by Aaron Gadsby (M.Div. ’13)
Why Seminary? Why Wesley?
In some ways, I have never left Wesley Biblical Seminary. Of course, I am no longer an active paying student, but the strong foundation Wesley provided encouraged me to continue learning as a student. Seminary gave me the tools and the means to think theologically, and to accurately apply the Biblical text within my ministry context.
I came to Wesley, “to be transformed by the renewing of my mind” (Romans 12:2) and to prepare for pastoral ministry. For me, there was too much at stake for seminary to be optional, and my short time in the pastorate has proven this correct. Wesley did not just give me the answers, but more importantly instilled with me the ability to think. Wesley is part of me and my ministry, and it is making a difference.
Seminary Builds Relationships…
In addition to gaining a phenomenal education, I am seeing God use the relationships I formed at Wesley to impact congregations in both the United States and Haiti. Online discussions and residencies turned classmates into close friends through the firm conviction that all cultures have something to learn from each other. Believing that the kingdom of God has no cultural or social barriers that cannot be overcome in Christ, Peter Tremblay (class of 2011), Rev. Dr. Vilmer Paul (class of 2012), Kenny Johnston (current WBS student) and I (class of 2013) continued to pray and encourage one another in the Lord. What began in seminary continues to be a source of encouragement and partnership today.
Relationships Impact Community…
Encouragement and partnership are vital to the ministries represented in this group of brothers in the Lord. In Cap-Haitian, Haiti, Heavenly Brightness Church, under the leadership of Dr. Paul, has grown to see a worshipping community of 500+ and has planted two churches. The community of Bois d’Homme Bas has a worshipping community of more than 120 people. In both Cap-Haitian and Bois d’Homme Bas, the church offers Christ-centered education with over 700 students in Cap-Haitian and 160 in Bois d’Homme Bas.
Community Births a Movement of God…
In 2014, my wife, Casey, and I traveled to work with Dr. Paul. After returning, we believed that we could do something to help facilitate mutual partnerships between the church in Haiti and the church in the United States. This belief began to take shape with the help of the WBS alumni, pastors, and mission-minded lay persons in what is now Resource Haiti, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Our collective desire is to see a growing network of churches learning from each other and working together to see the living hope of Christ offered in Haiti through preaching, education, and community development initiatives.
Resource Haiti came to exist because of relationships formed at Wesley. These relationships are making a difference. Since 2014, Peter Tremblay, Kenny Johnston, and I have lead short term mission teams to Haiti. To date, we have raised approximately $68,000 to help with church planting, evangelism campaigns, educational initiatives, pastoral training, and feeding programs. We are currently asking God to provide the means to purchase property for an educational campus so that Christ-centric education can be offered to more than 10,000 students. We believe that with help from the Body of Christ (that means you!), we can change a generation in Haiti.
The Movement of God Changes a Nation.
Heavenly Brightness’ most recent church plant is in the town of Mornet. Until now, Mornet did not welcome the gospel; the people worshipped a tree and a waterfall. Please pray for this community, as it is our dream to see a church and a Christian school built here. This is just a snapshot of God’s work in Haiti through the leadership of Dr. Paul. Wesley Biblical Seminary continues to impact Haiti as several alumni work to see the Kingdom of God change a nation.
All this is possible because of community built in seminary. In some ways, it seems we’ve never left Wesley because what God began in the classroom He continues to use today for His glory.
Your friend and colleague in Christ,
Rev. Aaron J. Gadsby
More information on Resource Haiti, Inc. (501)(c)(3) or Heavenly Brightness Church can be found at:
Resource Haiti, Inc
PO Box 188
Danielsville, PA 18038
Heavenly Brightness Church