The South Central Los Angeles neighborhood where the Crenshaw Church of Christ meets was ground zero during the LA riots of 1992. Dozens died and thousands were injured during the riots sparked by news that a jury had acquitted the police officers accused of using unjustified force against Rodney King. Most would say that the neighborhood has not yet fully recovered; but on April 29th, the twentieth anniversary of the event, Billy Curl did not dwell on the past, but reminded the 350 plus in attendance at the 8:00 am service that though the forces that sparked the violence are still present, through Jesus, hope is still alive and good will overcome.
Billy Curl has been shaping the Crenshaw Church of Christ into a welcoming and relevant witness to the cross of Christ for over 30 years. Located near the West Adams district of Los Angeles, the Crenshaw congregation is vibrant and still growing precisely because it is a relevant witness to the community.
Billy says that this level of community concern has been the church’s priority from the beginning. Over 25% of its weekly contribution has been set aside for community needs and missions for over 30 years.
The church keeps its focus on Christ by addressing the most pressing needs of the neighborhood. It attracts members of its community through programs offered to youth, families, men, women, and seniors.
The church also practices radical hospitality. I was warmly and meaningfully greeted no less than a dozen times during my April 29 visit. This spirit of inclusivity sends the message that all are welcomed in the name of Christ.
Crenshaw Church of Christ
2719 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008