Our Church’s Humble and Promising Beginnings
Gethsemane Baptist Church Was Organized in May of 1955
The present congregation is the result of a merger in 1963 between Gethsemane Baptist Church, pastored by the late Rev Charlie Jackson, the organizer, and the Christian Love Baptist Church established in 1954, pastored by the late Rev Bert Collins. The following gives our history in great detail.
On March 19, 1954, the Christian Love Baptist Church had its earliest beginning in the home of Reverend and Mrs. Bert Collins, at 783 East Vernon Ave. with the Rev. Townsend and Rev. Barnett presiding. Rev. Bert Collins was the pastor and founder. The Church was named Christian Love Baptist Church. Its theme: A Church Which Advocates the True Spirit of Its Name.
Approximately one year later, a group of Christian women met in the home of Sarah Posey at 9218 Firth Avenue on March 24, 1955. Neither of these two groups knew the other; they were just believers in God. Neither was aware that nine years later, the two would be brought together as one.
Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. The first church clerk was the Late Cassana Hill. She was also the first member that death claimed. The first candidate for baptism was Mary Cofield. In 1957, the Pastor’s Aide was formed. Deacon Arthur Wright called them the Shunammites.
The church grew numerically and spiritually. The need to seek a new facility came rapidly. They moved to 9608/9616 South Avalon Blvd. (which serves as our present Annex Facility). Pastor Charlie Jackson diligently preached and taught the people that God had given him and the membership grew even more. At this point, the storefront at 9608/9616 could no longer meet the growing needs of its constituency and community.
The church moved to 53rd Street and Wall. The membership continued to grow and a need for additional space was necessary. The church under the leadership of Pastor Charlie Jackson started construction back at the site on Avalon Blvd.
Shortly after the construction began, the enemy attacked Pastor Charlie Jackson, and work on the building ceased. Many members without a vision left the membership. In 1974, having led the people for 18 dynamic years, Pastor Charlie Jackson moved from his labor to his reward.
One of the visions came to fruition when Pastor Jackson (led by the Holy Spirit) journeyed to Africa. God realized several needs there, one of which was a day care center. God granted him favor with the African Government, which resulted in the acquisition of a building and a designated site for the day care center.
Pastor Jackson was blessed to take a delegation with him to Africa and the Holy Land. Several members have traveled with Pastor Jackson to support him in Revivals such as New Orleans, New York, Kansas City, Missouri, and Texas. The record is evidence that the Holy Spirit has been and continues to be our guide and teacher. The impact of Pastor Jackson’s leadership has been realized throughout the United States and abroad. In August of 2004, Pastor Jackson was invited to sit and share his thoughts in London England at the Oxford University. We are truly blessed to have such a dynamic leader, representative of Christ and a man after God's own heart, who continues to teach and share God's Word under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and a leader that loves, cares, and prays for the people of God.
Looking Back, We Are Encouraged to Move Forward
Looking forward, through Faith, we expect greater things to be manifested toward the promotion of God’s work, His church, and His Kingdom.
Looking up, we acknowledge and give thanks to God for His Divine guidance and directions since 1955, years of God’s Amazing Grace and for more of the same in years to come.