The Right Reverend Charles E. Blake Sr., presiding bishop emeritus of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest Black Christian denomination in the country with a membership of 6.5 million, and an international statesman and humanitarian, has been named to the National Advisory Panel of The PuLSE Institute (Institute for Public Leadership and Social Equity), a national anti-poverty think tank headquartered in Detroit.
Blake will join Dr. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and a member of the board of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in South Africa; Sister Simone Campbell, a leading Catholic social justice advocate who gave the invocation at the 2020 Democratic National Convention; Dr. Bernard LaFayette, a top aide to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign; former White House spokesman Robert Weiner, former presidential diarist Janis Kearney and other luminaries and figures to advise the Institute on issues of poverty and income inequality.
Bishop Blake is the senior pastor of the 25,000-member West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. He served 13 years as COGIC presiding bishop and was re-elected in 2008, 2012, and 2016 to the position. Blake decided not to seek reelection in 2021 to pave way for new leadership of the Pentecostal denomination.
Over the decades, West Angeles COGIC has remained the home for spiritual renewal and guidance with members from loyal community parishioners to some of the nation’s Black cultural icons such as Denzel Washington, Stevie Wonder, Samuel Jackson, Angela Bassett, Magic Johnson and others. The ministry offers scores of programs for the spiritual growth and development of its members and the psychological, social, and economic enhancement of the larger community.
“Potential for good is radically enhanced when we join together,” Bishop Blake said in a statement. “Ability constitutes responsibility. Those who are blessed should bless others. I am proud to serve on The PuLSE Institute National Advisory Panel. Doing good!”
Bishop Blake has served on countless boards, coalitions, committees, councils, and executive teams. He is a source of wisdom and council to religious and political leaders, including three former American presidents. President Barack Obama named him as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. A towering voice for justice and equality, he was also chosen as one of four individuals to address the Democratic National Convention’s first Ecumenical Service.
Bishop Blake is greatly respected for his practical leadership and compassionate service to others around the world. For example, in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, Bishop Blake founded and served as president of the Pan African Children’s Fund (PACF). Save Africa’s Children, a program of PACF, supported more than 200,000 children in 400 orphan care programs throughout more than 23 nations on the continent of Africa who were orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2003, Bishop Blake was awarded the Harvard Foundation Humanitarian Medal for his work with Save Africa’s Children.
“The PuLSE Institute is honored to welcome Bishop Charles Blake to the National Advisory Panel. Bishop Blake has demonstrated sincere and persistent commitment to fighting poverty around the globe while leading one of the largest African American congregations in the nation,” said Attorney Tina M. Patterson, the president and director of research at The PuLSE Institute. “He personifies the spirit and leadership of the revered Black Church, long-renowned for its ardent advocacy for equality, human rights, and economic justice. Bishop Blake has wielded his massive influence with dignity, integrity and moral conviction in defense of those surviving on the margins of society, immeasurable qualities that are still necessary as we continue to face the challenges of inequality.”
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