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St. James A.M.E. Church will host a ‘Speak Out’ to offer young people an opportunity to express their views on Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman verdict.
The event will be held on Friday, August 2, at 7 p.m., in the edifice located at 655 West 70th Street in Los Angeles.
“This panel discussion and open forum is especially geared towards youth,” said Pastor Sean Tarkington.
“Michel’le of the ‘Divas of LA’ reality TV show, celebrity Attorney Tabitha Plummer, Pastor B.J. King of Hood Ministries, and actor Carlon Jeffery of the TV show, A.N.T. Farm, will give their perspective on the Trayvon Martin situation, violent crime, and gangs and its impact on youth,” he said. Performer and comedian Donovan Darby will serve as moderator.
Pastor Tarkington explained that the ‘Speak Out’ is a follow-up to a recent worship service where he led a discussion about the topic.
“The Sunday after the verdict, I suspended my sermon and instead held a panel with a clergy person, a trustee and a young adult. Each of them gave a unique perspective on how this incident impacted their lives and what we can do to change our community. We want to continue the conversation with this program.”
Pastor Tarkington has maintained his insightful, enthusiastic approach to ministry throughout his first pastoral assignment. Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., presiding prelate of the Fifth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church, appointed Pastor Tarkington and his wife, the Rev. Johnetta Toodle-Tarkington, to St. James in November 2012.
Pastor Sean, who grew up in First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles and licensed to preach in 1998, earned his undergraduate degree at Wilberforce University and Master's of Divinity degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he also serves as assistant chaplain for the National 100 Black Men in America.
The Rev. Johnetta received her license to preach in 2001. She also received her Master's of Divinity degree from ITC after completing studies at Parker University. An accomplished pianist, she is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
The ‘Speak Out’ donation is $5. For information, call (323) 758-6786.