The L.A. Baptist Community Mourns the Loss of Reginald Pope

| lafocus | | 1 Comment

The L.A. Baptist community is mourning the recent death of Pastor Reginald Pope, who served for 45 years as the senior pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and as the founder of Watts Area Ministers. He was 89.

In 2015, the city of Los Angeles recognized Pope for his contributions to the Watts community with Councilman Joe Buscaino designating Compton Avenue—from 109th Street to 110th Street—as Pastor Reginald A. Pope Way.

“The landscape of Los Angeles has changed dramatically in the passing of Paster Reginald Pope. He was an asset to our church community,” said Pastor Ticey Brown of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church. “He was cool, caring and will definitely be missed as one of the elder statemen of our great city.”

The sudden death came as a shock to many in the faith community as well as the church he pastored for nearly a half century.

“He wasn’t ill, so it was sudden,” said Pastor Alvin Stafford, who was appointed pastor of the church when Pope—who was his great uncle— retired.

“For over 45 years, he’s been faithful and a pillar not only in our church and community, but our family. He had a gift and a calling for teaching, and he honored and praised the Lord all the way to the end.”

“He was a mentor and a great friend”, said Pastor Robert Taylor of the Beulah Baptist Church in Watts. “He taught me basic principles on how to survive as a pastor and that’s important. Not to mention that he was responsible for getting me involved in the Watts Area Ministers and now I’m president.”

The non-profit—initially organized to re-activate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Watts some years ago—has since become a viable force in addressing the needs of the Watts community.

The Ringgold, Louisiana native—who had a gift for singing— joined Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in 1975 and was able to grow the church from 80 people to 250 with ten associate ministers. He retired last year. 

“The most satisfactory thing in my ministry is to see the growth of the members. It is not necessarily about numbers but is about the spiritual balance and well-being. That’s most satisfying to me,” Pope told L.A. Focus in 2019. “I try to get my members motivated to take outside what we do inside these walls.”

“Any time a person comes to Christ and gets his life in better shape, that’s motivation, that’s encouragement and that’s fulfillment and what ministry should be about.”

A viewing is scheduled for June 30 at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church from 1-5pm. Funeral services will commence at 11am on July 1 at Paradise Baptist Church.


| lafocus | | 1 Comment


  • Dr. Ruth Williams

    Pastor Reginald Pope will be sorely missed! He was a Spirit-filled man of God – faithfully dedicated to his divine calling; concerned about both the people’s physical and spiritual condition, and did something about it. The “number” of members in a church does not represent the greatness of God in a man – the “number” of those members who get to heaven, does. The angels in heaven rejoice over ONE soul! Sleep on, Pastor, and take your rest! May God bless Bethel to honor their pastor’s legacy by continuing the valuable work of kingdom building, to the glory of God!

Comments are closed.

More Coverage

California Senate Gets Second Chance to Pass Prison Slavery Bill This Week

Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌ On June 23, the California Senate rejected a constitutional…

Generation Z Sparking the ‘Great Resignation’ as Employers Realize Shortages

Stacy M. Brown/ NNPA Newswire The pandemic has spurred the Great Resignation phenomenon, and it is still on. Many wor…

South L.A. Church Blesses City With $20,000 in Free Gasoline

As gas prices continue to surge in California—surpassing even the federal minimum wage of $7.25 at some Los Angeles g…

Hundreds of Compton Residents Chosen for Guaranteed Income Program

Dianne Lugo Compton has joined in participating in a successful program to grant some of its residents a guaranteed i…

Pastor Tyron Robinson Named to Succeed Bishop Paul Morton

Staff Last year, nationally renowned pastor and gospel singer Bishop Paul S. Morton announced he would step down as s…

New Fund Will Grant $10,000 to Struggling Local Business Owners

Staff More relief for local Los Angeles small business owners is on the way. A new fund, the LA Regional COVID Fund, …

Probe Into Prison Deaths Ends Up Uncovering $8 Billion in Untracked State Money

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media What started out as an investigation into inmate deaths in some of Calif…

Despite Massively Successful Fundraising Efforts, Community Group Fails to Purchase Crenshaw Mall

Dianne Lugo The saga of the historic Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza ownership continues with local Black community orga…

Latest Politics

Faith Community Celebrates Famed Preacher Manuel Scott Jr.’s 40 Years of Evangelism

Bill Cosby Ordered to Pay $500K To Woman He Assaulted in 1975

The Lookout: Four California Criminal Justice Reform Laws That Took Effect This Year

Bill That Would Allow Calif. Parents to Sue Social Media Companies Moves Forward

Pres. Biden, V.P. Harris Praise Rep. Bass for Leadership on George Floyd Policing Act

© Copyright 2021 - LA Focus Newspaper