"What an awesome and wonderful gathering of 1,200 saints at White Memorial church!” said Nemuel Enriquez, coordinator of the church’s centennial celebration in October.
Members from past and present gathered to celebrate White Memorial church’s (WMC) legacy and mission. The jam-packed weekend was themed “Homeward Bound.”
The celebration began with an open house on Friday morning. Chaplain Edgar Urbina, director of spiritual care services at Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM), gave an inspiring message about the birth and existence of White Memorial Medical Center and the College of Medical Evangelists. During the open house, Urbina anointed several church pastors, officers, and members, rededicating them for their ministry in Boyle Heights and beyond.
The Sabbath morning worship hour brought revival, with inspirational music, corporate prayer, and baptisms. The blessings flowed in as Orville Ortiz, Southern California Conference treasurer/CFO, presented $10,000 to honor—and encourage—the church’s evangelistic efforts. “The gift was to assist their ministry and outreach programs in the community,” Ortiz said, “so they can continue representing Christ as they have for so many years.”
George Johnson, assistant to the president of the Central California Conference, brought the morning’s message. “This world is not our final home,” he reminded attendees. “A second Pentecost must be experienced in our individual hearts that we may be prepared for our flight to heaven with Jesus Christ and His holy angels.”
On Sabbath afternoon, the focus shifted to outreach and community. Ultrasound screenings were offered free to church members and the community. Musicians from various churches participated in a sacred music festival, followed by social fellowship and games after sundown.
The next day, members and friends of WMC enjoyed a 5K fun run, badminton, basketball, and volleyball games. A community health fair was offered in collaboration with AHWM’s spiritual care services, organized by Esther Ong of AHWM and Landa Piay of WMC. Valuable health resources and screenings were available to all throughout the day.
According to Enriquez, the fair was a fitting way to end the weekend. “Community outreach is one of the most excellent ministries of WMC,” he said, “and it’s one of the reasons why this church has existed for 100 years and counting.”
Gerard Kiemeney serves as SCC Los Angeles Metro Region director. “The 100th anniversary of the White Memorial church exemplified the diversity of the church unified around the mission of Jesus to seek and save the surrounding community,” he said. “Education, congregation, and hospital ministry were synchronized to reach the diverse community with the good news of Jesus.”
Those who attended saw the hand of God at work. “The music, spiritual messages, and festivities during the weekend seemed to be orchestrated by a divine power coupled with humble human effort,” said Enriquez.
Benjamin Del Pozo, senior pastor of WMC, summed up the centennial perfectly: “The Holy Spirit has kept us alive through the years. To Him be all the glory for White Memorial church!”