Pastor Robert R. Shaw II and Rev. Ann Champion Shaw deliver a spirt-filled tag team sermon. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)

First AME Church of Los Angeles hosted the City of Los Angeles Annual African American Heritage Month Worship Service on Sunday, Feb. 18.  Hundreds of members, visitors and guests gathered at FAME to commemorate the legacy of African American history.

The celebration began with high praise from the FAME Freedom Mass Choir, praise dancers and flag bearers.  The newly appointed minister, Pastor Robert R. Shaw II, and his wife and partner, Rev. Ann Champion Shaw, led the service, and Mayor Karen Bass was the featured guest.

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Pastor Rob and Rev. Ann gave a rousing tag-team sermon entitled “The Door of Hope in Trouble Valley.”  Mayor Bass spoke of FAME’s rich involvement and legacy with justice and equality in this city, and said, “I know FAME will continue to lead the way in our latest struggles.”

Mrs. Togetta Ulmer, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer and Mayor Bass enjoy the service. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)

Pastor Rob gave special recognition and honor to four leaders of the major churches in Los Angeles, who have impacted his ministry and this city in a prominent way. The honorees were  Bishop Charles Blake, Sr., of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church, the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, retired minister of FAME Los Angeles, and the Rev. Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, former pastor of First A.M.E. Church Los Angeles.

Upon receiving his award, Bishop Ulmer relayed how the inspiration and support he received from Rev. Murray during crucial times had changed his life.  He said, “This city is a better city because of First AME Church Los Angeles.”

Rev. Boyd also spoke of FAME’s legacy and said FAME continues to provide “great leadership and power” for many of our elected leaders and our people.

The aggregation of many national, state and local leaders included Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Supervisor Holly Mitchell, L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna, Councilwoman Heather Hutt, and Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, curators of The Kinsey Collection.  The musical guest was singer, songwriter and actor Chaz Shepherd who led the mass choir in spirit-filled, melodious selections.

Mayor Karen Bass, Postmaster Jeremie Six and Pastor Shaw unveil the Constance Baker Motley Black Heritage Stamp. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)

The service concluded with Los Angeles Postmaster Jeremie Six unveiling the 47th stamp of the USPS Black Heritage stamp series featuring Constance Baker Motley, the first African American woman to have argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hundreds of people rejoice and praise God during the worship service. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)
From left are Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, Lady Florence Boyd, Rev. Ann Champion Shaw and Pastor Robert Shaw II. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)
From left are Bernard Kinsey, Shirley Kinsey, Rev. Shaw and Pastor Shaw. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)