LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Influential Los Angeles pastor Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. will give Biola University’s 2015 fall commencement address at the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies on Dec. 19. In addition, Blake will receive an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Biola for his extensive work as a pastor demonstrating an unwavering commitment in obedience to the Word of God.
“Bishop Charles Blake is highly regarded as a leader of leaders. His ministry has impacted millions, and he preaches and teaches the Word of God uncompromisingly,” said Biola President Barry H. Corey. “Bishop Blake has demonstrated a commitment to the ideals we cherish in Christian higher education, and he exemplifies the Gospel through his wide influence throughout the city of Los Angeles and his leadership across the world.”
Blake is the pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, Calif. — one of the country's largest megachurches with more than 25,000 members. He is the presiding bishop of the entire Church of God in Christ denomination, which boasts nearly 6.5 million members from more than 60 countries worldwide.
“It has been a great joy to serve as the presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ for eight years and the pastor of West Angeles Church for 46 years,” said Blake. “I appreciate [Biola University’s] recognition of the work I've accomplished in assisting others through the Word of God and my call to ministry. Luke 12:48 says ‘to whom much is given, from him much will be required.’ I am compelled by this honor to pursue even greater service to my Lord and master, Jesus.”
West Angeles Church of God in Christ is sometimes called “the church to the stars” due to its geographical location and attendees like Denzel Washington, Stevie Wonder, and Samuel and LaTanya Jackson. Described as a “man of great integrity” by Washington, Blake humbly uses his platform to give back to the local and international community. West Angeles has established more than 400 housing and commercial properties for the inner city of Los Angeles and Blake has assisted thousands of Los Angeles County residents by implementing various educational, financial and social programs. Furthermore, Blake founded and is president of the Pan African Children’s Fund (PACF) organization. “Save Africa’s Children,” a program within PACF, supports more than 420 orphan care programs, 200,000 children and 24 nations throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Approximately 280 undergraduate students and 153 graduate students will receive their diplomas at the ceremony. The graduate ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. and the undergraduate ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. in Biola’s Chase Gymnasium. For those not able to attend the graduation in person, the ceremonies will be live-streamed and available to watch at www.biola.edu.
Press passes are available. Contact Jenna Loumagne for press passes or for interview requests at (562) 777-4061 or email@example.com.