The Gethsemane Baptist Church of Inkster was organized under the name of “Mount Sinai Baptist Church,” In April 1958 under the pastorage of Reverend Charles W. Poole. This congregation erected and entered a new building in August of 1960. However, due to unforeseen difficulties, the membership could not maintain and keep the possession of this building.
The membership scattered and the remnant that remained changed the name of the church to the New Mount Sinai Institutional Baptist Church. Rev. Poole remained the pastor of this congregation.
In 1963 Rev. Poole was called to another church. Prior to his leaving, Rev. Poole recommended that the church consider a recently ordained Minister, Rev. Willie W. Davis. In September 1963, after many meetings and much prayer, the church called Rev. Davis to pastor this small flock of twenty three members.
In the summer of 1964 a meeting was called by Rev. Davis who recommended a name change. The new name that was voted upon and accepted was Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church of Inkster.
Gethsemane was holding joint services with another church, in a small building on Harrison Street when Rev. Louis Gant opened his heart and building to us. Services were held in Rev. Gant’s Auto shop for a number of years. It is our hope that his name will forever be enshrined in our church history.
Despite numerous obstacles, with God’s power our membership grew. Initially we had been refused a building permit but, on November 17, 1973 we moved to our current location at 29066 Eton St. Westland, MI. Gethsemane’s membership grew into a happy, church family with a devout and understanding leader.
In 1983 Rev. Davis had a vision to erect a new edifice. On Sunday August 26, 1984 Rev. Davis and the congregation marched into the new sanctuary singing “We are marching to Zion.” Deacon John Butler offered a motion which passed, to name the old edifice the “Willie W. Davis Fellowship Hall.”
Gethsemane has been blessed to fellowship and worship with Christians in Kentucky, Ohio, Washington, D.C.Virginia and West Virginia. We also supported ministries in Africa.
On September 24, 2000 Rev. Davis retired as pastor of Gethsemane after 37 years of faithful service. The honor of Pastor Emeritus was bestowed upon him at the end of his tenure.
However, we cannot rest upon what has already been done. We must go forward to fresh endeavors, greater accomplishments and achieve new victories. As David said to his son Solomon, So God says to us, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my god is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the House of the Lord is finished” l Chronicles 28:20.
On June 22, 2002 Reverend John Edward Duckworth accepted the charge from God and the church to shepherd this flock. Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Duckworth Gethsemane has developed a non-profit organization, Wholistic Living Community Development Corp., and 30 active ministries that serve the church family and the surrounding communities. In keeping with Galatians 3:28, Rev. Dr. Duckworth has ordained three female Deacons and we have had three female Ministers on the pulpit. The membership has continued to grow and the church has expanded to two Sunday morning worship experiences at 8:00 am and 10:00 am.