Nearly 100 people attended the 111th anniversary celebration of St Philip the Evangelist Church at 2800 Stanford Avenue in Los Angeles on Nov. 25. A service was conducted in both English and Spanish for the parishioners coming from the local neighborhood of the church, as well as surrounding cities and even cities from as far away as Las Vegas and Redlands. They came as a body united in their support of St. Philip’s efforts to enrich the community and the parish by welcoming diversity over its 100-plus years. Today, the historically Black congregation successfully blends more than ten individual cultures into its weekly worship services and church outreach.
Immediately following the bilingual service, a multi–lingual, multi-cultural fiesta was held in the Canon LaRue E. Shepard Assembly Hall, located across the street from the church, where colorful flags from Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador as well as Canada and the United States flew above the festivities. “We’ve come this far by faith” proclaimed a message over Canon Shepard’s photo.
“We like being reminded that putting love and faith into service helps us do all we do,” said Joan Hemsley, church member and committee chair of the anniversary event.
Music, dancing and food representing all the cultures that make up the church congregation were on display and enjoyed enthusiastically by church families and guests. The festivities concluded with a ceremony honoring St. Philip’s current rector, the Rev. Glenn M. Libby, under whose eight years of leadership the church has thrived.
For information about St. Philip’s, call the church office at 323.232.3494.
–Shirley Smith is a member of St. Philip’s Church.