Being open to the move of God works well for the Rev. Carolyn Baskin-Bell and has led to great experiences throughout her ministry.
As the pastor of Second African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, she serves as the first female spiritual leader in the congregation’s 108-year history. Bishop Theodore Larry Kirkland, presiding prelate of the Fifth Episcopal District of the AME Church, made the significant appointment in October 2015.
Her assignment is just one of many memorable moments since she accepted the call to preach in 1996. Ordained an itinerant deacon in 1999 and an itinerant elder in 2001, Baskin-Bell went on to plant the Rose of Sharon AME Church in Norwalk where she served as pastor from 2006 to 2015. The membership grew from four to 65 under her leadership.
Now marking her fifth month in her current pastoral position, Baskin-Bell remains excited about her calling. Her plans at Second AME include increasing the members’ spirituality and knowledge of God’s word along with developing programs and projects for all age groups.
“I am thankful for God’s grace that has been upon my life and my ministry. My vision is to share God’s goodness and the ministry of Jesus Christ throughout Christendom. I am open to the move of God,” said Baskin-Bell, who also serves as president of the Fifth District AME Women in Ministry.
“Teaching and preaching are my passion and I pray to expand the level of Christian Education. I also hope to increase intergenerational ministries in order to prepare our youth and young adults to interact and learn leadership roles within the church for present and future development,” she shared.
Baskin-Bell is well prepared to achieve her goals. Prior to becoming a pastor, she served 10 years as an associate minister at Grant AME Church. During her tenure, she instituted workshops and conferences designed to spiritually, mentally and physically empower women and men in all aspects of their lives.
Her ministry led to preaching opportunities and presentation requests across the nation and Africa.
Professionally, Baskin-Bell retired after 30 years as a speech pathologist for the L.A. County Office of Education where she worked as a mentor and advocate for special needs students. Her education includes two Master of Arts degrees in communication disorders and school management and a Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology.
As she moves forward in the will of God, Baskin-Bell will depend on her favorite scripture for guidance.
“I stand on Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and the Lord will keep your paths straight.’
“I also advise Women in Ministry to know that God sees every effort. Advancement and access to promotion is through the Lord God Almighty.”
Second AME Church is located at 5500 S. Hoover St., in Los Angeles. For information, call (323) 753-2451.