Community members Jack and Sandra Golden talk about the All Peoples Community Center, a Disciples of Christ ministry that they have generously supported for many years!
In 1906 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) founded the Japanese Christian Institute in south central Los Angeles as a Home Mission Center. It provided the descendants of Japanese agricultural workers with church, Sunday School, a kindergarten, English classes, athletic programs, clubs, and other young people’s programs during the week. In March 1942, the involuntary evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans on the west coast was ordered by the federal government. The buildings were vacant and the playground silent until October of 1942, when it was reopened as All Peoples Christian Church and Community Center. It has served under that name for the past 80 years and is still going strong.
After World War II ended, many of the Japanese people returned and participated in the Church and Center. As the Neighborhood changed, Japanese-Americans began ministry to African-Americans. As the Neighborhood continued to change, in recent decades the African-Americans have been ministering to the Latino community. At a time when de facto and de jure segregation were still an everyday reality in Los Angeles, the establishment of All Peoples, a multi-ethnic and multi-racial community center, was not just path-breaking, it was revolutionary. Because of its excellent organization, programs, and delivery of services, All Peoples is plugged into the cultural and political establishments in the City of Los Angeles and partners with the City, the County, and major corporations to serve the community.
Jack Golden first became aware of All Peoples as a child. When his family traveled from Missouri in 1961 to visit relatives in southern California, a visit to All Peoples was considered a must by his parents. When Jack became a lawyer in 1980, shortly thereafter he had the privilege to serve on its board, and was on the board when Saundra Bryant became the Executive Director. She will be retiring later this year after having served for 40 years – and what an amazing job she has done growing the Center and its ministries in ways that didn’t seem possible so long ago.
Jack’s college friend, Nanci Schrieber-Smith, was commissioned to create three of the stained glass windows found in the church sanctuary today.
A few years ago Jack and Sandra began attending the annual Gala celebrations, which bring together the various communities that make the All Peoples engine go. It also serves as a major fundraiser for the ministries. Sadly, the Galas came to a screeching halt during COVID, and two years were missed. But in the fall of last year Jack and Sandra invited Pastor Sadie and Pastor Ryan to join them for the occasion. It was amazing to see that COVID did not slow down the ministries at All Peoples, but that they actually INCREASED,
because of the increase in need by the surrounding community.
About All Peoples Community Center - (from All Peoples Community Center website)
All Peoples Community Center is an all-encompassing neighborhood center whose mission is to provide social services and programs that empower individuals and promote community, respect and self-determination for all. Founded in 1942, All Peoples has served as a true safe haven, and a beloved and trusted place for low-income children, youth, and families in South Los Angeles for 80 years.
Throughout our history, All Peoples has strived to improve the lives for the diverse, economically challenged residents of South Los Angeles by providing a comprehensive range of vital services, grass roots leadership, problem solving and authentic hands-on care to children, youth and their families. We assist more than 6,600 thousand children, youth and adults every year by offering comprehensive after school programs, emergency food distribution, parenting support and leadership groups, computer and financial literacy, case management, employment services, and domestic violence support. All Peoples is the hub in our community and a safe place for all residents to use as a platform for success.
Our mission is to provide services and programs that empower individuals and promote community, respect and self-determination for all. We invite you to celebrate our past, present and future endeavors.
To learn more about this organization please visit their website at allpeoplescc.org