The Rev. Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray is the keynote speaker for the kick-off of Bryant Temple AME Church’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3:30 p.m.
The service will feature a “Homecoming Tribute” in honor of charter members and members of 45 years or more. Also, Minister of Music Brent Jones will direct the Bryant Temple Mass Choir.
“Dr. Murray is universally recognized as the religious leader every spiritually-conscious person would like to follow. In his 27 years as pastor of First AME, the church grew to an unparalleled status with its innovative approach to ministry and its programs devoted to uplifting the lives of southern California’s citizens,” said Pastor Dwaine A. Jackson.
“He is also the founder of USC’s Cecil L. Murray Center for Civic and Community Engagement where emerging religious leaders are trained in diverse leadership strategies.”
A variety of special events have been scheduled throughout the year to mark Bryant Temple’s 50th anniversary. The church will conduct a “Battle of the States” fundraiser as well as its annual Spring Revival, a Summer block party designed to link Bryant Temple with the Leimert Park community, and a culminating celebratory worship service and banquet, planned for late September.
Bryant Temple began as All Saints Church on December 16, 1962, founded by the Rev. Mansfield Collins. In October 17, 1968, Bishop Harrison Bryant convened a special session and received All Saints into the AME fold. More than thirty All Saints members became Bryant Temple charter members.
The first pastor was Rev. J. Curtis Brooks, who served until August 1969. The Rev. V. L. Brenson succeeded him. Brenson served until 2002, then the Rev. Dr. Clyde Oden became pastor. Oden served until October 2016. The Rev. Theodore Payne succeeded him.
Current pastor Jackson, who is in his second year of leadership, sees the yearlong celebration as an acknowledgment of the hard work of church members and previous pastors.
“Bryant Temple has been recognized by a wide variety of people, including our 5th District Bishop Clement W. Fugh, as an important cog in the nationwide effort that links the mission of the AME church with the everyday challenges faced by our community. Our actions demonstrate that we are a committed beacon of hope in these times,” he noted.
“This 50th anniversary celebration is a true milestone,” added 50th Anniversary Chairperson Charlotte Ned. “We are devoting this year to honoring the example of Bishop Bryant and the notable leaders who have built the church’s rich legacy,” she noted.
Bryant Temple is located at 2525 W. Vernon Avenue, at the corner of 4th Avenue. Sunday Bible Institute begins at 8:15 AM. The worship service begins at 9:15 AM. For information, call the church office at (323) 293-6201.