What is your name and what is your ministry? I am the Rev. Hermia Shegog-Whitlock, ordained Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; serving in ministry as associate minister and employed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Christ Our Redeemer AME Church (COR) and its affiliated non-profit, COR Community Development Corporation.
How long have you been in this ministry? Before entering the five-year formal ministerial training in the AME Church in 2008, I served with my spouse, the Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr., upon his assignment to COR in 1998. In addition to being the first lady, I was the music administrator, Women’s Missionary president, and liturgical dancer. I was appointed COO in 2009.
What role has God played in your ministry? Only God could have taken the faltering ministry that COR Church was in 1998 and allowed an inexperienced pastor and a handful of faithful members to flourish and grow in Orange County to embrace a multi-cultural, beyond-the-walls, social justice ministry striving to create “The Beloved Community.” I remain amazed at the miracles God has performed in the life of my ministry and humbled that God chose to use me.
What is most memorable moment during your ministry? After moving us from the University of California Irvine campus to own and retire the mortgage on a 13,000-square-foot facility in just five short years, God placed us in a position to use that facility as our down payment on a facility twice the size.
It was a challenging summer as we worked through a double escrow and the purchase/sale agreements. And, of course, as we moved forward, the enemy got busy trying to divide us against ourselves.
Through it all, the contributions of a few committed Christians, the dedication of our church officers, and a deliverance service to banish the spirit of division proved successful. In November 2015, we dedicated our facility at 45 Tesla in Irvine to the Lord with a shout of triumph.
What are you doing now and what are your future goals? I am focusing my personal ministry on support for an intergenerational liturgical dance ministry to be fully integrated into the worship service. Given that the AME denomination requires my spouse to retire no later than 2025, my goals for the future are to find ways to share the teachings gleaned from our church growth and management experiences with other ministry teams in “re-wirement.”
What impact is your ministry having on the community? COR Church has become a “Community Changer” in Orange County demonstrating that the AME Church out to connect Christians of different races and ethnic backgrounds to worship and together and work ministry together.
How can others get involved in your ministry? Our ministry is open to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. COR Church is located at 45 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618. Our telephone number is 949-955-0014. We can be reached at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church at corchurch.org and on FaceBook,Twitter and Instagram.