The Rev. Godfrey Patterson is enjoying his role as the new pastor of Second AME Church in South Los Angeles.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has halted in-person gatherings, he has still bonded closely with the membership since being appointed in October 2019.
“It’s a wonderful group of people at Second AME Church. I’m enjoying working with them and I look forward to our future together and what the Lord will do with us,” said Patterson, who has served more than 40 years in the ministry.
“As with every church, we’re trying to put in place a program of growth and evangelism is one of the things [we’ll focus on] in the future,” he added. Like most ministries, Patterson aims to emphasize activities to attract youth as well collaborate with government agencies and nonprofit organizations to alleviate societal issues such as homelessness.
“I’ve already began several initiatives and hopefully we can make some inroads into working with government officials and even private businesses and do something about it,” he noted. “We can’t help everybody, but we can sure try to help a lot more people than are being helped now.”
Beatrice King, president of the church’s Stewardess Board, is among the congregants that support Patterson’s efforts to help others. A lifelong AME member, King serves in many capacities such as in the choir and as a missionary.
“I also travel with the pastor to take Communion to the sick and shut-in. It is really enjoyable to work with him as we pray with members and just extend our love and receive their love back,” she said.
Although such personal interactions are currently on-hold, Patterson stays in touch with the membership through frequent phone calls, Facebook visits and YouTube videos. In addition, he encourages the church to use “this time of social distancing to get closer to God.”
Expanding on his viewpoint, Patterson said, “We have a marvelous opportunity to just read and evaluate where we are with the Lord. How close are we? When this is over, when we survive, what are we going to do for Him for the rest of our lives?
“I suggest that we reach out to others with the Word of God. My favorite scripture is Ephesians 3:20 and my mantra is, ‘I can’t do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do and what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do!’”