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Rev. Dr. Lawrence E. VanHook, a native of the Oakland Bay Area, answered his call to ministry in 1979 at the age of 16.  Dr. VanHook graduated from AA Stagg High in Stockton CA in 1981.  He went on to matriculate earning his Batchelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree: 

·     1985 - Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion - Philosophy & Psychology (Bishop College in Dallas, Texas).

·     1986 - attended American Baptist Seminary of the West (The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California).

·     1988 - Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care and Theology (Sacramento Theological Seminary, Sacramento, California).

·     2000 - Doctoral Degree in Urban Ministry Development (United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio).


In 2000, Dr. VanHook founded The Community Church for Christ located at 1527 34th Street in Oakland, California.


Dr. VanHook is currently an Adjunct Professor within the Peralta Community College District.  He has also served as Adjunct Professor at several other colleges and Universities to include Patton University. 


Dr. VanHook gives his life to community service, providing food boxes, warm meals and COVID-19 testing.  He also serves as a life skills coach through the Wesleyan Coaching Network where he empowers people to reach their true potential and future goals.

One of Dr. VanHook’s community passions is The Charis House (House of Grace), a 5-bed re-entry facility designed for men who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, which is located above The Community Church. 

Some of Dr. VanHook’s past accomplishments include serving as President of the Bay Area Action Council (BAAC); an affiliate of Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organization (RCNO) where he was Lead Organizer.  Serving as Vice President at large and then President of Baptist Minister’s Union (BMU) until his term ended in 2013. 


Dr. VanHook’s other accomplishments include League Chaplain for the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Oakland Golden State Warriors, the Woman’s Basketball Association, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation.  


He has held seats on several boards including:  Urban Transformation, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of the East Bay and other county and citywide organizations where he influences the impact of communities while lobbying for churches, men, women, and children.


Dr. VanHook promotes Church and community development by demonstrating a model of integrity among Christian leaders. 

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