A Partnership for the Kingdom
Gethsemane Baptist Church and Northwood Baptist Church have entered into a relationship that can be called nothing less than a “Partnership for the Kingdom.”
How did this come about?
Northwood Baptist Church was introduced to Gethsemane Baptist Church by Pastor Darryl Gaddy in early 2022 and it was clear there was something to be gained with the relationship.
Two events have since formalized that relationship:
- Participation in the Send Relief program where both churches worked side-by-side addressing the needs of the church.
- A joint service following a formal vote by the members of Gethsemane to enter into a partnership with Northwood.
What does that mean and what's next for the churches?
Pastor Doug Ray, who has served as the liaison between the Northwood lead pastor, Tommy Meador, and Gethsemane Baptist explains it the best.
The fostering partnership between Gethsemane Baptist and Northwood Baptist is a relatively new experience in the church revitalization movement. It comes into practice as many churches are experiencing decline and ineffectiveness over a long period of time. The good news is that it builds on the history or legacy of the church needing revitalization and at the same time, it broadens and strengthens the partnering church by engaging directly in the Kingdom building experience. Each partner church both expands its efforts to engage its communities with the Gospel in different and unique ways.
A fostering partnership is suitable when a congregation is receptive and ready to embrace change and accept a new direction. It has a high probability of success when the church is located in a highly unreached and underserved community. Many in the existing congregation may be reaching their sunset years and are disconnected from the new growth that is evident near the church. Leadership within the church is stretched thin and experiencing stress just keeping the basic functions operating.
The partnership between these two churches has already begun in recent months with Northwood providing various preachers for Sunday and Wednesday services. Recently, crews were sent over to help with much-needed repair to the property and buildings. Much needed roof repair and damaged interior ceiling tiles were replaced. Painting and floor stripping/waxing have opened up the upstairs classrooms for youth, children, and adults. Gethsemane workers assisted with cleaning out closets and sprucing up the landscaping. This was the second step of this partnership that will exist in the near future. Both congregations look forward to additional steps to establish much-needed ministries for children and students. Making disciples is also a priority for any healthy, growing church.
The goal is to give Gethsemane Baptist the time to get back on its feet to secure pastoral leadership and develop lay leadership to meet the needs of the church for a bright and effective future. It is projected that over 70,000 people will live within 5 miles of this church in the Cane Bay and Carnes Crossroads area of Highway 176 in the next 10 years. The hope is that this will be the first of many such partnerships between churches to work together for the sake of the Gospel. When this happens, all churches are strengthened and more equipped to reach the lost for Christ.
Praise the Lord!