Patricia Hemingway

PatI am fortunate to have grown up in a household that was Christ-centered. I recall as a little girl, having to go to church whether I wanted to or not. I had no choice. Sunday School was a must. As a matter of fact, we went to church Saturday and Sunday. But I can’t recall ever complaining, church was what I knew and I liked it and I did almost all of my life except for the times when I knew my life was not right with God.

As a regular visitor at City of Faith, the word of God was often fulfilling and convicting. Just merely sitting in the pew was not good enough I wanted something more.  I was not satisfied with watching my peers participate in the various areas of the church while I cheered them on.  As a result, I requested baptism. At the age of fourteen, I made a vow to God in the pool as my Pastor (Bishop Reid) baptized me in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. As a youth, baptism was a sure public declaration of my faith. After baptism, I was expected to live a separated life. Subsequently, I joined the youth choir, attended Sunday School and youth fellowship regularly, and surrounded myself with positive influence. It wasn’t long after when in one Sunday night service, after much praying and worshiping, I was filled with the Holy Ghost. I began speaking in another language. Although unaware of what I was saying in its entirety, in my spirit I was giving God the glory that He deserved. From that day on, I was never the same. Pleasing God was my ultimate desire. My zeal for God gave rise to several positions in the church. I became a core member of the youth choir. I was leading songs and directing the choir at times. In Sunday School, I became the assistant secretary. Collecting and documenting the offering weekly was exciting to me then and amazingly still is.

As I grew older I held that vow close to my heart until my adult year in college. In college I was exposed to things that I was normally sheltered from. Everyone had a boyfriend and I wanted one too. I cannot recall anyone cautioning me of the implications of accepting the challenge of dating a boy. In the end, uncertainties override principles which then lead to compromises. Although, I went to church religiously on Sundays, my life was not right with God, but I always knew that God had a special purpose for my life. In 2000, after being convicted by the word Sunday after Sunday, I recommitted my life to God. I renewed my vow with God in the pool. Again I was enthusiastic and ready to work for God. I became the youth choir director and youth leader. My journey, though not easy, has been helped by the positions I held in the church.

In 2004, I was part of a group who was commissioned to go and spread the gospel in Yonkers. This transition has contributed to my tremendous growth over the years.  As a member of Bethel Temple of Praise, I held several positions including youth leader, Sunday School teacher, choir leader,  assistant secretary, treasury and board member. Along with the influence of my Pastor, Dalton Jenkins and Minister Godfrey, my involvement in these various areas of the church have remained an essential part of my journey. Pastor Jenkins, who has been very instrumental in my walk with God, constantly reminds me that as a leader I must be able to separate my personal feelings from my spiritual walk.

Pastor often comments, “even when things are not going the way you expect them to go, you must remain standing because people are looking to you to lead.” Knowing that others view me as an example has kept me grounded. I thank God for my husband, Javon and kids, Joshua & Jenna. Together we have been traveling this journey to serve the youths. I can recall spending time in the park with my friend, Corine, ministering to the young people. Their stories of pain and hurt have been a source of encouragement to constantly seek God for His direction in leading the youths. My heart is often overwhelmed with the struggles so many of them are facing in this corrupted world. But the God I serve is a young man and young woman’s keeper. Consequently, I believe that my passion to seek out the lost coupled with God’s desire to save His children will heal many broken hearts. Although the road to victory is rough, my consolation rest in God.

 

 

 

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