WHAT IS GLAR?

The Greater Los Angeles Region (GLAR) is a division of the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which consists of 153 churches and a culturally diverse membership of nearly 42,000 members who speak some 30 languages and dialects.  GLAR oversees 19 of those churches with over 7,000 predominantly African-American members. Together, they are a part of a global multicultural Adventist family consisting of 19 million members spread across 215 countries. 

Besides providing pastoral support and evangelistic resources to its churches, GLAR takes its community outreach responsibility very seriously.  Quality Christian education is a key imperative, and that is addressed through a local network of 15 pre-schools, elementary schools and academies serving Southern California. Worldwide, Adventists operate the second largest Christian educational system.  

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Community service is the hallmark of GLAR’s ministry.  In conjunction with evangelism, it is what brings life and relevance to the Gospel and what makes the greatest impact on the quality of people’s lives. GLAR encourages its churches to forge strong community relationships through services that meet people’s basic needs.  Hence they operate a number of food and clothing distribution outlets that serve thousands of local families.  In fact, the Breath of Life FoodBank in Inglewood, for example, has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Regional Food Bank as one of the most productive and highly efficient operations.  The BOL FoodBank alone distributes over 85,000 pounds of food and serves nearly 3,000 families and 8,000 individuals annually. GLAR recognizes the community service efforts of the top-performing churches every year at its annual recognition gala. 

GLAR itself sponsors a Thanksgiving Eve Feeding Outreach to the homeless on Los Angeles’ Skid Row each year. Church members prepare traditional dishes and distribute meals and clothing to hundreds of homeless people as well as “blessings bags” containing personal hygiene supplies and toiletries. 

In addition, local GLAR churches have been creative with their outreach efforts in recent years by sponsoring back-to-school community block parties that bring the neighbors together and distribute backpacks filled with essential school supplies for their children. One church even borrowed a page from the Ellen Show’s playbook and recently staged a Mother’s Day Community Baby Shower, which drew local expectant moms, who received strollers, baby clothing, disposable diapers and other essentials.  Another church conducts free tax preparation seminars for members and the public.

HEALTH INITIATIVE

But superseding all these outreach efforts is GLAR’s Health Network Initiative, which is an extension of the Adventist Church’s historic “healthier lifestyle” ministry worldwide.  In 2017, GLAR launched a weight loss campaign, where local church members throughout the region were challenged to collectively lose 2,017 pounds within the year. Members took on the challenge and exceeded the goal. GLAR has also declared all-out war against the diabetes epidemic and conducts diabetes reversal seminars throughout the region. Local church continually conduct all sorts of health fairs in their communities and provide basic health screenings and offer vital information to improve their health.

LARGEST COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC EVER

By far, the largest health fair that GLAR co-sponsored was the “Your Best Pathways to Health” clinic, staged in Los Angeles in 2016.  GLAR partnered with the Southern California Conference in this massive and historic citywide effort, which was unprecedented and generated international media coverage.  For three intense days in April, the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed into a mega-health clinic, dental office, eye care center, and even a hair salon.  More than 4,200 volunteers—including 2,500 medical professionals—assisted nearly 10,000 patients during the free event.  

Three local Adventist hospitals (White Memorial, Glendale, and Simi Valley) provided nearly 400 volunteers, including surgeons and other caregivers who performed more than 20 major surgeries, ranging from hernias, hysterectomies, orthopedic procedures, and hand surgeries, to a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.   

Besides medical services, the dedicated volunteers ministered to patients spiritually with prayer, inspirational music, counseling, food service, hair care, and conversation with those who just wanted to talk and share their plight.

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

Whether it’s evangelism, public service, or educational opportunity, GLAR remains committed to community engagement as the centerpiece of its multidimensional ministry.



EVALUATION PROCESS

All previous students who received an AJK Scholarship will be evaluated annually. Those recipients will be eligible to re-apply after submitting an exit essay of what they were able to accomplish in their academic endeavors. We will also track how well they did in school academically. Scholarship awards not only will be based on scholastics but also on what makes the recipient's well-rounded individuals in society:  community involvement, citizenship, character, peer support, and leadership.

DR. ANTHONY J. KELLY

"Throughout his remarkable ministry, my late husband was a passionate advocate for student success and for students to pursue education as the primary path to achieve their career goals and enrich society.  He used his platform as the Director of Youth Ministries at the Lake Region Conference and as a Class Pastor at Los Angeles Adventist Academy to encourage young people to pursue their educational goals despite the obstacles of circumstance, finances, or time. 

It's never too late. Dr. Kelly modeled his counsel, as he was a lifelong learner, having completed his doctoral studies late in life.  Moreover at the time of his passing, he had just completed coursework towards a second doctorate.  All of this spoke to my husband’s determination to continually pursue personal and professional excellence throughout his life.  

Dr. Kelly’s philosophy fully aligns with the mission of the AJK Foundation and the Golf Classic, which will help students fulfill their dreams. I can think of no better way to preserve my husband's legacy." 

Marva Kelly

DR. ANTHONY J. KELLY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP EVENT COMMITTEE

Pastor Royal Harrison
Franklyn Broomfield
Donald Sease
Clarence Brown