Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. is committed to serving God, family, the AME Church and the community. Rev. Whitlock has served as pastor of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR Church) in Irvine, CA since August 1998 to present.
COR Church has grown from five members to three thousand seven hundred members under Rev. Whitlock’s tenure. COR Church has over forty different ministries and a staff of thirty people and eighty volunteers. COR has established partnerships with Catholic Arch Dieses of Orange County, Rock Harbor Church Evangelical Church, Jewish Synagogues, Muslim Mosques, and OC Sheriff’s Department. COR is best known for hosting conferences on community development, racial reconciliation, police relations, and working with the OC Department of Education.
Rev. Whitlock is the founder and CEO of COR CDC, the non-profit arm of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church. COR CDC has a staff of over thirty full time, part time, and contract employees. It has multiple community development, youth programs, sports camp, summer enrichment academy, pre k to 4thgrade reading programs, entrepreneurial investment fund, and civic engagement programs. COR CDC is the General Partner with Avanath Capital. COR CDC provides all social services to the residents of the eleven properties valued at nine hundred million dollars. COR CDC has given four hundred thousand dollars in college scholarships to minority college students living in Orange County, hosted the National Faith Leadership Conference, created the Innovators Impact Fund, and trained hundreds of young people on entrepreneurships. Avanath Capital, Ray Charles Foundation, multiple banks, Southern CA Edison, and the CA State University are COR CDC’s primary sources of income. COR CDC has built and given away twelve homes to Mexican families living in Mexico.
Rev. Mark has a dual career as the Executive Director of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at the University of Southern California for 13 years. He raises funds, trains clergy, administers staff and projects. The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement of USC has trained over eight hundred pastors on community development and civic engagement. The multiple programs are funding by the CA Endowment, Weingart Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Union Bank, Comerica, and State Farm Insurance.
Before becoming a full-time pastor, in 1990, Rev. Whitlock co-founded the Richard Allen Men’s Society (RAMS) of First AME Church in Los Angeles, CA. The RAMS had over 3,500 men who exemplified a positive African American image. Mark served as president of the RAMS for eight years. The RAMs are best known for helping to reclaim the community from gangs, drug dealers and closing 13 rock cocaine houses while leading young men to God in Jesus Christ.
Mark Whitlock’s corporate experience amply equipped him to lead the 21st century church in economic development. He was a Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank Escrow Division. He was also a Vice President of the Commercial/Industrial National Division for Chicago Title Insurance Company. His clients included real estate developer and lawyers.
Rev. Whitlock left his corporate career to serve God following the Los Angeles “Rodney King” Riots. He is the founder and executive director of FAME Renaissance aka FAME Assistance Corporation, the economic development arm of First A.M.E. Church, Los Angeles from 1992-2004. As the executive director, he raised over four hundred million dollars in grants, loans, and public and private fee for service contracted service initiatives. FAME Renaissance created no less than four thousand jobs within South Los Angeles. He hired a staff of over one hundred people.
Rev. Whitlock has been featured on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, KTLA, Fox News, KJLH Radio, and Charter Cable. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, News Week Magazine, Orange County Register, Black Enterprise Magazine, Sentinel News, as well as several local magazines and news papers. He has a weekly radio show on KJLH Radio.
He has lectured at the Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles; Anderson School of Business, Interdenominational Theological Center, Payne Seminary, Yale University, California State University, Los Angeles; Concordia University, churches, colleges and high schools. Rev. Whitlock has been a featured speaker at the White House’s Faith-Based Conferences. He is a recipient of numerous national, state, city, and local community service awards.
Rev. Whitlock is married happily to Rev. Hermia Shegog Whitlock for over twenty 35 years. He has three sons, Ariel, Mark, III; and Devin Whitlock.
Rev. Whitlock has BA in Religion from University of La/Verne, Master of Business from USC, and is doctoral candidate with the Payne Theological Seminary (2020).