After 53 years of heading one of the largest congregations in Los Angeles, Bishop and Lady Blake of West Angeles Church of God in Christ are stepping down as spiritual leaders and will pass the mantle to their son, current Co-pastor and Pastoral Designee Elder Charles Blake II, and his wife, Lady DeAndra Blake.
Announcing the leadership change on Sunday, Sept. 18, the Bishop said, “It has been our deepest honor and greatest joy to serve as Senior Pastor and First Lady of West Angeles Church for 53 years. 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.”
However, Bishop Blake clarified that while he and Lady Mae were “stepping down from their positions of leadership,” they were “not stepping away from our church.” He added that they will remain active members of West Angeles and the Church of God in Christ denomination.
Speaking of his appointment, Blake II said, “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. I and my wife, Lady DeAndra, standing on the strong foundation that was laid by Bishop and Lady Mae, look forward to serving this congregation and our community. My prayer is that the members of West Angeles will continue to work as partners of the Gospel—a community of people, determined to use our God-given gifts, resources, individual efforts and our united strength to serve our families, our community, and the world at large. We want the world to be a better place because we, the people of West Angeles are here.”
Prior to being appointed co-pastor last year, Blake II served 13 years as the Director of Community Relations and Assistant Pastor.
“Some have said that I have some very big shoes to fill, but I’m not supposed to fill my father’s shoes,” said the Harvard Leadership Institute graduate. “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 the God will continue to guide and strengthen me, as I seek to serve Him and His people” he replied.
The official installment ceremony is set for Sunday, October 23 culminating three days of activity being dubbed by the church as the “Honor and Celebration Weekend”. The activities kick-off with the “Bishop Charles E. Blake Tribute Concert” on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. A breakfast program on Saturday morning, October 22, will salute the life, ministry and legacy of Bishop Blake as well as welcome Pastoral Designee Blake II. Later that day, the West Angeles Women’s Affairs Organization will host a worship service with Lady Mae and Lady DeAndra followed by afternoon tea.
All of the events will be held at the West Angeles Cathedral and are free and open to the public. However, attendees must register at WestA.org/Celebration to reserve a seat at the events they wish to attend with registration officially opening on October 1, 2022.