The Gethsemane Baptist Church was founded on the second Sunday, November 13, 1887 by the Rev. Melvin Daggett. The church was then located in the 1300th block of Florence Street. Those present at the organization of the church included the following ministers: Rev. A.L. Carter, Rev. Jack Lawson, Rev. Gus Norman and the Rev. Dunn.
The year 1919 brought both misfortune and joy to the church. Around the first of the year, fire destroyed the church on Florence Street. This tragic brought about a split in the congregation at that time. A portion of the members moved to Eleventh Street and established Tremont Temple Baptist Church. The remainder of the congregation relocated to the current Wrightsboro Road site. Gethsemane was rebuilt by May 13, 1919, under the leadership of the Rev. W.M. Thomas.
During the Great Depression the church suffered economically as did the entire country. It was not a prosperous time and everything was at a standstill. But in 1933, Rev. K. D. White proved to be another great blessing from the Lord. The Church grew in every area under his leadership. After nineteen years of devout service Rev. White resigned his leadership in 1952.
Following Rev. White's resignation, Gethsemane was temporarily without a minister, however, deacons and other sons of the house accepted the responsibility. With much faith and spiritual perseverance many guest ministers were solicited to conduct services until a pastor was secured. During this period Rev. J.L. Dudley served approximately two years from 1955 through 1957. He struggled along with the church to meet the spiritual and financial obligations.
By the beginning of 1958, after many uncertain years of toil and strife, Gethsemane was almost at its demise. But in those darkest moments, the church was bestowed with its most infinite blessing. On the fourth Sunday, January 28, 1958 Rev. J. C. Trowell accepted the pastoral position at Gethsemane. Rev. J.C. Trowell served faithfully and devoted for 48 years. Under his leadership the church experienced its greatest growth, accomplishments, and improvements to date. Rev. Trowell brought new life to this faltering church. The church’s once small glimmer of light now burned like a torch.
In January of 2007, Emeritus Rev. J. C. Trowell began relinquishing his pastoral duties to the newly selected Rev. Ronald Strong. In May of 2007, on the 3rd Sunday, Rev. Ronald Strong was officially installed as the new pastoral leader of Gethsemane Baptist Church. With new leadership came new prosperity and hope for a brighter future. Rev. Strong is paused to guide the church into the future with plans to build a new sanctuary and incorporate today’s technologies to spread the gospel beyond its physical walls. He believes that God is willing to give us so much more than we may have ever thought to ask for.
Gethsemane has stood the test of the ages and has come out victoriously. The church has given to men and women a desire to live and live life at its best as it continues to give spiritual guidance, comfort and encouragement to its members.Amen