Written by Charles Zimmerman
Friday, 01 November 2013 14:46
Where have they gone & where are they now?
This month we visit with Gabe Wang-Herrera, a very recent graduate. Gabe is planting a church in the Frankford section of Philly; I walked past the building every day walking from the el to Frankford High. If you would like to learn more about Gabe’s ministry, please contact him.
What years did you attend at Biblical, and what degree(s) did you receive?
My first class at Biblical Seminary was in the winter session of 2009, it was with Dr. Zimmerman and it really sealed the deal for me to stay the course. I graduated in 2012 with a Master of Divinity degree from the LEAD Urban Concentration Program. At graduation, I was given the distinct honor of receiving the President’s Award for Excellence in the Master of Divinity Program.
What have you been doing since then?
Since 2005, I have been pastoring a small church plant in the Frankford area of Philadelphia. During my years at seminary (from 2009-2012) I was able to make personal use of a lot of what I was learning from my professors and from the resources to which they exposed us. And I was also able to apply my learning to my congregation and to our context. But all throughout my 39 months of seminary my congregation stayed at a certain level: small.
However, after graduation I was able to see God grow the people He had entrusted to me both spiritually and numerically. I get excited thinking about how he is redeeming and reconciling more and more folks in the inner city who are reflecting his glory day by day.
And a huge part of “my” ministry is my family. My wife (Pearl) and two beautiful daughters (Mia and Juliet) are my primary ministry and they have been instrumental in keeping me fired up instead of burned out in the ministry. My wife is amazingly resourceful and has done a fantastic job of directing our children’s ministry and delegating our women’s ministry. My two girls (Mia – 10 & Juliet – 8) are also growing up in the ministry and I consistently invite them to be a part of people’s lives as they learn to love God and love others.
Share a favorite memory from your Biblical days.
I have many amazing memories from my time at Biblical Seminary. From the pre-class conversations that would occur right before the professor would begin his discussion on “all things missional” to the very short breaks we would have (which I would consistently use to refine my Ping Pong skills) to the 45 minute carpool ride home that I would take with my brothers-in-arms from Philadelphia (Rob, Ben and Tommy) as we would discuss how we were being “broke up” from the spiritual depth of our classes. Those rides home would also entail times of prayer for one another and for our families. Rich, rich memories.
I don’t know if I have one, single favorite memory, they are really all that good. But I do have a memorable one. It was the day that I committed to being a student at Biblical seminary. Dr. Anderson was leading an open house for some perspective students and their spouses and as I soaked in the information regarding the distinctiveness of Biblical Seminary, I sensed the Holy Spirit’s prompting that this was the right place and the right time for me to be stretched and challenged by His Word in community. While I am no longer an active student at Biblical, I am no less a student and learner in life; prepared that much more by an exceptional institution.
Cell phone: 610-283-2969l; email: BGAFrankford@gmail.com; Facebook: Gabriel Wang-Herrera
Charles Zimmerman is the Thomas V. Taylor Professor of Practical Theology. He also serves as Teaching Pastor at Calvary Church in Souderton. He is married to Kim and they have two daughters, Ashley and Megan.