As a church in the Southern Baptist Convention, Gethsemane Baptist Church affirms the Baptist Faith and Message of 2000 and holds to the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation. We place a high value on the preaching of the Word of God and have a high view of the authority of Scripture. Pastor Donnie Hale preaches in an expository manner, generally through books of the Bible.
We are located just outside the village of Marengo in rural central Ohio, amid beautiful farmland and a sprinkling of small businesses. Being a mile from the I-71/OH-61 interchange, we are easily accessible from the larger towns of Delaware and Sunbury and the city of Columbus. We are one of the few reformed churches in this area, and many of our members are from nearby communities. Marengo is beginning to experience significant commercial and residential growth from urban sprawl, creating ongoing changes in the demographics. There is a rich opportunity to be a gospel presence in this region.
Established in 1963 as a missionary Baptist church, the church has held different doctrinal distinctives and has gone through at least two congregational splits throughout the years. At the beginning of 2013, three families remained without a pastor and merged with another small fellowship under an interim pastor. Pastor Hale began in August 2013. Four months later, the original building burned down, just as the slow process of revitalization was beginning. We continued to meet at a local campground as we rebuilt. Our new 1-level facility with a 170-seat sanctuary and adjoining fellowship hall opened debt free in May 2015. The simple building serves as a visual reminder of God’s providence and gracious provision.
Our average Sunday morning worship attendance is 40. We gather each Sunday as singles, empty-nesters, and families of all sizes for worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship. As a church body we are committed to having our children worship with us in the church service. The presence of children is a gift to the Church and is evidence of God’s faithfulness. Currently we sing hymns and worship songs with piano accompaniment. We endeavor to sing songs that are filled with sound theology and are faithful in representing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Sunday morning service begins at 10:30 and usually concludes by 12:00, followed each week with a fellowship meal. We also have small group studies, prayer meetings, and fellowship activities each month. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. We love the Lord. We love each other. And that’s encouraging.
Pastor Hale has served with us for over 6 years as a bi-vocational pastor. He and the church have reached the point where additional pastoral leadership is needed. In addition, we wish to follow the New Testament model of a plurality of elders. While our desire is to raise up future pastor-elders from within, our immediate goal is to find a lead pastor with complementary gifts to work alongside Pastor Hale in shepherding and discipling this local body of believers. Our vision is that when God calls our new lead pastor, Pastor Hale will move into a lay pastor-elder role.