West Angeles CDC was founded in early 1994 as an outreach program of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, then a 15,000-member congregation in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. Dr. Lula Ballton and Bishop Charles E. Blake, together with Trustees of West Angeles Church, founded the CDC to expand the compassionate outreach and neighborhood development ministries of the church in the face of mounting problems of poverty and injustice in the surrounding community.

Lack of jobs, business investment and affordable, decent housing, struggling schools, endemic homelessness and gang activity were all signs that new, long-term improvements were needed. At the same time, new business and community-building activities had also begun and were growing. These signs were new life and hope on which to build. In January 1994, the CDC was incorporated as a nonprofit organization to bring together people and resources to help develop the community.