Pastor Profile Kalvin Cressel
Sep11

Pastor Profile Kalvin Cressel

Name: Pastor Kalvin “KC” Cressel
Church: Greater Mt Sinai MBC of Compton since 1995
Hometown: Compton
Education: Cal State Dominguez Hills; interdisciplinary studies
Occupation: Senior Special Agent for the US Department of Justice
Family: Married 30 years to First Lady Pam Cressel; father of a daughter who is a lawyer and a son who plays college football; and three adopted children, including one who now attends an art institute in Spain.

Pastor Profile Carl Baccus
Aug07

Pastor Profile Carl Baccus

Name: Dr. Carl C. Baccus
Church: Southside Church of Christ
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Education: Pepperdine University; California Graduate School of Theology
Children: three
Website: www.southsidechurchofchristla.org

Pastor Shane Scott Takes the Lead In Repositioning The House of Winston
Aug06

Pastor Shane Scott Takes the Lead In Repositioning The House of Winston

No one wants to think about a funeral, let alone plan one ahead of time.

Several studies suggest a funeral can be one of the top four most expensive purchases most people are expected to make—and planning ahead of time or buying life insurance to cover the cost—protects family members from the unpleasant job of negotiating services while mourning the loss of a loved one.

Jun02

Pastor Profile: Pastor Christopher Bourne • Bethlehem Church of Christ Holiness

Pastor Chris Bourne1Church: Bethlehem Church of Christ Holiness in Pasadena
Hometown: San Gabriel Valley, California
Educated: Citrus College, Cal State Fullerton, Vanguard University Religion and Leadership
Family: Married to First Lady Heather Bourne; two small children

Q: How long have you been preaching at Bethlehem Church?

A: I’ve been pastoring there for twelve years. Our church will be 65 years old this September. This is the church I grew up in, where I got saved and gave my life to the Lord. I left for awhile and went to Gospel Memorial Church in Long Beach and then West Angeles and then God brought me back home. The church was at a point where it was dying out and God brought me back full circle.

Q: When did you receive the call?

A: I received the call in the late 90s. As an adult, I continued to grow in church and one day I prayed and asked God to show me what it is he’d have for me to do. That night I had a dream and I saw myself preaching. I was like, “Oh no, this just cannot be it. That’s not on my radar.” But God just began to open up doors and move in me and change my heart, because I told him I wanted to do what He had for me to do. I was in my twenties. It took me some time. God was prodding me a little bit. My first sermon was July 4, 1999.

Q: Some pastors have themes: traditional, uplifting, youth, what is your approach to preaching?
A:
My overall approach is simplicity of the gospel. It is to bring the gospel message for everyone to understand and then apply it to their lives—from the lawyers that come through our church to those who’ve never known anything about Jesus. It is my responsibility to the young people and children to minister to them in a way that they can understand and live the Word.

And then have fun. I enjoy ministry and I enjoy being saved so I try to exemplify that on Sunday mornings when I minister and then on KJLH on Sunday nights when I’m on. I’m on the Power Hour every Sunday night with Larry P. I came by way of filling in one night for another minister. Our connection was so strong and the response was so good that I have been there ever since.

Q: What have been some challenges that you’ve faced since becoming pastor?

A: One of the things that has been pretty challenging is ministering during seasons of our world—making sure that when we were in a recession, we were encouraging people, continuing to give them hope when they were losing their jobs and homes. Just being able to provide resources. We do health fairs and clothing giveaways and make sure we have food to help those who needed some assistance. To provide something that would give them a glimmer of hope in God and help in their time of need, those are difficult times.

Q: Why did you start the House of Hope foundation and how successful has it been?

A: I got together with some of our trustees to talk about things I wanted to do in the community—like help with education for our youth and provide some sort of economic development and housing. We were able to develop that and it has been very successful.

We’ve received two grants: one from Southern California Edison for our tutoring program; and we have received a Basic Center Grant, which helps us deal with runaways and homeless youths between the ages of 12-17. So we’ve been very blessed with being able to partner with other agencies in and around our community to help stabilize many of our young people. Being a pastor gives you the opportunity to touch people’s lives and that is just priceless.

Q: What kind of kid were you in your youth?

A: Both of my parents raised my siblings and me in the church. I’ve been in church all of my life. I was into athletics. I played sports as a child and I play sports now as a grown man. I was very heavy into baseball and football. Some of my cousins got drafted—one for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the other by the Boston Red Sox— and then I started getting drafted to play baseball, but I tried to go to college to play football instead. Since I already had cousins in baseball, I wanted to rebel, and when scouts were coming to my games, I just opted to stick with football. When I look back now I say, “Wow I should have just stuck with what I knew.” But I enjoyed it. It was a life changing experience for me.

Q: What was it like being on national TV with your family last year for ABC’s “Bet On Your Baby”?

A: My wife applied to put our son on the show and they loved him and they put him on. It was fantastic it was so much fun. One of the things I try to do is take time to spend time with my family, they are my first line of ministry. I enjoyed it—for people to see it and see him experience it, it was priceless.

May05

Pastor Profile: Pastor Jewett Walker • New Shady Grove Baptist Church

jewett-walkerChurch: New Shady Grove Baptist Church
Occupation: President of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles; Political Consultant; Inglewood Area Minister's Association
Family: Married to Sandra Black Walker; father of three

Q: How are you enjoying your new post as pastor of New Shady Grove Baptist Church?
A:
It’s been quite rewarding. It’s a tremendous opportunity to make an impact on that community. I hope to reach out to young people—young men especially and provide them with an opportunity to find work and reach out to individuals who can help them with family matters, custody issues, and help trying to navigate the system.

I believe it’s very important for a church to make a concerted effort to reach men and that’s what I plan to do.

Q: Have you made any progress in your outreach?
A:
We had some internal issues that needed to be dealt with after I got there. First of all we went through a name change and a re-incorporation of the church and now that that's done we can concentrate on outreach and discipleship.

Q: Why do you feel they chose you? What’s your strong suit?
A:
I would like to believe that they chose me because I had fresh ideas. Although I had not been a pastor before. I was an associate minister at True Vine Baptist Church in Inglewood under Dr. Austin Willams. Serving under him I learned quite a bit about leadership and church administration—both of which are very important.

I believe my strong suit is church administration. Its not enough to reach out to people you have to have some sense of organizational structure and how it can handle growth, how best to plan for it and what kind of financial controls you need in place.

Q: Why did the church add “New” to its name?
A:
The church was operating in an antiquated structure, which needed to be re-visited and updated. And we wanted to be able to reflect to the community that this is a rebirth and a restart.

Q: What’s your preaching style?

A: I have what I consider to be a teaching style. Our service is blended. It’s not just a traditional Baptist church. We offers elements of a traditional Black Baptist church, but is also adapted to meet the needs of the people today.

Q: When did you get the call to preach? What were you doing in that moment?
A:
I got the call years ago but it lay dormant. I was sixteen years old. And then I picked it back up years later and moved forward on it.

It’s a unique kind of feeling that you get about being called to pastor. Some people have a call to evangelize; some people have a call to witness to people, but they don't necessarily want to pastor. But being a pastor takes a whole different level of commitment because you’re dealing with the issues that affect other people. I believe God, and even my father, was telling me, at that young age that that it wasn't the time for me because I didn't have the “tenacity” for pastorship. I was not in the position to counsel a couple or people who have been married 20 years. God in his own way made me wait until I had enough experience to apply to helping people who would come to me in their time of need.

I had intended to preach in my 20s but I’m grateful and thankful that I didn't because God prepares everybody in their own time. I had the call but I didn't have the preparation and I’m a firm believer in preparation.

Q: Why did your father discourage you from answering to preach?

A: My father—who was a pastor here in Los Angeles for the AME Zion organization—encouraged me to get my education first and revisit it. So I did. I got my education and then I didn't revisit it quickly enough. In my early 50s I joined True Vine and became licensed and ordained and then I went back to school for my Masters in Divinity and am currently working on my Doctorate degree.

Q: What was it like growing up a preacher’s kid?

A: Because my parents were divorced and I grew up with my mother, a lot of people didn't know my father was a preacher, so it was no big deal. When I lived with him and everybody knew it, then that was different. I didn't realize that I intentionally modified my behavior to reflect that I was a preacher’s kid and raised in a certain style. It did keep me grounded.

Q: How did you become affiliated with the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles?

A: I was invited to join in 2007 and that was right in the middle of me representing Marguerite LaMotte in her second term as school board member. I honestly felt that it was the worse time to join, but that's when I was invited and that's the only way you can join. So despite this campaign I needed to accept and go through the process.

So I got in, got involved with various campaigns and helped plan a fundraiser that helped generate over $100,000 for Barack Obama.

Q: And now you’re president.

A: I joined in 2007 and became president three years later. It was not my intent when I joined but, because the work of the mentoring program and the Young Black Scholars program is so important, and there’s such a need, I just found myself making sure that I was available to make a commitment to the program. People took notice and encouraged me to run.

Apr07

Pastor Profile: Pastor Larry Dove

Pastor Larry DoveChurch: Park Hills Community Church
Hometown: Los Angeles
Schooling: Business Administration with a concentration on computer science at Cal State Dominguez Hills; MA from Fuller University
Family: married to first lady Yolanda Renee; father of two
Website: www.parkhillsrca.org

Q: After thirteen years of ministering in Paramount, CA, how did you come to be senior pastor at Park Hills?
A:
In 2010 there was a restlessness stirring inside me. I knew God was preparing myself, and my wife, for an upcoming change. In 2011, the former pastor of Park Hills, Rev. Richard Horton died of cancer. The church began an immediate search for a replacement. In the interim, I was invited to preach at Park Hills. After preaching a second time, I received an email asking if I would be interested in vying for the open pastoral position. I decided this opportunity might be of God so I submitted my resume assuming they would choose someone younger than myself (I was 61 years old). After a couple of interviews, to my surprise they informed me I was the candidate. I said yes to the call and was officially ordained as Pastor of Park Hills Community Church on July 15, 2012.

Q: When did you recieve the call to preach?
A:
I went to Crenshaw Christian Center for about three years. My wife went to another church, which was pastored by her mother until I was led by God to start attending the church my wife attended. While I was there, I ‘instantly’ became a deacon. It was a small church. After a year they nominated me to become the assistant pastor of the church of Holy Temple Mission. That started me on my growth in ministry. I stayed there for about 15 years.

My road to full time ministry is kind of an unusual twist. We were living in Long Beach at that time and I started attending a predominantly white church nearby my house called Emanuel Church in Paramount—mainly because I was looking for a challenge and I really wanted to jump into full time ministry. So I would go to their 9am service and jump into my car and head to my service at 11:30am. At first I felt out of place, primarily because I was one of five African Americans that attended the church.

But I toughed it out and one day the lead pastor asked me to start a service at Emanuel Church, which became the Noon Service. It was the flagship for diversity to become a reality at Emanuel—not only for more African Americans, but Hispanics and a few Asians joined. It grew by leaps and bounds. About two years into it, the lead pastor asked me to leave my job and become full time at Emmanuel.

Q: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to face in ministry?
A:
It was not an easy decision to leave Holy Temple but my wife’s mother, who pastored the church, knew that I needed a change and a challenge. She went with me to Emanuel a few times and one day she told me “I understand God is calling you, but why do you have to go to a white church?” She stayed on in her church for about thirteen more months and then eventually came over to Emanuel.

When I first arrived 95% of the members were white. By the time I left it was 65% white, 20% Latino and 15% black. There were struggles along the way just having to deal with people’s prejudices, biases and attitudes. The most difficult thing was gaining the people’s respect as a full time minister there. I had to earn that respect, it wasn't given to me.

Q: What kind of childhood did you have?
A:
There was a lot of love, happiness and joy, but, also, because of alcoholism, there was a lot of pain and a lot of brokenness. It was both sides of the spectrum. My father, shortly after he got out of the army, brought with him an addiction to alcohol. When life got really hard for him, he went straight to the bottle. My parents were separated three times during my childhood. When he went on a drinking binge, my mother had to leave him in order for him to come back to himself. And then he would send for us or come back to us and we’d be a family again. On the third time the separation became permanent. By that time I was a teenager about to enter into college.

Q: When did you come to know God?
A:
I met my wife in 1975 on the college campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. When I met her she was a Christian, but I was not. However, we hit it off really well and went on a date. Later, she invited me to Crenshaw Christian Center for Bible study. I went and listened and I liked what I heard. That evening I was alone and contemplating on the Bible study and made a commitment to God that I would give him eight weeks of my life. I wanted him to transform my life or at least make himself known in a very tangible way. And by His grace He did. He not only saved me, but delivered me from a few sinful habits within the next few months.

Q: What is your preaching style?
A:
I try to be very pragmatic. Because I want people to get the gospel, I don't want to preach at them. I don't want to preach to them. I want to engage them. The Bible says He gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers. So I’m a teacher of the gospel. I love showing scripture, using stories, analogies. I want to paint a picture in the people’s head of the application. If they can walk out of there with that picture painted in their head then I believe that will stay with them much longer than just throwing scripture or theological terms at them. I’ve only been there about eighteen months but I really do believe they are appreciative of my style.

First Ladies High Tea
November will mark the 20th Anniversary of our Annual First Ladies High Tea, honoring the contributions of female leaders and women of faith to the Los Angeles community. For more information, visit www.firstladieshightea.com
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