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It is now Rev. Sauls’ sixth week as the senior pastor of Holman United Methodist Church, a pillar in the community at large located in the West Adams District at 3320 West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles.
This is a pastor on fire with a message for all humankind, one who can motivate and engage a congregation as well as the listening audience as his voice billows from the radio and into the ears of many who have decided, after a long time of discernment, to get up and come to see what the word is all about.
The Rev. Sauls is the former Executive Director for New Ministry of the California Pacific Conference that covers the territories of Southern California, Hawaii, Sai Pan, and Guam.
He brings a message of courage to act when doubt is wallowing with a reminder for some that this is when faith is warranted. This is a man of action with encouragement to some of our youth who are going away to places such as the Philippines, Korea, and China for missionary work and to teach.
This is a pastor with a vision of collaboration, inclusiveness, and explorative pastoral leadership – what God is calling us to be and do with immediate city and community – the country… is mission work with a purpose.
The first month for Pastor Sauls and his wife, the Rev. Judi Sauls, was a time for orientation and introduction to the ministerial context, as well as looking forward to getting to know the people and the community for such a time as this. He is astute to coming to his own conclusions as a man of God and holding fast to discernment which is necessary as a leader on a mission in such a city in which we reside.
He invites congregants of Holman to explore the question, “What is Holman being called to be, to represent, to do? Build on your assets.”
One of his short-term goals is to utilize community mapping and an assessment study to ascertain the needs and changing demographics of the West Adams community. He said, “This will answer what role Holman will need to play as they effectively emerge to serve their community as a whole.
“The food pantry is one of the staples that the immediate community has come to rely upon for many years and other resources of needs will evolve such as stellar educational programs and other wrap around services will be developed to help families and individuals thrive.”
Pastor Sauls stressed, “There is no time for competition. There are too many people hurting, too many dying, and too many people that are broken among us. It is critical for us to hold hands and build a movement of justice, healing, and wholeness.
“Innovative and creative partnerships with other churches, faith traditions, businesses, and elected officials must come together to enhance and advance the equity and vitality of the Crenshaw, Jefferson Park, West Adams, and adjoining communities with economic development at the forefront for all, where all means all.
“We must strategize for congruency, vitalization, transformation, and multiplicity.”