Cross and Crown Christian Church 10thPastoralAnniversaryCelebration

By Raafiah Odom
C4 Church member

In recognition of her 30-year ministry with 10-years as pastor and organizer of Cross and Crown Christian Church (C4), Pastor Lula Baker received congratulations, salutations, and proclamations. Festivities during the 3-day (April 14-16) celebration began with a Friday evening Gospel concert, continued with a luncheon on Saturday at the Ridgefield Regency in Verona, and concluded with worship service held at the C4 Church Complex in Orange. Bishop Vincent Rouse, spiritual son to Pastors Lula and John Baker, delivered a powerful closing message, “Go With the Shift,” about leadership and commitment as a church community.

Pastors Lula and John Baker, formerly with the New Hope Baptist Church, are largely responsible for Christian Bible training (CBT) programs as well as training many ministers in Essex County. In their commitment to God over the last ten years, the Bakers moved the church from three locations in preparation to occupy their temple. C4 established a community development corporation (CDC), and partners with the City of East Orange to provide job development, child care, and other services. Pastor Lula Baker announced at the luncheon the adoption of a public elementary school and the opening of a soup kitchen to feed the homeless and indigent.

Numerous ministers and pastors of churches throughout Essex County and the state of New Jersey were in attendance including New Hope, St. John’s, and Salem Baptist Churches. Pastor Baker received a special award from the president of the Divine Destiny Ministry as a founding member. City Council VP Hon. Tency A. Eason, Councilman Clifford R. Ross, and Councilman Weldon M. Montague III—all of the City of Orange, presented a proclamation to Rev. Baker pledging their support. Newark Councilwoman at-Large Louise Scott- Rountree presented a proclamation from Mayor Ras Baraka for Pastor Baker’s work and service on several boards and task forces in the City of Newark.

At its home location for five years, the planning for building renovation and conversion to a two-story sanctuary and educational and social services complex has begun. Some years ago, Rev. Baker received a vision to save souls and establish the church. Despite floods and the two-year COVID shut down just after opening, Pastor Lula and her husband, Executive Pastor John Baker, continue to press forward and provide spiritual leadership and guidance to their flock. “We are a family church,” she often proclaims, and the core principles of C4 are “temple ways, temple attitude, temple mind.” Cross and Crown Christian Church—The C4 Experience— ‘“Come as you are….You won’t stay the way you came.”

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