Food, clothes, toys given inner city needy

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Thousands of needy people waited patiently in lines stretching around city blocks in all directions from the First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) of South Central Los Angeles. They waited for food, clothing and toys that were being given away at "Lovejoy 2004," sponsored by FAME.

The Church received notable credit for helping the program.

On a radio program, The Rev. Cecil Murray said, "Another group we can count on is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons as many call them. They are partners we can depend upon. They're here at midnight or here at noon — they're always here whenever we need them."

Jack E. Allen of Southern California LDS Public Affairs said the Church has partnered with FAME for more than a decade.

The Rev. Murray, who officially retired as head pastor of FAME in November after 27 years, continues to be a positive force in the African American community as well as a friend of the Church. He was interviewed for radio in the FAME parking lot along with Jack E. Allen, assistant director of Southern California LDS Public Affairs. Brother Allen said, "Our Church humanitarian aid sends a lot of help out worldwide, but we feel we mustn't forget our local communities."

Brother Allen said the Church has partnered with FAME for more than a decade.

"The Mormons stress many hours of service for all their members, and all these precious souls waiting today are the beneficiaries," the Rev. Murray said. "And how blessed we are to have their noble missionaries here helping."

Twelve elders, accompanied by California Los Angeles Mission President Richard F. Raymond, were part of a corps of nearly 100 volunteers.

In preparation for "Love Joy 2004," another eight missionaries from the California Los Angeles Mission met at FAME earlier in the week to off-load the truck from Church Humanitarian Services. It delivered 10 pallets of canned food, one pallet of hygiene kits and one pallet of newborn kits.