When ABC’s ancestors started a Swedish-American church in the 1920s, they never could have imagined that eighty years later the church’s third biggest celebration in the church calendar would be Black History Month (behind Christmas and Easter)! Altadena’s demographics changed in the 70s, and our congregation was committed to changing right along with it, in order to be a true community church. While many Caucasian churches fled to the east side of Pasadena, we grew into one of the very few ethnically diverse congregations in our area. We appreciate our earliest roots, but we also celebrate all of our ethnic backgrounds as a rich tapestry within which to live as community.
One of the big highlights of our year is the month of February, in which our African- American heritage is celebrated. The entire church undergoes a colorful transformation, as all areas are decorated according to that year’s theme. Our worship services that month begin with “deacon devotionals,” following southern Black church traditions. Throughout the month we learn about our history through different events, but the pinnacle is always the third Sunday evening program. Our larger community has learned that ABC’s African-American History Celebration is a quality event, which always includes great music, interesting speakers, thoughtful presentations of history with hooks to our future. The soul food meal which follows allows even more connections to be made over the dinner table. Mark your calendar! We’ve celebrated this way for over 29 years, and look forward to more in our future.