Pastor Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. (Courtesy photo)

The Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.,  is the new pastor of Reid Temple – one of the largest churches in the AME denomination – in Glenn Dale, Maryland. Bishop James L. Davis, presiding prelate of the AME Second Episcopal District, announced the appointment on July 11, at the Summer Summit at the Sheraton Norfolk.  Whitlock succeeds the Rev. Lee Washington, who retired after leading the 6,000+congregation since 1989.

Whitlock’s ministry is well-known throughout the greater Los Angeles area. As the pastor of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, he led the largest predominately African American church in Orange County with a membership exceeding 3,000. Also, he established multiple ministries and outreach services including free community sessions on job placement, leadership training, home financing, business development, and health care.

In addition, Whitlock served as executive director of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement and as director of Community Initiatives at the USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. The Murray Center offers a range of programs such as organizational transformation, leadership development and building economic opportunity.

Whitlock earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from the University of Laverne and is completing Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry at Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio. He also received an honorary doctorate from American International University in Humanities.

The AME Christian Recorder contributed to this report.