By Emilie St. John
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Pastor Shep Crawford is launching the Apology Tour through a collective of 40 faith-based organizations looking to engage communities beginning May 27.
The tour will begin with a press conference outside of Experience Christian Ministries at 326 E. 47th Place at noon.
“The church is striving to strike a balance between having a church within the building and being the church within the community,” Crawford said. “The building serves as a gas station, but the ultimate destination is to create a healthy community.”
On Pentecost Sunday May 28, participating ministries from around California, including Compton, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Watts will engage with the community by walking out of their buildings and into the neighborhoods offering services tailored to the community’s needs like providing court support, local school engagement, gang intervention advocacy, healing spaces, community meetings, resources and giveaways.
“The Apology Tour has my total approbation,” said Bishop Noel Jones, senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena. “I am sorry for failing to provide more wonderful alternatives for our community’s sons and daughters.”
Services are available to the public. Those in the community are not required to be a member of any church or community organization to receive services.
“Every successful Black liberation movement has had spirituality at its core,” said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter Grassroots. “The recommendation of Pastor Shep Crawford and other religious leaders to move the church into the streets is precisely the kind of infusion that we need to win in this justice struggle. Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles plans to be fully engaged partners.”
To further the engagement, LiveFreeCA personnel, volunteers from Experience Christian Ministries community stakeholders and engaged faith leaders will host post-monthly training sessions starting in June and lasting for one year. The training aims to achieve several objectives, including addressing mothering and belonging, promoting seeker sensitivity and fostering community development and cooperation.
Crawford is a Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and record producer best known for Whitney Houston’s “Same Script, Different Cast,” Deborah Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” Tamia’s “Stranger in My House,” Sisqó’s “Incomplete” and Kelly Price’s “As We Lay.”
For more information about the Experience Christian Ministries and the Apology Tour, visit www.theEcm.org.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at email@example.com.