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By Gina Steward

Rev. Dr. John E. Duckworth



January 31, 2019

As we continue with our interviews of local pastors, this week I sat down with Rev. Dr. John E. Duckworth who is the Pastor of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church located at 29066 Eton in Westland.

How long have you been the Pastor?

I have been the Pastor at Gethsemane MBC for 16+ years.

Is this your first pastorship?

This is my first role as Senior Pastor. I served as Executive Pastor under Pastor Starghill at my home church - Samaritan Baptist before I came to Gethsemane.

Was your plan for your life growing up to be a Pastor?

No. My plan was to work for an advertising agency and then open up my own firm and be an entreprenuer. The last thing I wanted was to work for other people. I went to seminary to have more tools as a preacher. I was fine serving as second.chair, helping out. I graduated from Northwood University and had my eyes set on a career in Advertising.

In what area would you like to see the church improve or grow?

The growth I would like to see is more participators versus spectators. People and ministry go together and if you learn how to deal with people it will come back and bless you. I would like people to be fully engaged with their talent, time and their tithes.

What do you see as two of the biggest problems facing the church today?

Churchs are trying to become the churches they see instead of being the church they are called to be. Also we are quilty of trying to be popular instead of prophetic. I preach a wholistic message. If you come here, you will learn the truth.

What type of community programs do you and your church participate in?

My discertation was on How an African American Church can become a Healthy Church, so many of our programs focus on health. We also Partner with schools and the Kidney Foundation, have Mentoring Programs, conduct Sleep Study and train Hospice Counselors. We have an Annual Christmas Dinner, Toys for Joy and Thanksgiving Dinner, Senior program and hold many other forums for the community.

It seems like many churches are missing people in the age group of 13-45; Why is that?

They attend, but they are not as active that I would like. We try to be relavent and get them involved with our Social Media Ministry. We have the Next Generation Ministry where we do Poetry, Movie Night and things that young people do. We also have a Sunday a quarter where the youth handle all functions of the church service.

One reason that young people are not in church is that their parents don't bring them to church.

There seems to be a lack of morals in the world today, what is it going to take to change it. A lack of morals have been around since back in the day. My sense of morality is how you treat the least of these and what are you doing with the resources that God has provided. Are we opening the doors so that people are treated fairly?

I am a social justice preacher.

What do you do when you notice a member of the church is missing?

Our New Disciple Ministry is responsible for keeping up with the people who become a new member. We need to know what keeps our members coming to church.

What message would you like to give to our readers?

Be encouraged and realize that God is still in control. I would like them to become Drum Majors for Justice. Seek what's right for everybody. We must recognize the value that they bring to the table. If God created them, he sees value in them.

What is your family make-up? I have been married to Nicole for 12 1/2 years and we have a set of eight year old triplets.


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