Over 1,000 AME congregants, pastors and denomination officials packed into First AME Church on October 29, as Bishop Clement Fugh was set to announce annual appointments, though there were few surprises as most of the L.A. area pastors retained their church assignments.
The focal point of anticipation was the appointment of leadership for First AME, following the recent retirement of Pastor J. Edgar Boyd. There had been great speculation about who would be selected to fill the coveted role as pastor of the largest AME assemblage west of the Mississippi River.
At the end of the near four-hour service with over 100 appointments and assignments to various positions and pastoral post, the assignment went to Robert Ryland Shaw, the former pastor of Bethel AME San Francisco.
A thunderous applause rang out throughout the crowd as Shaw’s wife and son were brought to the front of the church to join him.
Upon receiving the assignment, Shaw had just three words, “Grateful to serve”.
Recently retired First AME Pastor J. Edgar Boyd thought Shaw to be a great choice.
“Rev. Robert Shaw did an excellent job at the congregation I pastored, he went there and spent, I believe it was eight years and now he’s coming here to the head of the district. He’s young enough, his wife is a minister. They can take the legacy of FAME to the next level. So, we applaud the move.”
Known fondly as Pastor Rob, Shaw’s service record includes being the former Pastor of Reedy Chapel and Brooks Chapel in Missouri, Youth Minister of St. John AME in Kansas City, Special Assistant Minister of St. Philip AME Church in Atlanta, and Pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, St. John AME Church, and Bethel AME Church, all in Missouri.
The Kansas City native accepted his call into the ministry at the age of 16 and was ordained an Itinerant Elder in 1997.
A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Shaw is happily married to the Rev. Ann Champion Shaw, his partner in life and ministry who serves as his full-time Assistant Pastor. They have two children.
The appointment takes effect immediately.