About Our Pastor


Rev. Mark E. Whitlock Jr.

Reverend Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.

Rev. Whitlock has served as pastor of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR Church) in Orange County, CA since August 1998, is the Director of Corporate Giving for the Connectional African Methodist Episcopal Church, serves as Chief Executive Officer of Nehemiah Ministries, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) economic development corporation for the Fifth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. In addition, Rev. Whitlock is the Director of Community Initiatives at University of Southern California, Center for Religion and Civic Culture. Rev. Whitlock earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion from the University of Laverne and is completing Masters of Divinity at Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio. He received an honorary doctorate from American International University in Humanities.

Before his full-time call to the ministry, Rev. Whitlock served as the founder and executive director of FAME Renaissance, the economic development arm of First A.M.E. Church, Los Angeles. As the executive director, he raised over four hundred million dollars in grants, loans, and contracted service initiatives that created no less than four thousand jobs within South Los Angeles. Under Rev. Whitlock’s leadership, the FAME Renaissance Venture Capital Fund and Commercial Loan Programs funded over one two hundred small businesses, and the FAME Renaissance Home Loan Program created over two hundred new home owners and trained over two thousand home loan candidates. Rev. Whitlock also co-founded the Richard Allen Men's Society (RAMS), an organization of over 3,500 men who exemplify positive African American images. The RAMS are best known for helping to reclaim the community from gangs and drug dealers and closing 13 rock cocaine houses while leading young men away from drugs and gangs. Rev. Whitlock’s corporate experience amply equipped him to lead the 21st century church in economic development. He was a former Assistant Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank and Vice President, Commercial/Industrial National Division for Chicago Title Insurance Company. His responsibilities included providing financing and title insurance for commercial buildings, resorts, hotels, and shopping centers. His clients included attorneys, developers, and financial institutions.

 

Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. has committed his life to serving God and the Church.

Rev. Mark is a member of several Boards of Directors, including the Harvard Divinity School's Summer Leadership Institute, Southern California Edison Corporation, First American Corporation, Genesis Los Angeles, Orange County Human Relations Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, KOCE Television, Oden Commission, and the Red Cross of Orange County. And, Rev. Whitlock has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Black Enterprise Magazine, as well as several local magazines and newspapers. He continues to lecture at the Harvard University School of Divinity and University of Southern California School of Religion. He has lectured at the University of California, Los Angeles; Anderson School of Business; Interdenominational Theological Center; California State University, Los Angeles; many high schools and churches. 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.

Rev. Whitlock has been married happily, to Rev. Hermia Shegog Whitlock, J.D. for nearly thirty years. He has three sons, Ariel Robinson; Mark, III; and Devin Whitlock.

Publications (Articles and Quotes):

  • Making housing happen: faith-based affordable housing models

  • In God we trust?: faith-based organizations and the quest to solve

  • 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

  • Black religion after the Million Man March: voices on the future

  • Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

  • Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform

Preaching and Public Speeches:


  • Fuller Theological Seminary – "Churches Role in Community Development" 1992

  • Allen Baptist Church, Oakland, CA – 1993

  • Harvard Summer Leadership Institute – 1994

  • Yale University – "Church and Community Development" – 1995

  • City of Refuge – Faith and Community Development, LA, CA – 1996

  • Faith Center for Community Development Conference, NY, NY – 1999

  • Empowerment Temple – "Faith Based Economic Development" – 2000

  • White House Faith Based Community Development Conference – 2004

  • Sinai Temple. LA, CA – Dr. Martin Luther King Service – 2005

  • Greater Allen AME Cathedral – "Felt Faith" – 2006

  • Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, FL – 2006

  • Police Profiling – Irvine, CA - 2008

  • AME General Conference – "The How To's of Community Development" – 2008

  • Crafting Faith and Community Development, LA, CA – 2008

  • United Way Volunteer Celebration – Orange County – 2009

  • City of Huntington Beach "Racial Diversity Panel" – 2009