Rev. Dr. Denise Gilmore
Dr. Denise E. Gilmore is the daughter of the late Josephine Gilmore and the sister of William, Darlene, and Donna. Church has always been a vital part of her existence. At the age of seventeen, she rededicated her life to the Lord and committed herself to full-time Christian service. She conducted 5-Day Clubs as a summer missionary for Child Evangelism Fellowship and led many children to Christ. She earned her BA from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, majoring in Bible Comprehensive and her M.Div. from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in Womanist Studies and her D.Min. in Collaborative Leadership, at United Theological Seminary, in Dayton, Ohio.
She has been involved in the community through the tutoring of children and adults, teaching about breast cancer awareness, managing a drill team, and mentoring children in both Ohio and Atlanta. She has volunteered at Dayton Early College Academy and Fairview Elementary. She was also the Site Coordinator for the first Freedom School held in the Dayton area in conjunction with Unified Health Solutions and Dayton and Montgomery County Children’s Services.
In the church community, she taught at Northwestern School of the Bible, was a Sunday School teacher, a Guild Girl mission counselor, a member of the Youth Activity Community, Vacation Bible School (VBS) director, speaker for various programs and events in the Dayton area, and a resource and curriculum developer for VBS, youth prayer meeting, youth retreats, and plays.
She is currently the Youth Pastor at Zion Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Rockney Carter and at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. She was both director and founder for the Zion Baptist Church Afterschool Enrichment, and Mount Carmel’s Summer Enrichment Camp. The camp serves 100 youth and employs 20 youth workers through Youth Works. It is still a part of the community today. Her work in the community has allowed her to be acknowledged as a participant in the Triple Jeopardy Project for African American Women with Disabilities, received the Mentor of the Year award from the Mentoring Collaborative, and Key to the City award for Outstanding African American in the area of Ministry by the Dayton African American Legacy Institute Inc. She has also received The Lottie M. Mitchell Founders Award as an “Outstanding African American Woman” Outstanding Community Service from the Ohio Desert Conference-Gala Days Daughters of Isis.
Her work also involved impacting young people as a speaker for the Access Center for Independent Living’s Youth Transition program: speaking with 7th and 8th graders at Westwood Elementary and Belmont about communication and healthy relationship. She was also featured as an unsung hero in the 2015 Christmas Day edition of the Dayton Daily.
Her philosophy of life is to empower, enrich, and enlighten the lives of young people by developing self-esteem, self-determination, and self-reliance. It is her belief that developing self helps one to become a change agent who helps others to develop as change agents.
Embracing change has been a vital part of her life. A medically fragile body made sure of that. A sudden paraplegic at age 14 developed her capacity to adapt to change. Her battles against breast cancer and journeying through the grief of her mother; all strengthened her to accept, adapt, and achieve through change.
She believes in the transforming power of Jesus Christ and in the sustaining power of God Almighty. She believes that God changes self so that self can make a change in family, community, country, and world. She believes that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God uses whom God chooses. Psalm 139:14.