From left are Robert Shaw III, Rev. Robert Shaw II, Rev. Ann Champion Shaw, Mrs. Florence Boyd and Rev. J. Edgar Boyd. (Clayton Everett/FAME Church)

Shaw Appointed New Pastor of First AME – LA

First African Methodist Episcopal Church – the oldest congregation in Los Angeles founded by African Americans – enters a new era with the appointment of the Rev. Robert Shaw II as the 29th pastor.

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, presiding prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the AME Church, made the announcement about Shaw on Sunday, Oct. 29, at the close of the 99th Session of the Southern California Annual Conference.

Shaw, previously assigned as spiritual leader of Bethel AME Church in San Francisco, succeeds the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, who has served as pastor of FAME since 2012.   Boyd retired after serving 52 years in the pastoral ministry.

Greater Zion’s J Kingdom performs on the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage presented by City National Bank at the 18th annual Taste of Soul. (File photo)

TOS Gospel Stage Features Hutchins, Mali Music, Bolton and More

Bishop Norman Hutchins and Mali Music headlined the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage presented by City National Bank at the 18th annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on Oct. 21.  Thousands of people enjoyed the daylong concert with performances by Unified, Markees Williams, Shari Demby-Ravenell, Lady Zhe, Patrick Bolton and Madelin Mosely-Nueble.

Ensemble selections were presented by the CME Church Choir, Dr. Fielding Grace Choir, Inner City Mass Choir, Michael Larry Gospel, and J. Kingdom, which is headed by Pastor Michael J.T. Fisher of Greater Zion Church Family. Also, Lil Chosen, Rohn & Reborn, The Woods Sisters, and Smith and Sons of Jericho performed.

Kenneth Glover (File photo)

Kenneth Glover, the Singing Missionary, Passes Away

Kenneth Glover, one of the most gifted gospel vocalists to grace the local and international stage, passed away on September 13.  He was 84 years old.

Known around the world as the “Singing Missionary,” Glover inspired hundreds of thousands of people for decades with his creative renditions of traditional hymns.

In a 2020 Sentinel interview, Glover credited God with allowing him to enjoy a career spanning more than seven decades.

“Whatever I have is a gift from God. I try to sing as beautifully as I can [because] this is my mission in life,” he said.  “I feel that God gave me one gift – to touch people through singing.”

Pastor Pierre Howard stands by a burned cross outside of the Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

3 Crosses Burned at Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church

Three wooden crosses outside a small Los Angeles church were found burned early Thursday, July 6 and authorities said it was being investigated as a possible hate crime.

One cross had either fallen over or been knocked down in a rock garden in front of Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church. The other two were scorched but remained upright.

Sylmar Christian pastor Pierre Howard, who is Black, said there had been no threats against the church, which he described as diverse.

“It’s a multiracial congregation that we have, so there should be no issue. We have no issue, and I think it’s just someone that in a bad moment in time made a bad decision — I hope that’s what it is,” he said.

Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III (File photo)

Haynes Named New President/CEO of Rainbow Push Coalition

On Saturday, July 15, Rev. Jesse Jackson named Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III as the new president and CEO of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Rev. Jackson officially announced his retirement on Friday, June 15.

In addition to this new role at the helm of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, is the senior pastor of FriendshipWest Baptist Church, a megachurch in Dallas, Texas, with more than 13,000 members. As a civil rights leader and activist, Dr. Haynes has had a longstanding relationship with Rev. Jackson.

“Rainbow PUSH has been the organizational vehicle that he has driven in the movement for justice. I am honored and humbled that he has ‘tapped’ me to serve as his successor as the President and CEO of this great organization,” said Haynes.

“Rev. Jackson has been a mentor and I have been greatly influenced and inspired by this game-changing social justice general, international ambassador for human rights, and prophetic genius.”

Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer (West Angeles COGIC)

Bishop Ulmer Closes 40-years of Ministry

Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer shared powerful and inspiring words with the congregation during his final sermon as senior pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church.

After nearly 41 years as the spiritual leader, the internationally known theologian parted on Sunday, February 19 with the message entitled, “I Did My Best” and using 2 Timothy 4:6-7 as his text.

His successor is the Rev. Dr. John-Paul C. Foster, a man devoted to God and completely trusting in His guidance to lead the congregation in its next season. Installed as pastor in January 2023, Foster joined the FCBC ministerial staff in 2015 after serving in ministry since 2005.

From left are Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Mayor Karen Bass and Episcopal Bishop Diocesan John Taylor at the MLK celebration in Leimert Park on Jan. 15. (Janet Kawamoto/The Episcopal News)

Episcopal Diocese Unites with Mayor Bass to Fight Homelessness

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry of the worldwide Episcopal Church called for ministries to show love, compassion, and justice to those less fortunate.  Mayor Karen Bass issued an emergency declaration against homelessness. The two pronouncements resulted in a bold commitment by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

“We want to build affordable housing and permanent supportive housing on 25% of our church campuses all over the region,” said L.A. Bishop Diocesan John Harvey Taylor, who serves as chief pastor/teacher to 200 parishes, missions, schools and institutions in six counties. The charges include the historically Black congregations of Church of the Advent, St. Phillips, and Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal Churches in L.A. and St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Compton.

Taylor made the announcement during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration sponsored by the diocese’s Program Group on Black Ministry on January 15.

Local Ministries Celebrate Church Anniversaries

Many L.A.-area churches marked decades of Christian and community service.  The churches include First AME of Los Angeles – 150th anniversary, Friendship Baptist in Pasadena – 130th anniversary, St. Barnabas Episcopal in Pasadena – 100th anniversary, Lewis Metropolitan CME in L.A. – 76th anniversary, and Crenshaw Christian Center in L.A. – 50th anniversary.