Coffee Conversation with Greg J: Rev. Dr. Mark Whitlock – Faith Based in a COVID-19 World
Written by beachcityradio on May 17, 2020
Churchin is different these days. The people cannot go to the building but yet, the available technology has taken precedence as the main conduity through which the faith is expressed. In the congregation and in the community at large, there are serious needs that the church, by custom and definition, should be addressing. But yet, across the community there are those who will loudly proclaim the question – What is the church doing? So much on the shoulders of the church – the black church and so we reach out to Dr. Pastor Mark Whitlock to have dialogue and perspective. He is the Pastor of Reid AME Church in Glenn Dale, MD – located in Prince Georges County MD, one of the hardest hit in this pandemic environment. Tuesday, May 19….. 9am PST…. streaming live at Kalimba Song Coffee Company Beach City Radio Greg Johnson
About Dr. Mark Whitlock, Jr.
Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. is committed to serving God, family, the AME Church and the community. He, his wife and his mother, are beyond thrilled to be in Glenn Dale, Maryland serving Reid Temple AME Church (RTAME). Prior to his historic July 2019 appointment at RTAME, Rev. Whitlock served as pastor of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR Church) in Irvine, CA beginning in August 1998. Over the course of is ministerial and nonprofit career, Pastor Whitlock has raised more than $1.2 billion for the kingdom of God through individual donors, corporate, federal and institute grants.
Rev. Whitlock’s vision for Reid Temple is based on Hebrews 10: 23-25. God has called for Reid to become the Beloved Community under Pastor Whitlock’s watch. In order to fulfill this vision, Pastor Whitlock is following the AME mission as well as the tenets of evangelism, discipleship, stewardship and social justice. Using the successful blueprint of COR Church and its Community Development Corporation, Pastor Whitlock is partnering with Reid Temples five 501c3 corporations to take Reid Temple AME Church to the next level.
Rev. Whitlock has been happily married to Rev. Hermia Shegog Whitlock for 35 years. He has three sons, Ariel, Mark, III; and Devin.
Rev. Whitlock has BA in Religion from University of La/Verne, Master of Business from USC, and is an M.Div and doctoral candidate with the Payne Theological Seminary (2020).
Pastor Mark’s Track Record at COR Church
Pastor Whitlock served as the senior pastor of COR Church for 21 years. COR Church grew from five members to three thousand seven hundred members under Rev. Whitlock’s tenure. COR Church had over forty different ministries and a staff of thirty people and eighty volunteers. COR established partnerships with Catholic Archdiocese of Orange County, Rock Harbor Church Evangelical Church, Jewish Synagogues, Muslim Mosques, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department. COR was best known for hosting conferences on community development, racial reconciliation, police relations, and working with the OC Department of Education.
Rev. Whitlock is the founder and served as the CEO of the COR CDC, the non-profit arm of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church. COR CDC had a staff of over thirty full time, part time, and contract employees. It has multiple community development, youth programs, sports camp, summer enrichment academy, Pre-K to 4thgrade reading programs, entrepreneurial investment fund, and civic engagement programs. COR CDC is the General Partner with Avanath Capital.
COR CDC provided all social services to the residents of the eleven properties valued at $900 million dollars. COR CDC gave $400,000 in college scholarships to minority college students living in Orange County, hosted the National Faith Leadership Conference, created the Innovators Impact Fund, and trained hundreds of young people on entrepreneurships. Avanath Capital, Ray Charles Foundation, multiple banks, Southern CA Edison, and the CA State University were COR CDC’s primary sources of income. COR CDC built and gave away twelve homes to Mexican families living in Mexico.
Pastor Mark’s Early Years in Ministry
Before becoming a full-time pastor, in 1990, Rev. Whitlock co-founded the Richard Allen Men’s Society (RAMS) of First AME Church in Los Angeles, CA. The RAMS had over 3,500 men who exemplified a positive African American image. Mark served as president of the RAMS for eight years. The RAMs are best known for helping to reclaim the community from gangs, drug dealers and closing 13 rock cocaine houses while leading young men to God in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Whitlock left his corporate career to serve God following the Los Angeles “Rodney King” Riots. He is the founder and executive director of FAME Renaissance aka FAME Assistance Corporation, the economic development arm of First A.M.E. Church, Los Angeles from 1992-2004. As the executive director, he raised over four hundred million dollars in grants, loans, and public and private fee for service contracted service initiatives. FAME Renaissance created no less than four thousand jobs within South Los Angeles. He hired a staff of over one hundred people.
Rev. Mark was a dual career professional as the Executive Director of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at the University of Southern California for 13 years. He raised funds, trained clergy, and administered staff and projects. The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement of USC has trained over eight hundred pastors on community development and civic engagement. The multiple programs are funding by the CA Endowment, Weingart Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Union Bank, Comerica, and State Farm Insurance.
Mark Whitlock’s corporate experience equipped him to lead the 21st century church in economic development. He was a Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank Escrow Division and he was also a Vice President of the Commercial/Industrial National Division for Chicago Title Insurance Company. His clients included real estate developer and lawyers.
Under Rev. Whitlock’s leadership the following businesses and programs were established:
- FAME Transportation Program – One million people served annual – $120,000,000 raised
- FAME Renaissance Angel Fund – equity for small businesses – $50,000,000 raised
- FAME/Disney Micro Loan Fund – debt for small businesses – $1,000, 000 raised
- FAME/SBA Loan Fund – debt for small businesses – $3,000,000 raised
- FAME/EDA Loan Fund – debt for small businesses – $1,800,000 raised
- FAME Entrepreneurial Training Program – 1000 people trained
- FAME Incubator Program – developed a 70,000 sq. ft. building for small businesses – $7,000,000 raised
- FAME Home Mortgage Program – two hundred new homeowners
- FAME Environmental Protection Program – Saved two billion square acres of water in LA – $3,000,000 raised
- FAME Energy Efficiency Program – Energy Saving Program – $100,000 raised
- FAME Free Legal Clinic in partnership with UCLA School of Law
- FAME Temporary Employment Agency – Clients include government and private industry
- CEO Series – Public interviews with CEOs in the Entertainment Industry
Under Rev. Whitlock’s leadership the following church programs and CDC programs were established:
- COR owns 13 apartment buildings in partnership with Avanath Capital – $900,000,000.
- COR’s Social Services programs are in three states in 15 apartment buildings – $500,000 annually
- COR’s Youth Entrepreneurial program and loan fund – $100,000 annually
- COR’s Banking on Your Success Program – $125,000 annually
- COR’s Summer Enrichment Academy for Youth – $75,000 annually
- COR’s Cecil Murray Institute – $300, 000 Ray Charles Foundation
- COR’s Sports Camp – NFL, MLB, and NBA players are coaches
- COR’s Energy Efficiency Program – $5,000
Rev. Mark has served on the following boards and organizations:
- Executive Director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies at the University of LaVerne.
- Trustee for Paul Quinn College
- Board member and instructor for the Harvard University’s Summer Leadership Institute
- Member of the President’s Council CAL State University of Los Angeles
- Board member for PBS Television – Orange County
- Community Advisory Board member – East West Bank.
- Former Community Advisory member – Wells Fargo Bank
- Former Community Advisory member of Southern CA Edison
- Founder of the OC Sheriff’s Interfaith Clergy Council
- Founder of the Irvine/Anaheim Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Pastor Mark on TV and in the Community
Rev. Whitlock has been featured on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, KTLA, Fox News, KJLH Radio, and Charter Cable. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, News Week Magazine, Orange County Register, Black Enterprise Magazine, Sentinel News, as well as several local magazines and newspapers. He has a weekly radio show on KJLH Radio.
He has lectured at the Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles; Anderson School of Business, Interdenominational Theological Center, Payne Seminary, Yale University, California State University, Los Angeles; Concordia University, churches, colleges and high schools. Rev. Whitlock has been a featured speaker at the White House’s Faith-Based Conferences. He is a recipient of numerous national, state, city, and local community service awards.
Publications (Books, Articles and Quotes):
- Faith-based affordable housing models
- In God we Trust: faith-based organizations and the quest to solve poverty
- Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California
- Black and Brown: African Americans and the Mexican Revolution
- The New Agenda of the Black Church: Economic Development for Black
- Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy
- Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform
- The Black Church and God’s Technology
- Encouraging Expressions
- When a Pastor Show Up to at a Blacks Lives Matter Protest
- LA Changing Laws About Endorsements
- Church Security
- A New Pitch for God’s Resources
- Online Giving Works
- How to Handle Church Rip offs
- Church Fund Raising 101
- Church Growth 101