Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church continues to celebrate 115 years of ministry in South Los Angeles with a series of events.
The activities will highlight the anniversary theme, “Called Out – A Chosen Church To Be Holy” based on I Peter 2:9-10, said Pastor John E. Cager III.
This weekend, a riverboat cruise will depart from Long Beach on Sunday, August 13, at 3 p.m. As lunch is served, diners will enjoy the Rev. Nathaniel Martin as emcee. Keyboardist Kenny Ford and vocalist Theresa Ford will perform along with comedienne Kathy Westfield, the Ward Revelators and the Harmonettes. Gloria Martin is the event chair.
“Ward plans to commemorate a historic event on Saturday, August 19, with the re-creation of the church’s move to serve a changing neighborhood,” said Cager. “The ‘Ward Is Still On The Way March’ will begin at Walker Temple AME Church (the congregation founded by former members of Ward), traveling west just as church leaders did in 1950, to settle at 1177 W 25th Street.
“That location had been the first site of First Church of the Nazarene, which was founded by the Rev. P. F. Bresee (former USC Board chair) and Dr. Joseph Widney (the second USC president) whose brother was Judge Robert Widney (first USC Board chair),” explained Cager.
Walker Temple and First Church of the Nazarene members are expected to join with Ward in the march that will include walkers, bikers, vintage automobiles and a vintage bus. The event will close at 9 a.m. with prayer in Ward’s sanctuary.
The celebration culminates on Sunday, August 20. At the 10 a.m. worship service, Pastor Charles Lee-Johnson of Corona Community AME Church, will preach. At 3 p.m., a musical concert takes place featuring the House of Prayer, First AME Church – Pasadena, First AME – Los Angeles, Ward’s Anniversary Choir and Ward’s Angels Without Wings liturgical dance ministry.
“Ward is rededicating itself to continue trailblazing, speaking out, welcoming all who need a place of solace, and inaugurating life-changing, family-oriented ministry,” said Cager. “Everyone whose life has been or is being touched by Ward AME Church is urged to ‘show up’ for this 115th anniversary celebration.”
Dessie Dantzler is the anniversary chair and Alton Glaze and Dawn Comer are the co-chairs.
To learn more about all events, call the church office at (213) 747-1367.