Bishop Sylvester and Mrs. Earlee Washington (Courtesy photo)

Bishop Sylvester and Mrs. Earlee Washington will be saluted during the 54th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration hosted by the congregation of the historic Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  The theme is “Our Pastor and Wife F-I-T for Double Honor – Faithful, Integrity and Trustworthy.” The foundational scripture is I Timothy 5:17-18.

The observance begins with the 54th Anniversary Musical on Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m., in the church’s sanctuary located at 2009 West Martin Luther King Blvd., in Los Angeles.  Special guests include Pastor Prentiss Lewis and Sister Disha Ave McNeese.  The Pleasant Hill Choir will also perform.

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On Sunday, September 17, at 3:30 p.m., a special worship service will be held at the church. The Rev. J. W. Brown, pastor of Welcome Baptist Church, will deliver the sermon.

Bishop Washington has served as pastor of Pleasant Hill since 1969. Under his leadership, the church has become known throughout greater Los Angeles for working outside the church walls through activities such as food distributions, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas toy drives.

Over the years, Washington has developed a range of initiatives to assist those less fortunate including The Blanket Drive, which solicits blanket donations to distribute to unhoused people, and Abundant Life Counseling Center, which offers ESL and reading programs as well as therapeutic counseling for individuals and families. Directed by God “to do more for people,” the bishop partnered with Central Neighborhood Health Foundation in 2021 to provide medical, dental and mental health services to the community.

In recognition of his efforts, Washington has received several awards and commendations. In 2009, the Los Angeles City Council designated the intersection of King Boulevard and Wilton Place as Sylvester Washington Court and five years later, the City Council installed a stone monument on the church campus in his honor.

In 2017, he was consecrated and elevated to the office of bishop by Presiding Bishop Alex Toussaint of the Evangelical Baptist Church. In response to receiving this honor, Washington said, “I have learned to accept what God allows, whether you understand why it happened, or not.  I am so humbled and honored by this decision, thank you.

“Will it change me?  No. On tomorrow I will be found doing my work, winning souls for the kingdom, pastoring and shepherding God’s people just as I have for the past 50 years.”

Inviting the public to attend the 54th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration, Event Chair Betty Baker said, “Please join us as we praise God for the ministry of Bishop and Lady Washington.  You are sure to have a spirit-filled time in the Lord!”

To learn more about the anniversary celebration, call the church office at (323) 293-6448.