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Local Pastors and Elected Officials Save North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church

The plea to save a 118-year-old historic church was answered when local pastors and the offices of elected officials joined together on Monday morning February 6, outside of the North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church. With donations from the pastors and interventions from elected officials the future of NOMBC is no longer in question.

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As fellow pastors look on, Tim Hopkins of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church presents a $1,000 check to Pastor Sylvester Rutledge of North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church (NOMBC) outside the church in Oakland, California. Photo By Carla Thomas
As fellow pastors look on, Tim Hopkins of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church presents a $1,000 check to Pastor Sylvester Rutledge of North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church (NOMBC) outside the church in Oakland, California. Photo By Carla Thomas

By Carla Thomas

The plea to save a 118-year-old historic church was answered when local pastors and the offices of elected officials joined together on Monday morning February 6, outside of the North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church.

With donations from the pastors and interventions from elected officials the future of NOMBC is no longer in question.

By Thursday, March 10 the crisis was abated with the back and current taxes being paid in full. The local West Oakland faith community, The Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC), Central Hills East Oakland Congregations, Statewide Baptist Association, and community members had all answered the call for help.

Post News Group Publisher Paul Cobb had rallied the group saying, “We cannot lose another church and we’re here today to support Pastor Rutledge and save a church that has been crucial to the community as a spiritual home, a feeder of the homeless, and supplier of 56 units of senior housing,” said Cobb. “I’ve also received calls from other churches in need of assistance.”

NOMBC Pastor Sylvester Rutledge who has pastored the church for 30 years, was grateful and more than happy to spend time with the group of supporters.

“Sometimes we’re humbled so we can learn and help each other,” said Rutledge whose church was scheduled to be auctioned on March 17 due to a $43,000 tax bill owed to Alameda County. “And, more importantly our calling is to serve each other, save the souls of men, practice the word of God, and protect the word of God.”

Rutledge also said the church hosted the first Colored Baptist Convention in the area.

“I thank God and am proud to announce that the faith community has established a Rainy Day Fund for the North Oakland Baptist Church,” said Pastor Ken Chambers of Westside Missionary Baptist Church and founding president of ICAC. “Dr. Sylvester Rutledge has helped the community all his life. Now, during his time of need, the community stepped up without hesitation to help an honorable man of God and save the house of the Lord.”

Pastors and leaders supporting Rutledge and NOMBC included Rev. Ray Williams, Morning Star Baptist Church; Pastor Vince Collins, King Solomon Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church; Thomson Mathews, Corinthian Baptist Church; Pastor Mary McConn Gilmore, Oakland Community Chaplaincy Program – Westside Baptist Church; Pastor Rutledge, Dr. Maritony Yamot, Maritony and Associates – Life Impact for Humanity; Pastor Ken Chambers, president of Interfaith Council of Alameda County — Westside Baptist Church; Bip Roberts, The Well Christian Community Church; and Brett Badelle, deputy district director, Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Additional supporters included, Tim Hopkins, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church; Thomas Harris, Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church; Vince Steele, Office of Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; Pastor Raymond Lankford, Oakland Community Church – Oakland Private Industry Council; Darryl Stewart, Office of Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley; Elder Jay D. Pimentel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Pastor Gerald Agee, Friendship Christian Center, and Pastor Donald Scurry, Joshua Christian Church.

“We have been working diligently to have the situation resolved and hope to have the church removed from the auction list this week,” said Steele.

“Pastor Rutledge is a God-sent man,” said Pastor Vince Collins. “He is a pastor that has helped many pastors.”

“Churches are such an important fabric of the community, so we stand in solidarity for this church and all churches,” said Elder Jay D. Pimentel.

For Pastor Raymond Lankford, NOMBC and Pastor Rutledge have been community staples for decades.

Rev. Ray Williams of Morning Star Baptist Church, just around the corner from NOMBC, said he got the first call from Pastor Rutledge. “Our churches are neighbors with history and me, Pastor Rutledge and Paul Cobb were a part of the Citizen Emergency Relief Team (CERT) after the Loma Prieta Earthquake.”

“We want to make sure places of worship are sustained,” said Bip Roberts of The Uncuffed Project and The Well Community Church.

Rep. Barbara Lee’s staff member Brett Badelle said “The Congresswoman is a big supporter of the church.”

Dr. Maritony Yamot plans to help coordinate the group’s efforts to help churches avoid crise crises in the future. ‘I will work with the interfaith leaders to develop a crisis prevention plan for churches,” she said.

“We’re all in this together as the body of Christ and we’re here to make a difference,” said Pastor Donald Scurry.

Pastor Mary McConn Gilmore said Pastor Rutledge conducted her father’s memorial service last year. Pastor Rutledge has been there for so many of us and the community, so we’re happy to support him,” said Gilmore.

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Arts and Culture

Third Annual Town Up Tuesday Lifts Oakland’s Community, Culture and Joy

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging. It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.
The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

By Kyung Jin Lee

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging.

It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria.

Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

Past performers have included: Kamaiyah, Yukmouth, Stunnaman02, Symba, Lil Kayla, Grand Nationxl, Jane Handcock, and D Smoke, among others.

“Oakland is a historically Black city and one of the most diverse and progressive in the country — a city rich with culture,” said Nicole Lee, executive director of the Urban Peace Movement.

“At a time when we are being scapegoated for political gain and negative narratives of Oakland permeate the press, we’re uplifting who we truly are and all the things that make this region so special.”

About Urban Peace Movement: Urban Peace Movement (UPM) is a racial justice organization working to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Brown communities in Oakland. https://urbanpeacemovement.org/ @urbanpeace510

Kyung Jin Lee is the media representative for the Urban Peace Movement.

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Bay Area

California Makes Strides in Fight Against Fentanyl

California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force has seized over 7,000 pounds of fentanyl including 3.4 million pills since the state launched a multi-agency operation in January 2024. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s progress on May 7, National Fentanyl Awareness Day. The Governor said he deployed the state’s highway patrol and National Guard personnel last year as part of a public safety operation in partnership with local government officials and law enforcement.

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In the past five years, California has invested $1.1 billion in operations and initiatives to fight crime, support local law enforcement, and improve public safety. The Newsom administration has implemented a comprehensive approach as part of the governor’s Master Plan to tackle the fentanyl and opioid crisis.

By California Black Media

California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force has seized over 7,000 pounds of fentanyl including 3.4 million pills since the state launched a multi-agency operation in January 2024.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s progress on May 7, National Fentanyl Awareness Day.

The Governor said he deployed the state’s highway patrol and National Guard personnel last year as part of a public safety operation in partnership with local government officials and law enforcement.

“As we recognize the serious dangers of illegal fentanyl, California is continuing to tackle this issue head-on. Our efforts are getting this poison off our streets and out of our communities as we continue to support people struggling with substance use.” Newsom said.

CalGuard Major General Matthew Beevers said that the state’s unprecedented investment in the Counterdrug Task Force has immobilized operations and revenue channels of transnational criminal organizations.

“The CalGuard is committed to supporting our state, federal, local and tribal law enforcement partners to eliminate the scourge of fentanyl,” Beevers said.

In the past five years, California has invested $1.1 billion in operations and initiatives to fight crime, support local law enforcement, and improve public safety. The Newsom administration has implemented a comprehensive approach as part of the governor’s Master Plan to tackle the fentanyl and opioid crisis.

The Newsom administration has expanded efforts to improve public safety across the state where operations occurred in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Bakersfield.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed acknowledged that joint operation was a step in the right direction toward curbing illegal activity and improving public safety.

“Our coordinated work to shut down drug markets in San Francisco is making a difference, but we have more work to do,” Breed said.

“Together we are sending a message at all levels of government that anyone selling fentanyl in this city will be arrested and prosecuted,” she said.

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Alameda County

Community Rally Demands Supervisors Merge Recall with Regular Elections

A group of community-based organizations rallied prior to the May 14 Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ vote to persuade the Board to vote to merge the recall election of District Attorney Pamela Price with the regularly scheduled election calendar in November. The groups urged the county to use the funds for healthcare and homelessness relief rather than a special election.

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Special to The Post
Special to The Post

By Post Staff

A group of community-based organizations rallied prior to the May 14 Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ vote to persuade the Board to vote to merge the recall election of District Attorney Pamela Price with the regularly scheduled election calendar in November.

The groups urged the county to use the funds for healthcare and homelessness relief rather than a special election.

Stewart Chen, a member of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council, told the Post that he and many members of the community-based participants supported the decision made by the Supervisors.

Chen said, “The voters voting in a special election in September will likely vote the same way in the November election. An extra two months won’t change people’s minds, but it will result in significant savings for the county. During times of financial uncertainty, especially when the county healthcare system is facing a huge deficit, it is unnecessary to waste taxpayers’ money on a special election that can easily wait two months.”

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