A Partial History of Gethsemane
History of Gethsemane
Gethsemane Church of God in Christ opened its doors on September 10, 1989, at the Hillcrest Community Center renting for $7.00 an hour. A typical Sunday morning consisted of unloading the Berry station wagon, setting up the keyboard for Sister Berry, and the portable music stand for Elder Berry’s pulpit. Everyone sat on the edge of their chairs and avoided eye contact with Sister Berry for fear they may be called to sing, lead praise and worship or testimony service. One thing we did learn was to “BE YE ALSO READY!”
In May of 1990, the Lord blessed us to move to a building at 1404 N. Kansas Ave. The congregation of St. Mark A.M.E. blessed us with our first set of pews. We rented the building until we decided to purchase the building in December of 1996. In July of 1997, we gained access to the basement which set in motion our first remodeling projects. Once again, 12 pews were donated to the church from Pastor James Hull and the Wheatland Life Ministries/Joyful Harvest Church and later donated four more. The sanctuary was completely re-carpeted and painted along with the staircase. Linoleum was laid at the front and rear entrances. From one Sunday to the next, the sanctuary was literally turned around from its original setup of north-south and now faces east-west.
Pastor Tom Watson of El Shaddai Church of God in Christ, built an elevated pulpit and decorated the back wall in cedar, including a cedar cross. The upstairs restroom was removed from the NE corner, right next to the pulpit and two new restrooms were built in the basement. The “monster” furnace in the basement was replaced with a central air unit. Upon completion, additional projects were done which included adding a full kitchen, a business office, Pastor and CoPastor office, and finishing the basement to be used as a fellowship hall and Sunday classes.
In September 1999, the landlord forgave the debt of the church. In December 1999 she gave the church ownership of the building that was south of the church that housed tenants. The landlord removed the tenants and later made a donation to have the building demolished, which made room for the church parking lot. After which, the church purchased another house on the south side of St. John St. and demolished it to make room for additional parking. Later the church purchased multiple lots west of the church for future expansions. Pastor and Sister Berry have envisioned Gethsemane occupying the entire block on which the church is located.
In July 2014, the name of the church was changed to Gethsemane Worship Center, Inc. Much growth has taken place on the corner in this little church that does BIG things in God. We continue to grow as we move forward in God. It’s not in the quantity that makes up a church but in the quality of the church.
Nothing is too hard for God for he has blessed us this far and has given us what we have asked for. We are looking to continue progressing in the work of the Lord. The Gethsemane church family thanks God for His work in our church. He continues to build us up spiritually under the direction of Pastor and Sister Berry. God has moved mightily in this segment of the vineyard, for this we give Him the praise!