Lancaster First Black Mayor
Lancaster, CA - Bishop Henry W. Hearns, pastor of Living Stone Cathedral of Worship became the city of Lancaster’s first elected African American mayor in 1991 and served a second term from 2006-2008. In his campaign, Hearns made headlines with his controversial title of “reverend” and shook the city of Lancaster with his bold approach to government and politics. He literally changed the face of Lancaster.
“I am one to believe God assigns us to places he wants to put us and I started pastoring a church there in 1965, where I am right now,” he said. “I was asked by several people (to run for mayor), because there was a lot of turmoil going on in the city. I believe I heard from the Lord to run for the city council and I did and won the first time going out.”
Never keeping his religious identity a secret, Hearns ran a fiery campaign backed by local ministers and churchgoers. He served with the city for 18 years.
Now his life is committed to doing God’s work in the Antelope Valley, staying active in city issues and addressing the needs of his congregants.
Bishop Hearns was born in Mississippi to Earnest and Birdie Hearns April 23, 1933. He became the pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in 1965 and also pursued a career as a design engineer in 1968. Overcoming racial odds, Hearns successfully became Chief of the Environmental Branch at Edwards Air Force Base and retired with over 300 staff under his management.
As a seasoned Black man, he feels his role is to be an example and mentor to young African American men and keeping couples together.
“I have committed my whole life to helping marriages and helping people stay together. Teaching other black men to take responsibility and leadership in their homes, leadership in the church, and leadership in the community. My whole life is committed to help African Americans be the best that they can be,” the bishop said.
He also serves on numerous committees in the community including United Way, NAACP, the American Cancer Society, and the Antelope Valley of Black Infant Health.
As a unifier and supporter for equality, Hearns encourages progress for in the Antelope Valley. “African Americans in the Antelope Valley, let’s work together, not as a group against Whites or against Brown,” he exclaimed in an interview. “But let’s work together as a culture and show that we have what it takes to make our community the best and that we are able to make a contribution to our community. We are able to do it and we are not going to allow anyone to decide who we are. We are going to decide who we are ourselves.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — High surf pounded the coast and fierce winds howled across the Southland today, with gusts topping 70 mph whipping the Saugus area and 50 mph in Lancaster.
LANCASTER, Calif.—A 34-year-old man—charged along with two other people, including former Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith, in an October 2008 killing—was convicted today of first-degree murder.
The Lancaster Superior Court jury deliberated about two days before returning its verdict against Dewann Wesley White, who is facing 25 years to life in state prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Taly Peretz.
LANCASTER, Calif.—A former Antelope Valley College accounting assistant has been arrested on suspicion of embezzling $500,000.
Mandy Borquez, 33, was charged with six felony counts of grand theft/identity theft after a 10-month investigation by the Commercial Crimes Bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, said Sgt. Pauline Panis of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The investigation started after “the college reported the embezzlement in 2010 discrepancies in their accounting,” Panis said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Violent crimes in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declined by more than 12.5 percent in the first nine months of 2011 compared with the same period last year, according to the department.
Serious property crimes declined by 3.5 percent in sheriff’s patrol areas countywide during that period, compared to the first nine months of 2010, according to the sheriff’s department.
LANCASTER - Firefighters have doused a blaze in a two-story apartment building at 2141 E. Avenue J-8 in Lancaster and transported one person to a hospital.
County fire Inspector Quvondo Johnson says the fire was reported at 1:46 p.m. and was out by 2:02 p.m. The patient's injuries aren't life-threatening, Johnson says.