‘Honoring our past, envisioning our future’: Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church commemorates 100 years
Walking past the black vintage car, through strings of clear beads, the Silver Centre Event Hall resembled stepping into a Harlem speakeasy in the 1920s. The men wore old-fashioned suits and top hats while the women had on sequence dresses, pearl necklaces and feathered headbands. For 100 years Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, on the south […] The post ‘Honoring our past, envisioning our future’: Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church commemorates 100 years appeared first on Indianapolis Recorder.
Walking past the black vintage car, through strings of clear beads, the Silver Centre Event Hall resembled stepping into a Harlem speakeasy in the 1920s.
The men wore old-fashioned suits and top hats while the women had on sequence dresses, pearl necklaces and feathered headbands.
For 100 years Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, on the south side of Indianapolis, has served as a spiritual refuge for Indianapolis’ Black residents, and Aug. 26, the church celebrated its anniversary with a ‘20s themed party, which Rev. Timothy Ramsey said is “honoring our past” while “envisioning our future.”
Timothy was ordained as pastor of the church five years ago, and while pastoring the Baptist church through the pandemic, he began to see how churches can strengthen local relationships even outside of the sanctuary.
“The church is not just a building,” Ramsey said. “It’s a community made up of family and friends.”
Members of the church as well as ministers, pastors and other congregational leaders attended the centennial celebration to support the church’s accomplishment.
“When you’ve had one church that’s been here for a long time, you keep supporting that church,” Denise Latimore said. “There’s nothing better than the Black church.”
Latimore, a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and her husband, David Latimore, executive pastor at Ebenezer, said they have seen several Black churches close because of lack of community assistance. The couple love the Black church and are happy to support a church’s milestone in the community.
“When believers don’t support the church, they close down,” David said. “Spiritually, we have to support one another. If Black people don’t support the Black church, then who will?”
At the event, dazzling table décor had feather centerpieces, rhinestones and photographs of Black people from the ‘20s in silver picture frames.
Dr. Clyde Posley Jr., Union District Association Moderator and senior pastor of Antioch Fountain of Grace Missionary Baptist Church, was a guest speaker at the event. Guests also enjoyed a best-dressed competition and a silent auction. Comedians Danise Barlow and Donald “FoSho” Martin kept the church goers laughing with their jokes about their upbringings in church.
Dr. W.V. Pickens III has pastored Greater Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church for nine years, and believes Bethesda’s milestone is a true testament to the strength of Black Christians’ faith.
“It means a lot to the African American community,” he said. “It shows how much we treasure our spirituality and how much we cherish God.”
As the church commemorates its milestone, it will continue looking forward, adapting to the changes and being a place of spiritual support for its members.
“It’s such a blessing to be 100 years old,” said Mona Ramsey, Bethesda’s first lady. “I know for certain we’ll survive another 100.”
Contact religion reporter Abriana Herron at 317-924-5243 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is a Report for America corps member and writes about the role of Black churches in the community.