LOS ANGELES, CA – The “Church at the Park” event initiated by Pastor Anthony “Shep” Crawford of the Experience Christian Ministries (ECM) was a definite step in the right direction towards unifying the black and the brown in an underlying area of South Los Angeles.
On Sunday, Oct. 28, more than 750 Los Angeles residences poured into the Gilbert Lindsey Park located on 42nd Street in South Los Angeles for a day of fellowship, with singing, dancing, food, entertainment, resources, haircuts, face painting, and a kids corner complete with arts & crafts, jumpers and games.
There was also a free shoe giveaway for the men by the men of ECM. Pastor Crawford delivered a compelling word of Grace and unity before guests were treated to a live performance by Grammy and Stellar award-winning gospel artist Brent Jones.
This event was in collaboration with AHF divisions, LOUD (Latino Outreach and Understanding Division) and BLACC (Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition), who also offered free HIV/AIDS and STD screenings.
“When we went throughout the neighborhood inviting our Latino brothers and sisters to join us, they seemed receptive, but when they actually showed up to the event, I knew then that we had a chance to really come together and form real relationships. The kind of relationships where we look out for each other and help one another,” said Pastor Crawford.
Gilbert Lindsay Park is located in a crowded residential community predominantly populated by Latinos. However, only blocks away on the corner of 47th Place and San Pedro sits the Experience Christian Ministries, a predominantly African American church where Pastor Crawford is determined to do whatever possible to unite the community patricianly separated by race and gangs.
Also taking the stage at the festive event was Pastor Chad Wolyn of South Los Angeles who addressed and prayed for the non-English speaking attendees. Pastor Wolyn impressed upon the need to come together and to show love to one another and live peacefully amongst each other, as that is what God desires of us.
“It’s time for us to come together. We have spent too many decades made to believe that we are enemies of each other without a good reason of why. I am committed to doing my part to help bring unity to this community,” Pastor Crawford said.
Pastor Shep Crawford has been working diligently with his outreach team and Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price Jr., who oversees the Ninth District to effect positive change in the area and to identify and bring in resources to help improve the neighborhood in which his church is located.