Gethsemane Community Fellowship Church had a full sanctuary as several hundred family and friends turned out to see their loved ones graduate from the LTI program. Since 2007, Gethsemane has graduated 250 people from the two year program. Each year a new group of 35-50 people enter the program!
Senior Pastor Dr. Kirk Houston shared with the audience that he concluded in his research that the LTI curriculum and program structure were the best training program he found after extensive research. He started the LTI program seven years ago and plans to continuously run it to train future leaders. Gethsemane operates two tracks with the program so new people can begin each year while another group graduates annually!
Gethsemane believes so strongly in the LTI training program, that they decided to help LTI start a Leadership Center in Northern Tanzania for untrained pastors, businessmen, and community leaders. Gethsemane sponsored the translation of one of LTI’s books into Swahili and helped sponsor the initial investigative trip to Tanzania! We thank God for the global heart and vision of Gethsemane!
Anita Hicks, one of the program administrators at Gethsemane, shared that the LTI program has been great for having an intentional and structured preparation process for developing leaders within the church. She said the program has impacted the entire surrounding community as many of the graduates have stepped into leadership roles all around the city.
Dr. Joseph Umidi, Dean of Regent University’s Divinity School gave the commencement address. He congratulated the 36 graduates for completing this portion of their preparation and challenged them to go out and utilize all they had learned. Dr. Umidi affirmed how visible and strong the results were of LTI’s program in Virginia and around the nation.
Shamela Alexander gave an inspiring testimony that included a specific principle or concept she had learned from each of the 12 modules!! She concluded by saying that these 12 building blocks have given her a very strong foundation to carry her toward success in life and leadership!
Ronald Godsly expressed that the best features of the training for him included getting into small groups, working through issues together, and exchanging ideas. He also said that giving a brief presentation to his small group peers at the end of each module caused him to greatly improve his communication skills and increased his confidence for leadership. Ronald, like a vast majority of the graduates, felt that these features are what makes the LTI program distinct and unique for preparing people for Leadership success.
The graduation ceremony enabled three longtime friends to celebrate together! Pastor Kirk Houston has known and worked with both Kevin and Joseph for many years. Also, Dr. Joseph Umidi was Kevin’s seminary professor, field mentor, and served on LTI’s founding board for nearly a decade!