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The ADLA Los Angeles Chapter is 1 of 9 such chapters across the country. The Association serves as a collective “voice” for African Americans and those of African descent in the Caribbean who are Lutheran.

The Los Angeles Chapter seeks to improve our communities with direct assistance programs, promote the qualities of higher education through scholarships & support the Southwest California Synod and the ELCA with special agency appeals.

ADLA, like virtually all organizations and agencies across the country and around the world, found program year 2020 to be daunting but we remained resilient in our efforts to offer to those in need our assistance, our unending support and our prayers. Unlike all other years, this past 12-14 months has been exhausting, as the need for help became volcanic, erupting in households throughout our communities, resulting from loss of employment, housing uncertainty and, yes, even food insecurity.

ADLA formed a lasting alliance with My Friends House, Inc., a non-profit food distribution and nutritional guidance agency sponsored by one its member congregations, Ascension Lutheran Church, Los Angeles. My Friends House receives support from many Southwest California Synod congregations, the Churchwide Office and certainly, our Synod’s mutual ministry programs related to mitigating hunger.

While the assistance lines continue to grow, so has the resolve offered by ADLA’s members, giving of themselves their time, talents and treasures - proportionately more each time a campaign is initiated for the good of others. Jesus reminds us that the struggle of the disenfranchised, the loss, and left out, shall continue and that we are to ready ourselves for this unending challenge.


The Coronavirus has no respect for person.
It invaded the households of our membership and has
negatively impacted the solidarity and security of many families, but, what it has also done is taught ADLA and others a viable lesson, a lesson that defines time and its existence. We have re-learned to rely exclusively on the Grace of God through Jesus Christ in all things. We may well have been bewildered by the need for masks, social distancing and coordinated injections; but our reliance of God in Christ has not wavered.

This became quite evident when planning for ADLA’s coordinated role with the Synod for its 41st celebration in honor of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was conceived and advanced as an E- Worship Service. This worship service, which was held at the close of the 2nd COVID-19 iteration, was witnessed by over 1,000, having viewed the message of love, unity and hope using the marvel known as YouTube.


This worship experience was so well received that viewers have asked that ADLA retain this communication method even if it should return to future face-to-face worship in celebration of Dr. King. A gift of $1,700 was directed to The Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service from the offerings received in recognition and support for the thousands of young children held at our southern borders. Many of these kids have resided in detention shelters for months on-end. Here are other notable programs that have received financial support as a result of the annual MLK worship service over the years:


First Call Theological Education (2015)
Synod’s Unaccompanied Minors Initiative (2015)
Showers of Blessings (2016)
Guardian Angels (2016)
TruEvolution – Aids Intervention Service (2016)
Guardian Angels (2017)
Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service-IRIS (2017), ELCA Disaster Response (2018)
ELCA Disaster Response (2019)
ELCA Disaster Response (2020)
Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (2021)


ADLA remains dedicated to providing financial resources for aspiring seminarians through its contributions to the ELCA Robinson-Conway Scholarship Fund and its recently established endowment acknowledging the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout, former Bishop of the American Lutheran Church (ALC). This endowment complements the naming of the Southwest California Synod Chapel in his honor. It memorializes the contributions of Dr. Trout and recognizes him as the first African American Bishop of the ALC. A formal ceremony marking the re-opening of Chapel in his name and the endowment’s creation will occur in 2022 as part of Black History Month.

Engaging, involving and investing in the gifts, interests and capacity of people of African descent in every aspect of the life of this church is the focus of African Descent Ministry in the ELCA

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