First AME Church Faces Looming Debt

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SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — First AME Church, one of the oldest and most influential black congregations in South Los Angeles, is facing a financial crisis.

Church officials announced Wednesday that they will fight to restore the image of the church as they work to pay back as roughly $300,000 in debt to a long list of creditors.

The church, famed for its involvement in the community since the ravages of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, has been embroiled in controversy since it’s former pastor, the Rev. John J. Hunter, was reassigned amid an investigation into tax fraud and allegations of misusing church funds and sexual harassment.

Rev. J. Edgar Boyd will now stand at the helm of the church.  Boyd, formerly led the congregation at Bethel AME Church in San Francisco.

“This local congregation will undergo a thorough and comprehensive reorganization to protect the precious resources which have been and will be entrusted to its care,” Boyd said Wednesday. “We are preparing and re-tooling. And still, FAME rises.”

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