Pastor J. Edgar Boyd (File photo)

After 52 years of spreading the Gospel of Christ, the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd will retire from the pastoral ministry.  To demonstrate love and appreciation for his outstanding tenure, the members of First AME Church – Los Angeles are planning a three-day celebration next month.

Activities kick-off of Friday, September 8, at 6 p.m., with a “Holy Roast” at the FAME Renaissance Center, located at 1968 West Adams Blvd., in Los Angeles. The donation is $25.

On Saturday, September 9, at 5 p.m., the black-tie “Evening of Elegance” takes place at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 5711 West Century Blvd., in Los Angeles.  The donation is $100.

The celebration concludes on Sunday, September 10, at 2 p.m., with “Jazz in the Gardens” at the FAME Allen House Gardens, 2249 South Harvard Blvd in Los Angeles. The donation is $50.

For the past 11 years, Boyd has served as pastor of the 150-year-old First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (FAME), the oldest African American church in the city. Assigned to the church in 2012, Pastor Boyd leads a congregation of thousands and emphasizes Biblically based spiritual practices, stewardship, and transparency in operating procedures.

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In addition to ministering to the spiritual needs of the congregation, he has empowered the church’s leadership (through a commission system) to address the overall health more proactively, social and educational needs of the parishioners and the larger community.

Under his leadership, FAME Church organized the Sojourner Truth Industrial Club of First AME Church of Los Angeles, and acquired a five thousand square foot complex on Crenshaw Blvd.  The building provides space for academic enrichment offerings, involving after-school training for 300 school age children during weekdays and on Saturdays.

Also, Pastor Boyd formed the South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation, which collaborates with other denominations to address social and economic issues impacting a 32 square mile area of South Los Angeles.

Among his areas of interest are the overall physical and mental health of marginalized and disenfranchised communities of color, the welfare of transitional age youth within the foster care system, law enforcement relations within diverse communities, K-12 education/training, and economic empowerment.

Prior to his assignment at FAME, Boyd served as pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in San Francisco for 20 years. In this capacity, he led the congregation in expanding its 105 housing units to 350 housing units serving market rate, low-income, and moderately low income multi-family, senior, and disabled families and individuals

Some of his other accomplishments were establishing the Allen Community Development Corporation, developing the San Francisco Western Addition Community Computer Technology Center, and founding the Tabernacle Community Development Corporation dedicated to providing vital social services to the low income and racially diverse communities of San Francisco.

From 1986 to 1992, Boyd led the congregation of Bethel AME Church of Los Angeles (1986-1992), where he made a tremendous impact to healing relations between the Black and Korean communities during the 1992 social unrest.

During his six years of service there, the congregation liquidated its mortgage on the sanctuary building, purchased two real estate parcels adjacent to the main church building, organized the Allen Community Development Corporation, and the launched an anti-billboard campaign to remove advertising of alcohol and tobacco products from the community.  Under his leadership, Bethel was awarded a Los Angeles civic grant of $250,000.00 to establish an entrepreneurial training center, operating from the educational center located on the church’s main site.

Prior to his service at Bethel, LA, Boyd served as pastor of Brookins AME church in Oakland, CA (1982-1986).  During his short four-year tenure there, he led the congregation in building a modern three hundred seat sanctuary, relocating the congregation to a visible and accessible location on a major thoroughfare leading to the Oakland International Airport.

Boyd also led congregations in Oakland, California; Seattle, Washington; Casper, Wyoming; and Pueblo, Colorado.

As an Itinerant Elder in the AME Church, Pastor Boyd currently serves as a member of the General Board of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc., as well as treasurer for the denomination’s Fifth Episcopal District.

A native of Florida, Boyd served a two-year term of duty in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1970. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Development from Western Washington University and a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa, and doctoral studies in the DMin. Program at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California.

To learn more or to rsvp for Pastor Boyd’s retirement celebration, call (323) 735-1251.