Pastor Gentry W. Richardson Sr. and First Lady Mary Richardson
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Fifteen years of service in the ministry does not go unnoticed by the members of Bethlehem Temple Church. So, when District Elder Gentry W. Richardson Sr. and Mrs. Mary E. Richardson neared that milestone, the congregation organized a four-day salute recognizing their tenure as pastor and first lady.
The Appreciation Services for Pastor and Lady Richardson begin Thursday, June 2, and continue to Sunday, June 5, at the edifice located at 958 East 52nd Street in Los Angeles. The commemoration includes a gala dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Marina Del Rey on Saturday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m.
"We look forward to the community fellowshipping with us as we honor our pastor and his wife as well as celebrate what God has done. The Lord has counted this anointed man of God worthy to lead and to teach His people the Word of God. Here at Bethlehem Temple, God is in control," said Evangelist Clara Rodgers.
Participating in the celebration will be Suffragan Bishop Howard A. Swancy of Peace Apostolic Church who will preach on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, the speaker will be Elder Wayne Botts of Gethsemane God's Garden Church. Suffragan Bishop Robert Douglas of Jacob's Ladder Community Church will close the pastoral appreciation on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
District Elder Richardson, an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, served 43 years as assistant pastor of Bethlehem Temple before being appointed pastor in 1996. Six years later, he was named a District Elder overseeing six churches in the California District Council.
Throughout his ministry, Pastor Richardson has been recognized as an exceptional educator. He taught 20 years at Aenon Bible College and currently instructs a wide range of theological workshops and seminars. Also, he founded the Bethlehem Temple ‘5' Star Day Care Center in 2009.
As pastor, District Elder Richardson has led Bethlehem Temple in spiritual and numerical growth along with expanding its outreach to include the Sign Language and Deaf Ministry, Special Needs Ministry and Drama Ministry. Pastor Richardson has been married to Lady Mary Richardson for 58 years. They have seven children, 25 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
For information about the Pastoral Appreciation, call (323) 232-8429.