Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles recently celebrated its 60th anniversary with a two-day celebration which highlighted the work of the Church’s community based organization, the Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation (BBCDC).
The celebration kicked off with a ground-breaking ceremony and reception with Bright Star Charter Schools. The school, Stella Middle Charter Academy, will be located on the Bethany Baptist Church campus in the Baldwin Village / Crenshaw Community and will have an enrollment of 500 students. The multi-million-dollar construction project will begin in July of this year and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.
Jubilant remarks were given by Los Angeles City Council, Herb Wesson, 2nd District Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark-Ridley -Thomas, 54th District Assembly-member Sydney Kamlager-Dove, LAUSD District 1 Board Member Dr. George J McKenna, Executive Director of Bright Star Schools Harg Hamalian and Baldwin Village Community in Action Neighborhood Group President Mary Jones-Darks.
Assembly member Kamlager-Dove stated, “Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles has been an amazing partner in the South L.A. community and has shown the importance of merging the faith based community with education and family, and so the ground-breaking ceremony and the commitment to Stella Middle School really is another example of why it is so important to make sure we are connecting family to education and church.”
The Church culminated the celebration with a Mortgage Burning service. “We are excited to celebrate our 60th Anniversary with such an accomplishment. To see the vision of our Organizing Pastor, Dr. Rocellia Johnson, come to fruition is monumental. I’m very thankful to our Community Development Corporation for its leadership and direction in managing this project. To God be the glory,” stated Senior Pastor L.A. Kessee.
Congress member Karen Bass also highlighted the celebration by sending proclamations to celebrate and honor founding pastor Dr. Johnson, Pastor Kessee, the churches Bible College and the CDC.
Pastor Kessee then lead the congregation in a Mortgage Burning litany that filled the church with praise and tears as the mortgage began to burn. “This has been a long time coming,” stated BBCDC executive director Rod Miles. “This was a vision of pastor Johnson’s in 2009, to move forward with building an education facility here on the Bethany property. We thank God we’ve been able to see it come to fruition.”
Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles is located at 4115 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008.