Most assuredly, I say unto you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father. (John 14:12)
Not many, many years ago, the one person who really believed and trusted in God to manifest his will for her life, became known to the faith community as Pastor Ethel L. Jennings. She was certainly a force to be reckoned with in her great walk with the Lord. You see, Pastor Jennings at the time, was a devout WOMAN OF FAITH. Her walk and journey as a woman who stepped out on faith to pursue the vision that God had given her for the people of God, became one of notoriety. She never wavered in what God gave her when she birthed out the Christ Garden of Prayer Church. Her quite, enamored spirit, but shining forth whenever she showed up in a room, always left people better off than she found them. She definitely lived out and continues to live out her calling.
Pastor Jennings has impacted the lives of many and she continues to plant seeds and water lives, knowing that God will give the increase. On Sunday, you see, this woman of God celebrated 79 years of age and she continues to keep on doing the work of the Lord. A birthday celebration was given honoring her for her labor of love shown to others and for the work that she daily engages in on behalf of the people of God. She has unselfishly provided clothing, meals, shelter, and the Word of God to the homeless, downtrodden, and discouraged. For many years, her heart has been to please God and help his people. She has from all indications, done a very good job at this.
Some years ago, in 2004, and in an effort to return to her roots in Alabama, she migrated back to enjoy the fruit of her labor on her home front. She did not return empty handed. She took all that she had done, given, and received from leading the people of God, back with her and continued to impact lives there in Alabama. Upon leaving Toledo , she turned over the realm of Spiritual
Leadership of the church to her son, Pastor Troy Thomas, who continues to lead the people today. And after much work and labor in Alabama, she was led by God to return back to Toledo in 2008 and oversee the work that she had birthed many years ago.
This woman of God has always shown her willingness to hear from God so that every decision that she made was God directed. Upon her return, she was elevated as Overseer, a role which gives her the oversight of the ministry that is led by her son, Pastor Troy.
The celebration included many pastors, Leaders, and Co-horts in the Gospel who made their way to the House of Deliverance at 401 So. Detroit Ave, at 2 PM. Songs of praise, worship, and exhortation, provided a great way to celebrate Overseer Jennings birthday. Young people paid homage to her for her ability to love and model the example of a virtuous woman. The celebration was well attended by Host Pastors Donald and Shirlene Pressley, Eld. Charles Smith, Evangelist Leslie Beebe, Rev. Charles Chandler, Coach Herb Nichols, and the Guest Speaker was Evangelist Marilyn Smith of The Bibleway Temple Church.
When asked about the celebration, Overseer Jennings paid tribute to her son who had been the Chairman of the services, along with others that had spurned through the tumultuous weather to be a part of the celebration for her. “She stated that the celebration was one of gratitude and the culmination at the church was actually the second one, as the first one took place with family at her home. She further stated that this sort of celebration definitely makes one feel good about growing older.”
We celebrate the life of this great woman of God and wish her God’s speed as she continues to do the work of the Lord! May God bless and keep you!