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Los Angeles is known around the world as home to the rich and famous. Professional sports fans have no shortage of local teams to cheer on and shoppers enjoy one of the most famous streets in the world, Rodeo Drive, to flex their credit card muscle. The beaches are filled with beautiful people with beautiful bodies and eclectic characters strolling the boardwalks. Los Angeles has become a must stop for presidential candidates looking to raise millions while rubbing elbows with A-List celebrities and deep pocket supporters. In fact, over 27 million visitorsstop through Los Angeles annually. Very often, on the list of “things to do” is the name “West Angeles Church of God is Christ.”

West Angeles Church of God in Christ (West Angeles) is one of the countries largest mega churches and boasts a membership of over 25,000. Its cathedral is a Sixty-Five Million Dollar ($65,000,000.00) architectural masterpiece with a 5,000 seat sanctuary. It’s sometimes called “the church to the stars” because members Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Samuel and LaTanya Jackson, Magic Erving and Cookie Johnson, Courtney Vance & wife, Angela Bassett and Stevie Wonder, are just a few of the famous faces that regularly fill the pews. On Sundays, a Grammy Award winning choir, consisting of over 100 voices, uplifts the congregation with hymns, old popular Gospel songs and new contemporary spiritual hits. The worship is lively and energetic — typical of a Pentecostal church West Angeles staffs more than 200 paid employees and operates a Community Development Corporation (CDC) that the University of Southern California “designated the #1 CDC Organization in Los Angeles County. Since 1969, West Angeles has been led by Bishop Charles Blake and his wife of 47 years, Mae Lawrence Blake. light of the fact that a mega church is typically a congregational body of over 2,000 members, West Angeles would be considered a mega church on steroids — a Super Mega Church. The burning debate is whether the mega and Super Mega churches are properly using their power and prestige for the good of their community, or abusing that power and prestige for selfish, personal gains. Bishop Blake professes an agreement with the scripture to ” whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Blake states, “The capacity of a mega church, if it is committed to the good and advancement of people, and to its true mandate, it can serve and provide resources and exert positive influence at a level that it could not, if it were not a mega church with a strong structure, and organizational strength.”

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