadena leading up to Resurrection Sunday.

While the main goal focused on Christ and spiritual renewal for believers, the secondary purpose aimed to raise funds to assist two local nonprofits in their community efforts.

The recipients were announced on April 12 at the CLC closing worship at Bethel AME Church in South L.A. The Men’s Cancer Network of Los Angeles and Alkebulan Cultural Center of Pasadena received all of the proceeds from the eight CLC services.

“We’re just privileged to be able to share tonight with two agencies that are doing good works. As a church, we want to show that we affirm the work that is going on and we also want to be able to support them financially,” explained Bethel Pastor Kelvin T. Calloway.

“We’re excited to partner with them and encourage them in this Lenten season spread the message that the church is still in the community and the church still cares about the community,” he said.

The Rev. Dr. Larry Campbell, pastor of First AME Church in Pasadena, noted that he nominated Alkebulan to receive a donation because of their ongoing educational programs for youth in the city.

“Not only do they capture African American history, but they do a good job of teaching, training and sharing with the young people things that are sacred and important to our culture. We selected them because we want our heritage to continue, not only in our community, but the legacy of our ancestors and they do a good job with that,” said Campbell.

Both groups expressed delight at receiving the donations. Alkebulan Executive Director Dianne Lewis said the funds will help towards continuing their range of activities including self-help, physical fitness and social skills classes for black and Latino young males.

“We’re the only black cultural center in San Gabriel Valley and we focus on helping to battle some of the gang violence by getting our young men involved in various educational activities. This [donation] will help us bring something to our community. It will bring our black and brown children to work together as a team,” insisted Lewis.

Offering similar comments, Freddie Muse Jr., of The Men’s Cancer Network, said, “We’re truly blessed to receive this donation. It will go a long way to help us pay for flyers, refreshments for our support group meetings, and transportation to attend vital and important events held all around town.”

In addition to Calloway and Campbell, the CLC churches include Pastor Mary S. Minor of Brookins-Kirkland Community AME, Pastor Dwain Jackson of Bryant Temple AME, Pastor Darryl E. Walker of New Philadelphia AME, Pastor Benjamin Hollins of Price Chapel AME, Pastor Carolyn Baskin-Bell of Second AME and Pastor John E. Cager III of Ward AME.