Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches (LAM) is an association of small and mid-sized African American churches that formed in the aftermath of the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles. At that time, a group of concerned Los Angeles pastors attended a training in Philadelphia, sponsored by an organization called Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organizations (RCNO) and conducted by Rev. Eugene Williams, a Philadelphia pastor and community organizer.
The training deeply inspired the Los Angeles pastors with its combination of leadership training, community organizing, empowerment and faith at the heart of the RCNO model. After the training, the Los Angeles pastors then invited Rev. Williams to lead their churches in an organizing effort.
After conducting an extensive “listening campaign,” which included over 100 interviews of Los Angeles-area congregation members, Rev. Williams moved to Los Angeles and founded LAM with close ties to RCNO. Eventually RCNO headquarters relocated to Los Angeles as well.
LAM received its first funding and established itself as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1994 with the following mission: “To train and develop the capacity of clergy, lay and community leaders to revitalize communities.”
Today, LAM is an association of 50 active member churches that work together to address hopelessness and despair by organizing around social justice issues related to poverty, education and health. Our efforts are directed by a team of 14 staff members and through relationships with state and local policymakers and private foundations.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches.