Rosella Ridings didn’t question God’s wisdom. When the Lord spoke to her heart in April 2011 to begin raising funds for Pastor Bill Wilson’s Metro Ministries, she wasn’t about to make excuses for herself.
More than a year later, Ridings, an associate pastor at Word of Faith Orlando in Florida and the director of special events for Charisma Media, is diligently heading up Metro Hope for Kids. The project’s mission is to renovate a condemned hospital that encompasses an entire city block in Brooklyn, N.Y., to become the headquarters for Wilson’s Metro World Ministries Center.
Working for Wilson certainly wasn’t in the plan for Ridings’ golden years. Her husband of more than 50 years, Howard, passed away in 2008. The two had begun pastoring at Heart of Orlando Worship Center prior to Howard’s death.
Sometime later, Ridings heard God’s voice loud and clear.
“I had always told God I would do anything that he wanted me to do,” she said. “One morning, I woke up to His voice. He said, ‘I want you to make a difference in the building.’ When He tells you to do something, you do it.”
The fact that Ridings took on such a huge project came as no surprise to family members. Joy Strang, Charisma Media CFO, said her sister has always been a multi-tasker.
Along with pastoring at Word of Faith Orlando, Ridings also serves as Florida director for Evangel Fellowship International and is host of a radio show, REAL LIFE with Rosella. She also travels around the world to minister, including trips to Singapore and Hong Kong in the past 18 months.
Strang has helped her sister with Metro Hope for Kids in an advisory position. With degrees in accounting and finance, Strang has been able to advise Ridings about money matters for the ministry.
“Rosella has always had incredible energy. She’s just that kind of person,” said Rebecca McInnis, office manager at Charisma Media for the past 22 years. “With her, everything has got to be 100 percent, the best. She is like the Pied Piper. People simply want to rally around her. I want to be like her when I grow up.”
Through her late husband, Rosella has known Wilson for nearly 20 years. The couple financially supported the pioneering ministry—established in 1980—and Ridings has traveled to New York every December for the past several years to help distribute Christmas gifts to children that have benefited from Wilson’s ministry.
The morning she received God’s revelation, Ridings texted Wilson, who was in Germany spreading the gospel, about the message she received. Wilson responded almost immediately, welcoming Ridings’ offer to help.
The downturn in the economy had taken a financial toll on Wilson’s ministry. He knew this was divine intervention.
“When I texted him, I told him God told me to make a difference in his building,” Ridings said. “He knew me, and he told me he knew I could do this. And so I have.”
Upon completion of the renovation, Metro World Ministries Center will “allow Metro to accomplish many goals.” Among them are:
- Opening a café to feed underprivileged families and the homeless in the area.
- Providing tutoring programs for children, GED classes for teens and life skill classes for adults who are recovering addicts or ones that never learned basic skills.
- Providing a clothing distribution program.
- Having apartment facilities for donors, visitors and guests who visit Metro.
- Expanding the facilities for Metro’s “Won by One” sponsorship program, in which donors can sponsor a child living in unfavorable conditions, through contributions, letters and gifts.
Ridings has no plans to slow down, especially when it comes to raising money for Metro.
“This is my heart, my passion,” she said. “It has to be because I’ve seen God do so many miracles. I call them God connections.
“I heard a comedian ask recently, 'How do you eat an elephant? You do it one bite at a time.' I heard in my head that we need to rebuild this building one room at a time. I know we will see it done. It’s a God thing.”
To make a donation to Metro Hope for Kids, please visit the ministry’s website at metrohopeforkids.com.
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