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Clergy and laity throughout the West Coast will join the Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick as he presides over the 122nd Annual Session of the Western Baptist State Convention (WBSC) of California.
The event begins Saturday, August 4, and continues on Monday, August 6, through Friday, August 10, at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, 510 West 53rd Street in Los Angeles. The Rev. Renandez Grim is the host pastor.
“As WBSC president, I am encouraging pastors, friends, and family to be a part of this great Annual Session. The men of God who will speak the praise of the Lord are some of the finest in the State of California. Our special guest is the Rev. Al Sharpton, a dedicated servant of God and renowned champion of civil rights,” said Dr. Hardwick.
Also playing significant roles are the Rev. Dr. Joseph Foxworth, WBSC Executive Secretary and the Rev. Dr. Patrick Ross, WBSC Treasurer.
“My prayer is that our 122nd Annual Session will uplift and encourage you as we share together in fellowship,” he added.
The convention theme, ‘Walking In Unity Through Christ Jesus’ based on 1 John 5:4-5, reflects the WBSC commitment to strengthening and unifying churches and believers. Also, the agenda offers a wide range of sessions and activities for every age group.
The Young People’s Department will open with various programs on Saturday at 3 p.m. On Monday at 7 p.m., a celebration of the ‘Musical Footprints of Sister Gwendolyn Cooper Lightner’ will be held. Sponsored by WBSC Women’s Department, the free concert will feature the ‘100 Women in White Choir’ and the Radio Free KJLH Community Mass Choir. Edna Tatum, host of the Gospel Classics show on KPFK-FM 90.7 radio, will be the emcee.
Tuesday’s schedule starts with registration at 8 a.m., followed by the business session at 9 a.m. The auxiliaries will also be in session throughout the day. Tuesday’s speakers are Dr. John Ringgold of Bethel Baptist Church at 12 noon, Dr. H. L. Ferrell addressing ‘Evangelism’ during the afternoon session, and Pastor Shane Scott of Macedonia Baptist Church delivering the evening message.
Events kick-off on Wednesday with the Laymen’s Breakfast at 8 a.m. The noon speaker will be Pastor William G. Davis, Jr., of Rock of Faith Missionary Baptist Church and the evening preacher will be Pastor Virgil Jones of Calvary Baptist Church. Also, at 4 p.m., Dr. Dudley D. Chatman, WSBC Vice President, will convene the Pastor’s Conference with 100+ ministers. L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will be the guest speaker.
The Rev. Sharpton will make two appearances on Thursday. At noon, he will address the general assembly and at 1:30 p.m., he will speak at WBSC Women’s Department Luncheon held at Prince Hall Memorial Auditorium, 9027 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. The day closes with Dr. Hardwick delivering the Annual Address at the President’s Night program at 7 p.m.
On Friday, the Moderator’s Breakfast is set for 8 a.m. followed by the business session. In addition, Dr. Wallace Shepherd, Jr., will be the speaker at noon and Pastor Michael Fisher of Greater Zion Church Family will bring the message at the Young Adult Service at 7 p.m.
All activities are open to the public. For more information, call LaRonda Nelson, WSBC Corresponding Secretary, at (310) 756-2608.