Rev. Mark E. Whitlock & First Lady Hermia Shegog-Whitlock
Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal Church (COR) is the largest A.M.E. Church in Orange County. Since 1991, over 2,800 men, women, and children have connected with COR to belong to an ethnically diverse group of congregants seeking to shape their behavior in line with their belief in Jesus, Christ as their Lord and Savior.
COR has ministries for, and provides services to, meet the "felt needs" of its congregation and the community, including: Music and Worship Arts – featuring The COR-ale Mass Choir, Word Became Dance and Greater Grace Ministry (mature dancers), Holy Hands (deaf interpretation); Bible Study – Sundays: Bible University (adults), Children's Church (ages 2-11), Jump Start (middle school), New Generation Praise (high school); and throughout the week: Interactive, Men's, Women's, Youth, and Singles; for Youth & Young Adults – COR Sessions (tutoring), Rites of Passage: (Sons of Success / Daughters of Destiny); Young People & Children's Dept.; Outreach - Women's Missionary Society, Feed My Sheep (homeless ministry), and Spiritual Recovery (substance abuse 12-step).
1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (NIV)
COR has provided, and continues to offer, free meeting space for community based organizations, i.e., the OC NAACP; 100 Black Men, OC; the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, OC Chapter; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., OC Alumnae Chapter; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Anaheim/Irvine Chapter; OC Interdenominational Alliance; and Jack & Jill of America, OC Chapter.
On Sunday, February 3, 1991, Rev. Linda Parker, Gwen Oden, and 25 other believers founded COR on the University of California, Irvine (UCI) campus under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fifth Episcopal District. Led by a series of pastors (Rev. Douglas Patterson, Rev. Parcel Hector, Rev. Crystalline Weaver, and Rev. Edgar Jones), from 1992 through 1998, COR moved to various Orange County locations.
Breaking the string of pastors in August 1998, Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. was appointed to lead COR and its 10-member congregation where they moved to Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Irvine and worshiped at 3P on Sundays. Pastor Mark's wife was the choir. The Whitlocks' sons, set up audio equipment every week, and Pastor's mother instituted financial controls. A long-time family friend provided church retreats, governing board meetings, and Biblical preaching. In January 2000, COR's congregation returned to UCI with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Parham, then UCI Assistant Vice Chancellor. Inspired by the late Ronald Alexander and designed by Karla Guyer to augment its worship location on the UCI campus, in 2003 COR leased office space in Irvine to house Bible studies, choir rehearsals, youth programs, board meetings, and administrative offices.