One of the best known lines from the great composer, the late Andre Crouch, is “Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Whenever I sing or hear these words I think about the meaning of “all that is within me.” Certainly the composer means more than our body parts. His understanding of all that is within us must be expansive. It must include our minds, hearts, souls, spirits, outlooks, attitudes, perspectives, beliefs and stories. Are we not coming to understand that what is within us is history; history that is waiting be told, discovered, explored, revealed and honored?

History is so much more than stuff that happened once upon a time. It is that which is within us. It is what makes us who we are. It is a central part of what we offer when we worship our Creator.

I look forward to this year’s celebration of African American History Month at LABC. I look forward to a shared exploration, a shared celebration, of all that is within us.

Pastor Jim

African American Biographies

Last year Rev. Carolyn Matthews compiled 28 African American biographies – 28 bios for 28 days of February. These biographies provide an excellent way to learn about some of the amazing people who have helped build and shape our country. They have been broken down into four documents, one for each week of the month and are provided here – you can download them from the links to the right. Enjoy your daily history lesson!


Feb 3: Rev. Sydney Webster
“I’m just trying to Make it to the Other Side”
Psalm 71
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” (James Baldwin)

Feb 10: Pastor Hopkins
“A Down to Earth Faith”
Luke 5:1—11
I admire my Beloved for many reasons. One of them is her down to earth, no nonsense, faith. It’s the sort of faith Jesus teaches the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Feb 17: Rev. Dr. D. Mark Wilson
“The Blessing that Doesn’t Stop Giving”
Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 1; Luke 6:17-26

Feb 24: Pastor Hopkins
“I am Your Brother”
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Joseph’s words to his brothers who had sinned against him, are words at the heart of African American History Month and words at the heart of our faith.

Soul Food Dinner

Mark your calendar for the Soul Food Dinner on February 24 at 11:45 in Barnett Hall. The cost is $5 for everyone 7 and older with dish and pre-purchased ticket or $15 at the door. The Youth Group will be selling tickets every Sunday until February 17, 2019. The Department of Educational Ministries will supply the meat, which will include ham, fried chicken, ribs, catfish by Tyrone.

We ask you to supplement the meal by bringing the following:

  • A-H: (Side Dish) mac and cheese, stuffing, dirty rice, jambalaya, red beans and rice, black-eyed peas, etc.)
  • I-S Desserts (fruit [peach, apple, etc.] cobbler, apple pie, sweet potato pie, chocolate cake, red velvet cake)
  • T-Z: Vegetables (greens and cornbread, yams, corn pudding, fried green tomatoes, okra, carrots, etc.)

The proceeds from the dinner will be used to purchase supplies, dinner meats and prizes. There will be performances by the LABC children, youth and adults during the dinner as well as a drawing for prizes. Don’t forget to buy your tickets!


February 10: Discussion of the book/movie The Hate U Give
February 17: Forum featuring 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc.