"Be thou faithful unto death; and I will give you a crown of life"
Reverend Gerald Love was born November 24, 1959, a native of Philadelphia, PA. He is a product of the Philadelphia School System having graduated from Parkway School. Under the guidance of his mother, Sister Louise Rivers, he was baptized at Thankful Baptist Church November 9, 1969. It was at Thankful that he received his spiritual education and Baptist training. His thirst for Christian knowledge led him to "his calling." On December 2, 1979, Rev. Love delivered his trial sermon and was awarded his license to preach the gospel by the late Rev. Harrison J. Trapp. The continued mentoring by Rev. Trapp led him to learn the gospel and grew in favor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
While at Thankful Reverend Love joined many organizations including serving his church as an Associate Minister, President of the Senior Usher Ministry, Pastor's Aide Ministry, Sunday School, Mission Ministry, Flower Ministry, Nurses Ministry and the Prayer Band Ministry.
His yearning for knowledge led him to seek and graduated with an Associate Degree in Specialized Business from the National Education in 1987. In 1989, he graduated and was awarded a diploma from the Philadelphia Bible College. In 1997, he graduated with a certificate in Christian Ministry from the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Reverend Love's dedication to uphold and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ is evident by his unwavering involvement in the various Mission organizations. As a young child, he accompanied his mother, Mrs. Louise Rivers to the meetings of the Women's Service Committee, which was then held at 60th and Race Street. Having the exposure and teaching of the principles of the Great Commission, Rev. Love then progressed through the Youth, Young Adult and Adult divisions. Thereafter, he expanded his efforts in following the Great Commission and thus began his journey in various missionary efforts.
Reverend Love was a member of the Progressive Baptist Convention serving as Treasurer of the Missions Ministry. He was the past Vice President- at- Large of the Young Adult Men's Department, Eastern Region. He also served as auditor of the Evening Baptist Minister's Conference and past President of the Baptist Usher's Brotherhood. Reverend Love served as President of the Northwest District Congress of Baptist Christian Education from 1993-1998 and a Life Time member of the NAACP. Under this fold, he served as the Parliamentarian for many years and was a member of the Pennsylvania Baptist Camp Site and the Eastern District of Christian Education.
In 1998, Rev. Love was named one of the outstanding Young Men in America. Steadfast, unmovable and under the tutelage of the late Reverend Ivan B. Hewitt, Reverend Love was ordained on February 16, 2013.
Reverend Love was currently serving as the 1st Vice President of the Mission Ministry and was voted to be installed as its President March 22, 2019. His plan was to retire from the Internal Revenue Service July, 2019 after 33 years of service. God had another plan, a plan to a higher calling. On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, God whispered to him; "Well done, thy good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thou Lord."
There are many who cherish his memory and mourn his passing: his mother; Lelia Love- Washington; two adopted mothers; M. Louise Rivers and Carolyn Warthen; three sisters, Camellia Renee Powers, Warren, MI., Nadine (Joseph) Diggs, North Augusta, SC., Andrea (Adrian) Flint, Atlanta, GA., two brothers, Cecil Tyrone Love, Atlanta, GA., Andrew (Ann) Warthen, Wilmington, DE., four aunts, Dorothy Durham, Aikens, SC., Marie Woods, Cincinnati, OH., Georgia (Robert) Butler, Atlanta, GA., Dianne (Freddie) Odom, Williston, SC., four uncles, Dave (Fannie) Love, Leroy (Jackie) Love, Atlanta, GA., Reynold (Dollie) Love, Jr., Augusta, GA., Earnest Bernard, Willingboro, NJ., and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and church family.
"On The Lighter Side"
Art Linkletter said "Children say the darnest things!" Mrs. Rivers remembers that Gerald had a preaching voice at the age of six(6). While playing on the floor, Gerald pinched the crust off the bread cooking on top of the stove. She said to him; "Boy if you do that again, I'll beat all the black off you!" And without hesitation, Gerald replied; "I'll put it back on me!"
Our hearts are broken because of your quick departure, but we'll see you at that "Great Camp Meeting in the Promise Land."