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Head: There’s No Place Like Home
It was one of those splendidly rare occurrences that seemed divinely inspired. After a series of wrathful storms pelted Los Angeles like Noah’s flood, the skies mysteriously cleared Sunday, February 26, just in time for parishioners to celebrate Crenshaw Christian Center’s (CCC) 50th anniversary.
The special service featured Apostle Beverly “BAM” Crawford who brought a down-home message, “The Mysteries of the Glorious Church,” to the fold where her spiritual journey began.
The fiery pastor, teacher, mentor, and renowned force in gospel recording shared the story of how she was mentored by the late, legendary Apostle Frederick K.C. Price at the storied South Los Angeles house of worship he founded in 1973.
Pastor Crawford’s appearance was part of a yearlong observance at CCC as the church marks half a century of transforming lives through teaching the Word of God.
For Crawford, who faced homelessness after losing her mother when she was 10, CCC was a place of tremendous growth. The pioneering church is where she found herself and discovered her faith in God.
Former CCC First Lady, Dr. Betty Price, welcomed Apostle Crawford home, referring to her as a “spiritual daughter” of the church; someone whose brilliance and God-given gifts fostered a thriving women’s ministry at CCC (Crawford was ordained at the church in 1980).
“As a girl growing up, we never had a home,” she told the crowd at the Faith Dome, CCC’s world-renowned sanctuary. “I came here and found a home,” she continued. “I have only had one pastor, and it was Apostle Price. I was embraced by the Price family. I never had anything like that. I was the kid who had to wash my underwear in the gym at school.”
With unvarnished candor, humility, and a deep reverence for the Word, Apostle Crawford spoke passionately about the lessons she learned at CCC.
A decade of study and service at the church paved the way for her to start her own ministry. She is founder of Crawford Ministries, Inc., and senior pastor of Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church in Inglewood, CA.
Pastor Crawford established LAMPS (Leaders, Apostolic, Maturing & Mentoring Prophetic Seminars), a fellowship of international ministries united to advance the Kingdom of God and to help men and women fulfill their God-given destinies.
A Bible scholar who adamantly believes you must “read to lead,” Apostle Crawford has authored several books, including “The House of Chloe – Empowering and Encouraging Women in Leadership.” She is the chancellor and a professor at Bible Enrichment School of Theology (B.E.S.T.), a prophetic, spirit-filled institute of higher education.
During her February 26th CCC appearance, the 77-year-old Angeleno reflected on her faith journey.
“When my mother died, I stopped going to church,” she confessed. “I couldn’t reconcile my mother’s death with God’s goodness.”
After years of not attending church, Apostle Crawford discovered the more she studied at CCC, the more her life began to change.
“Apostle Price taught me the tenets of faith, and by his example, he taught me to reconcile my mother’s death,” Pastor Crawford revealed. “It struck me that he lost a son…and yet he still loved Jesus. Through his life he taught me to trust God.”
“You grow up on revelation, not information,” she told those in attendance. “Only by divine revelation can God show you mysteries.”
Apostle Crawford believes many mysteries were revealed to her because she was willing to dig deep and build a thorough and enduring relationship with God.
“You can’t know God superficially,” she said. “You can’t have a tiptoe-through-the-tulips relationship with God. You don’t want to get cancer, or get where you really have to fight if you have a mediocre relationship with God.”
“What I learned from Apostle Price is to want more,” she informed the congregation. “Not just materially, but spiritually. What he wanted was to see people walking in miracles.”
Apostle Crawford challenged the congregation to embrace their life experiences, as she shared her family’s struggles with addiction, molestation, and homelessness.
“Don’t live in your secrets,” she said in her matter-of-fact style. “I may look like I have it all together, but it took me 50 years and a lot of studying, praying, fasting, and growing up again and again.”
“We are all here today by the bigness of God, and the graciousness of God,” she said. “You are not alone if you are a divorcee. You are not alone if you are a cancer survivor. There are so many things God wants us to know so we can see more and be more. I am whole, and I can fall on my knees with my eyes to the rising sun because of the goodness and grace of God.”
Crenshaw Christian Center is located at 7901 South Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. To learn more, visit faithdome.org.