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A PC(USA) new worshiping community in Texas is blessed to be served by ‘the community’s pastor’

The relationship between the Ghanaian and Woodhaven Presbyterian churches in Irving is creating ‘hearts open to see’

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
Video by Paul Seebeck and Rich Copley

IRVING, Texas ­­— A 1001 new worshiping community is bringing new life into Woodhaven Presbyterian Church here. The leader of the Ghanaian immigrant community worshiping at Woodhaven is Martin Osae, a bi-vocational pastor who works fulltime as an educator in Dallas. Osae is heavily involved in the community, ministering to people outside the walls of the church — so much so that he is known as the community’s pastor.

“Sometimes I say to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if all I do was ministry,’” he said. “But everywhere I go I make my presence known as the commissioned pastor of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church at Woodhaven.”

Martin Osae, a fulltime educator in Dallas, is commissioned pastor at the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church at Woodhaven in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Rich Copley)

According to the Rev. Shane Webb at Woodhaven Presbyterian Church,  Osae’s approach has helped awaken the congregation he serves. It’s made the church much more sensitive to other cultures, which Webb says is critical because Woodhaven worships in one of the most diverse area codes (972) in the nation.

“We have so much to learn from them,” Webb said. “Compared to our Anglo congregation they’re so much better about evangelism and coming up with great service projects that benefit people who don’t come to worship.”

For Joanna Kim, director of ministry services at Grace Presbytery, growth in the ministry partnership with the two Woodhaven congregations wouldn’t have been possible without 1001 New Worshiping Communities. She is grateful for the Ghanaian community and for Osae, who are always reminding each of the presbytery’s churches to keep their hearts open to see — and then be attentive to who their neighbors are.

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