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Illustrating his ‘back to basics’ campaign theme, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched his tenure with an Inaugural Prayer Service at the historic First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles on June 30.
The multi-cultural audience, numbering more than one thousand people, filled the sanctuary to worship, pray, and petition God’s blessings on Garcetti, the 42nd mayor of L.A.
“We come here to deliver a charge to those who are tasked with leading Los Angeles. What a joy to be on this journey with you,” said the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, senior pastor of FAME, as he addressed the congregation of members, visiting clergy, elected officials, and community leaders.
Delivering a message entitled ‘God’s Guarantee for Faithful Service,’ Pastor Boyd used a scriptural reference of I Kings 3:5-12 to share four strategies to ensure God’s favor in life.
“First, if you have the faith, God has the time. Second, whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad and when we get mad, we disrupt,” he said.
“Thirdly, whenever we find resources, we owe our gratitude to those who provided it. And fourth, when it’s dark enough, you can still see the stars.”
To the public servants, he recommended, “Serve every member of the city of Los Angeles and God will bless you.”
In response, Garcetti declared, “God is good all the time! I come here with my family because you are family and FAME has been family for so many years. Let me say how moved I am to be here, for this church to have done this for me.
“I want to say three simple things. Don’t look just to leaders to lead, look to yourselves. That’s the sort of mayor I will be for you and with you. Leadership comes from all points and all places and all people. Each and every one of you are called on today to help me lead this city. That’s point one.
“Point two, you don’t have to worry about me going anywhere. I will be here, along with you, in this community. We come to church to pray and I love to do that. But, we also come to church to be inspired to act. Faith means nothing without action.
“If you believe in God, then do something. If you believe in Los Angeles, then do something. Leadership means picking up that rake, picking up that shovel. I ask you not just to lead, but to work with me.
“The last piece I want to leave you with is that we all are Los Angeles. That is our calling in this city, to make sure that each and every voice and face, every perspective and every person is not forgotten, but loved. It isn’t just about those who we know and see, but four million souls that need saving.”
Those in attendance included Mayor Garcetti’s wife, Amy Wakeland and her mother, Dee; Pastor Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church, who read the scripture lesson; and U.S. Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Karen Bass and Diane Watson (ret.), about whom the mayor exclaimed, “The Supremes ain’t got nothing on you!”
Also, Assemblymen Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Isadore Hall and Mike Davis; former County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, Mordena Moore of Our Author’s Study Club, A.M.E. Church Consultant Jackie Dupont-Walker, and representatives of NAACP, New Frontier Democratic Club, and LAWPPI came out.
Representing L.A. city government were new City Attorney Mike Feuer and his wife, Gail; Council President Herb Wesson and his wife, Fabian; Councilman Bernard Parks and his wife, Bobbie; Councilman Tom LaBonge, Councilman Joe Buscaino, outgoing Councilwoman Jan Perry, incoming Councilman Curren Price, and former Councilman Nate Holden.