West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) recently held a two-part installation for a new pastor following an “Honor and Celebration Weekend,” saluting the ministry of Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and First Lady Mae Blake.
The elder Blakes stepped down as spiritual leaders after 53 years of service and passed the mantle to their son, former co-pastor Elder Charles Blake II, and his wife, Lady DeAndra Blake.
“It has been our deepest honor and greatest joy to serve as Senior Pastor and First Lady of West Angeles Church for 53 years,” Blake Sr. said. “After a long fulfilling journey filled with God’s love, His blessings and miracles too numerous to count, we have made the decision to retire from active pastoral ministry. While we are stepping down from our positions of leadership, we are not stepping away from our church. We will remain active members of West Angeles and the Church of God in Christ denomination as well as serve in an advisory capacity in any area that we are needed.”
Under Blake Sr’s leadership, the church grew from 50 members to more than 24,000. He is now presiding bishop of the Church of God In Christ and continues to serve as head pastor of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, which is recognized as one of the most influential churches in America today.
“I’ve spent many years learning from my father, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., studying in universities and seminary, and in training in this ministry. I am honored and humbled to have my father’s blessing and counsel as I step into the role of Senior Pastor at West Angeles Church of God in Christ,” the new pastor said. “I and my wife, Lady DeAndra, are standing on the strong foundation laid by Bishop and Lady Mae, and look forward to serving this congregation and our community.
“Some have said that I have some very big shoes to fill, but I’m not supposed to fill my father’s shoes,” he continued. “They are uniquely fitted to his feet. God gave Bishop Blake the shoes that he needed to walk in his time on his terrain, but now we are on different ground in a different age. God has given me the shoes that I need to walk the path through the terrain for this time. The work is great, but I believe that God will continue to guide and strengthen me, as I seek to serve Him and His people.”