A HISTORICAL SYNOPSIS

In The Beginning...

In 1931, the Old Zion Baptist Church (now New Salem Zion), and the County school were both destroyed by a fire. After experiencing such a horrific loss within the community, the Old Zion congregation eventually decided to separate.

 

In 1933, the Gethsemane Baptist Church was founded and organized under the leadership of Rev. H.S. Gist, the elected pastor. The church's organization was then confirmed by the Rev. R.W. Kennedy, President of the Spartanburg County Association. At that time, the place of worship was a house owned by Sis. Harriet Black. Later the worshippers moved from the home of Sis. Black to the Mt. Sinai Holiness Church.  Rev. Gist served as pastor from 1933 to 1936.



Upon This Rock I Build My Church...

The pastor and followers soon saw the need for a church building, and immediately, pleas for funds were started. The people of this area responded generously to the call. Church leaders, members, and friends collaborated with the pastor in raising funds to purchase land. Soon, enough funds were secured to purchase the land where the church now stands from the late Mr. Bryant and his son, Rev. Bryant, who preached the first sermon in 1938. The stones for the building were donated by Mr. Bryant.

 

In 1936, Rev. B.J. Legins was elected pastor and the structure was erected under his leadership. That was an exciting time in the lives of the church family as they sang and marched from Mt. Sinai Holiness Church to their new church home. Rev. Legins served as pastor for several years.

 

The idea of an Educational Building was born under the leadership of Rev. Jennings. God called him from labor to reward and the mantle was later picked up by Rev. J.R. Whitmore, Sr.  Since then, the church has been blessed with several great leaders such as the late Rev. P.B. Pilgrim, the late Rev. T.S. Smith, Rev. J.M. Fleming, and Rev. L. Nathaniel Wilder.

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Moving Forward...

In March 2007, the deacons, trustees, and church family elected Rev. Charles Alex Walker as the new pastor of the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church (GMBC).

 

Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Walker has shown remarkable leadership skills as evidenced by the spiritual and physical growth of the church. With hearts of love, a clear vision and dedication to the work of the ministry, Pastor Walker and the GMBC family are committed to reaching the lost by living according to Jesus' example..."God’s People for God’s Purpose.” St. Mark 14:36   -Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt.

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