MY OWN WORDS: Assignment to provide pastoral leadership
Pleasant surprise from Los Angeles area Episcopal bishop; an assignment to provide church leadership By LARRY DOZIER, Contributing Writer I've just recently received the surprise of my life, an assignment to provide pastoral leadership to the congregation
Pleasant surprise from Los Angeles area Episcopal bishop; an assignment to provide church leadership
By LARRY DOZIER, Contributing Writer
I’ve just recently received the surprise of my life, an assignment to provide pastoral leadership to the congregation at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1715 Santa Ana St. north, in Los Angeles. The church is in Watts near the famed Watts Towers.
The offer came from Los Angeles Area Episcopal Bishop Minerva Carcano, and I accepted. I was honored and pleasantly surprised to even be in consideration. My assignment begins July 1, and I preach my first sermon at the church July 3. A welcome reception will be held immediately after the service at approximately 12:15 p.m. You’re invited.
I will be responsible for providing spiritual leadership to St. John’s vibrant congregation. While I’ve been busy in the church all my adult life, communications is my background. I retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2008, as the official spokesperson for the organization in the Los Angeles basin.
In the United Methodist Church, I currently serve as an executive with the United Methodist Men at the national level. In this role, I’ve been called upon to speak to men’s groups and at other church functions many times, and I was happy to do so. I’ve always loved sharing the gospel. I never aspired to be a pastor, though often asked. My answer was always, “No, I haven’t heard the call from God to be a pastor, but I do preach a lot.”
Guess I’ll have to change that response, now. I did say this to God — “Here I am. Send me.” Truly, one should be careful what one says to the Creator. The call came. How could I say anything but, yes?
Professionally, I earned an associate of arts degree in broadcast communications from Los Angeles City College and a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Kensington University. I also studied public relations at UCLA’s extension program.
In the ministry, Claremont University began offering a certified lay minister (CLM) program years ago, and I was among the first of its graduates. Laity, that was my calling, I thought. I’m requesting your prayers as my family and I start this exciting, new journey. (Had a chance to visit Sunday. The Praise Team is awesome! The members are friendly. Y’all come!).
My wife, Erma and I, have three grown children: Shannon (deceased), Edward (Texas) and Tamra (Playa Vista), but have served as foster parents for more than 30 years and have reared nearly 100 children in our Gardena home.
The Western Jurisdiction United Methodist Men’s president, Larry Dozier’s has been a longtime member of Hollypark United Methodist Church in Gardena, Calif.