It’s been nearly three years since the Right Rev. T. Larry Kirkland, Sr. retired as an AME bishop after 55 years of ministry, but his schedule remains as busy as ever.
A powerful preacher and insightful teacher, Kirkland is frequently invited to deliver sermons at churches throughout Southern California as well as in other parts of the country. His next local engagement takes place at Agape Church of Los Angeles.
The ministry, led by Bishop Craig A. Worsham, will welcome Kirkland to deliver the sermon on Resurrection Day, April 21, at the 8 a.m. service in the worship center located at Consolidated Plaza, 3725 Don Felipe Dr., in Los Angeles.
In addition, Worsham said that Kirkland has agreed to serve as Agape’s spiritual advisor and preach every first Sunday for the Hour of Power worship at 8 a.m. Also, Kirkland will kick-off the first in a series of workshops to help young pastors with evangelism, church growth and economic development at the church.
“We are grateful that Bishop Kirkland will share his knowledge and experience with us,” said Worsham. “He has a proven track record of building ministries, as shown by his monumental success as pastor of Brookins Community AME Church.”
Before his 20-year tenure in the episcopacy, Kirkland served nearly two decades as the first spiritual leader of Brookins. When appointed by the late Bishop H. Hartford Brookins in 1977, Kirkland had a congregation of eight members borrowed from First AME Church. But, by the time he was elected bishop in 1996, more than 8,000 members were on the rolls.
Also, the church’s socio-political presence grew as Kirkland advised mayors, governors and national leaders on issues such as voter’s registration, police brutality, and economic empowerment.
“One of my most memorable moments is my ministry at Brookins. I know it wasn’t me that caused it to grow. It was the power of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I’m very rewarded for that in so many ways. It was just an outstanding moment in my life,” Kirkland said.
“I want to assist other pastors and church leaders by sharing what I’ve learned and assist them in realizing a rewarding ministry where people are converted, lives are changed and God gets the glory!”
Kirkland believes several lessons that he learned as a bishop will also be instructional for young pastors. He served four years in Central Africa in the 17th District, then as Ecumenical Officer and president of the Council of Bishops. In 2002, he was assigned to the 9th District (Alabama) where he started a district-wide outreach program that included computer literacy training and health services for the uninsured. In 2008, he was assigned to the Fifth Episcopal District.
During his long ministry, Kirkland enjoyed both success and challenges, however his faith never wavered. “My confidence and trust in God knows no limits. He has proven, time and again, that He is able to do miraculous works in the life of His people and His Church,” he said.