Reverend Timothy D. Ramsey, Sr. was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is the only son of Julius and Emma Sanders who made sure that he was trained up in the traditions of the Baptist church. While attending parochial schools, Rev. Ramsey had a fear of public speaking, but consistently excelled in Mathematics and Religion and developed a love and sense of compassion for others. Even as a boy, he exemplified a spirit of devotion and care for the needs of others more than his own.
After graduating from High School, Rev. Ramsey attended Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN where he majored in Business Administration and cherishes his HBCU experience. While attending TSU, he met his future wife, Mona Ardis, who was attending a neighboring HBCU, Fisk University.
After college, Rev. Ramsey returned to Detroit, MI to begin his career and even though he had a knowledge of Jesus Christ, he finally professed Christ as Savior and received his baptism. He remembers one of his first prayers was: "Lord use me to my fullest potential for your glory" and God did exactly what was asked of Him. His love and hunger for Christ grew to a point where he obtained a desire for the Word of God and continued by serving in as many ministries as he could in response to God's love for him.
Then the doors of church leadership began to open. Rev Ramsey was then called to Sunday School Teaching, Sunday School Superintendent, Trustee Board Service, and he eventually became a Deacon. During this time of elevation, God began to reveal himself concerning the area of pulpit ministry with an emphasis upon the pastoral care.
Rev. Ramsey surrendered his will to the Lord and accepted the call to ministry, and shortly after became licensed and ordained by Rev. Dr. Lorenzo Edwards, Sr. at the Holy Cross Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, MI.
In 2009, God called Rev. Ramsey's family back to Nashville, TN for better career opportunities and he accepted a position in call center management. By this time, they were raising an 8yr. old son, Timothy Ramsey, Jr. Rev. Ramsey had also completed a Bachelors in Theology, and obtained a Masters in Ministry, both with Summa Cum Laude honors from Seminary. He soon became appointed as Assistant to the Pastor of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist, under the leadership of Rev. Darin Freeman, Sr.
Rev. Ramsey's vision for ministry is to be considered a worthwhile contributor to the creative processes that equip laymen and clergy leaders of a local congregation to grow in sanctifying grace and to live as disciple-making disciples. His desire is to see people no longer content being passive consumers of religion but living beyond themselves.
On July 10, 2017, Rev. Ramsey was selected as the 6th Pastor of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church of Indianapolis, IN. He considers it an honor, joy, and a privilege to serve the great people of Bethesda.
Currently, Pastor Ramsey is actively involved with The Baptist Ministers Foresight Alliance of Indianapolis where he serves as the 1st Vice President. He is also a certified instructor with the Union District Certificate of Progress Program. In addition to serving as President of the Union District Pastors and Ministers Auxiliary, he is involved in many community and civic organizations.
Pastor Ramsey has been married to Mona Ramsey for over 25 years and they are the proud grandparents of one grandson.
The late Rev. G.L. Lillard organized the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in August 1922. Shortly after the church was organized, plans were made to come into a building of a storefront type located at 934 South Illinois Street. The Church was named by Sis. Emma Lillard, wife of Pastor Lillard.
While the church was undergoing renovation in 1927, Bethesda worshipped in a tent on Maple Street, which later became Kenwood Ave. Rev. Lillard served the Bethesda Church for eight years.
In the early thirties, two pastors were called to serve as our undershepherds. Rev. R.F. Gregory and Rev. Lumpkins both were a blessing to our church.
In the fall of 1935 Rev. G.M. Mimms, Associate Minister of the Mt. Paran Baptist Church was officially called to Pastorship. Pastor Mimms served Bethesda faithfully for fifty-seven years. Under Pastor Mimms’s leadership, the church’s indebtedness was paid off, and a new worship center was built in 1970. Additional Auxiliaries were added, and the church grew spiritually, numerically, and financially. Pastor Mimms was a Pastor who was loved by all and departed this life at the age of ninety-seven and was still active in Pastorship until he died in 1992.
In the summer of 1993, Rev. L.A. Manuel III was called to Pastor our church. He was the fifth Pastor in our 93-year history. Under Pastor Manuel’s leadership, our church has seen significant growth and development spiritually, numerically, and financially.
Under Pastor Manuel’s leadership, the sanctuary was remodeled and properties were purchased. Bethesda became a focused ministry as efforts were made to minister holistically to men, women, and the community. Some ministry-focused programs include the Men's Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Bus Ministry, Tape Ministry, ATM Ministry, Homeless Ministry, Youth Bible Study, Joy In The Journey, Senior Citizens Luncheon, and Dollars For Scholars. These programs were designed so that God would be glorified and to give Bethesda the room it needed for continued growth that would effectively equip the saints for a 21st- century ministry.
Pastor Manuel served Bethesda faithfully for twenty-three years. Pastor Manuel was admired and loved by all. Pastor Manuel departed this life on May 15, 2016, at the age of sixty-three.
In August 2017, Rev. Timothy D. Ramsey, Sr. was called to Pastor the Bethesda Church. He is the sixth Pastor in our 99-year history. Although being a native of Detroit, MI., Pastor Ramsey accepted God’s divine assignment and moved his family from Nashville TN., where he had been serving in the capacity of Assistant Pastor at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. Darin Freeman, Sr.
Shortly after installation Pastor Ramsey quickly began with urgency to help strengthen the Christian Education Department and Discipleship efforts by joining as a spiritual partnership with the Union District Baptist Association. Pastor Ramsey immediately introduced membership to The Certificate of Progress Program where he also became a certified instructor.
Several members are currently completing the entire COPP Program and many find the courses to be informative and enlightening as students.
In the Winter of 2018, the Lord placed upon Pastor Ramsey’s heart to start a giving campaign to remodel the sanctuary entitled “New Beginnings.” The Membership responded overwhelmingly, and the project began in Spring of 2020. However, the global pandemic of Covid 19 halted the project and it is scheduled to continue in September 2021 until its completion.
Unfortunately, during the Covid 19 pandemic, the operation of the “Tables of Mercy Food Ministry,” which was renamed in honor of the late Rev. L.A. Manuel III has suspended its operation and has focused its efforts on a new ministry model entitled “Hands of Grace.”
In light of the current progress and many other accomplishments, Pastor Ramsey is proud to pastor such a wonderful congregation as the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church.