Christ during this period. We showed our love and concern for them by supporting activities to help them better understand Godís love. Bible classes for all ages were organized. During the summer months the RAP program was implemented for our young men. In 1998 the program was expanded to include our young women. RAP stands for Reclaiming our Youth, Acknowledging their existence and preparing them for the Future. For the young energetic members of the congregation the Gospel Interpreters and the Drill Team were formed to offer praise through spiritual dance and marching. A scholarship fund was established for those young people who were interested in higher learning. An organ and piano were purchased and the Praise Team organized to further enhance the Music ministry Truly we have been blessed and we give thanks and praises to God for all Heís done for us under Pastor Manningís 29 years of leadership. On August 31, 1998, Pastor Wesley Manning, Sr. officially retired from service as Pastor of Gethsemane. We are blessed that Pastor Manning remains with us and to show our love and respect for him, he has been named Pastor Emeritus of Greater Gethsemane.
September 1998 Thru July 2001
During this time period, we prayed for wisdom and guidance from the Lord in selecting the leader that God wanted us to have. Most of our members had never experienced this situation. We were confident that the Lord would not put us where he could not keep us. We used all the knowledge and strength that we had acquired over the years to sustain us until God directed us to a leader.
In the Fall of 1998 a Pastor search committee was formed and charged with the task of finding a new pastor. After much deliberation, in January 1999 Rev. Robert L. Hudson, an associate minister of the Mt. Paran Baptist Church was called to act as Interim Pastor of Gethsemane. Since that time many opportunities for growth have been realized. The Motherís Board was re-established. A childrenís choir, the Sunbeams, was formed. The RAP ministry became a permanent part of the church. The scholarship committee expanded to include a mentoring program for college students and to provide school supplies for younger students. Under Rev. Hudsonís leadership have continued out longstanding support to district, state and national conventions. We have provided our support to the Indiana Missionary Baptist Youth Camp. We have steadily increased our presence in the community by supporting a number of initiatives like the annual IUPUI Martin Luther King Celebrations, the Unified Ministers Conference and Black History activities in the area. Each Sunday Rev. Hudson leads the congregation in a spirited responsive recitation of Philippians 4:13, ďI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Ē As Rev. Hudson battles his own personal difficulties, most assuredly this scripture has become a source of contentment for him and his family.
We were still going thru a time of still faithfully waiting for the leader God wanted us to have. During this time we experienced disappointments, disillusionments and despair. Yet, we were experiencing Godís infinite mercies, tender compassion and golden opportunities. Through our gloom we saw gladness, and through our tragedies we saw triumph. After 75 years of toiling, we were full of gratitude and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father. We thank God for his strength and guidance that has kept us steadfast in our faith and determined in our efforts to serve him. It was our prayer that God would continue to bless us as we wait ever so patiently for him to supply all of our needs.
We continuously called on the LORD. We called and we called, we called on the LORD, we called on the LORD and we got an answer.
August 2001 to present
On August 5, 2001, we had our Pastoral Vote and James A Green was selected to be our Pastor. Pastor Green accepted the call that very same day via telephone. What a Hallelujah good time we had on that Sunday evening. The LORD had answered our prayers and we were truly glad about it. We felt as though we had been in the wilderness and the LORD had brought us out, we were so happy that we started singing.
The third Sunday in September 2001, was the first Sunday that Pastor Green started serving as our Pastor. We have been moving forward from that time until now and are looking forward to moving higher and higher following our leader whom we believe is following GOD. Many positive changes have been made in the two years Pastor Green has been with us. Our technology has been upgraded to the top of the line, day Bible Study was started again, the first Church Newsletter was published, there is a week of Family Conferences for all members, and the kitchen has been remodeled. We have a beautiful new Tithe box, and audio cabinet. Most important our spirit has been reenergized and we have re-dedicated ourselves to spread the word of Jesusís great love. Pastor Green has a Vision and we are continuously working with him to make the vision a reality.