Pastor Darryl K. Webster
Darryl K. Webster is known as a shepherd and leader in the 46218 community – an area that has been devastated by violence, addiction, imprisonment, unemployment and homelessness. Since 1996, he has dedicated his life as pastor of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church and instilled hope, faith and a passion for community within the hearts of his neighbors.
Born and raised in Haughville, Webster championed through many struggles starting at a young age. One of 15 children, he spent years watching his mother struggle while his father battled alcoholism. His mother is his biggest inspiration; a “lady of character” who raised them with self-respect and dignity through hard times.
When there wasn’t food on the table or clothes available, Webster’s church and neighbors stepped in to help. “My neighborhood was a village, filled with caring neighbors who knew each other. They instilled what being a good neighbor meant,” he said.
This notion of being a good neighbor is what brought Webster into ministry. As pastor of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, he works diligently with his congregation to make an impact in the community. One way they give back is by mentoring and tutoring at IPS School 99 and Arlington & Tech High Schools. Church members also spend time helping improve neighbors lives through cutting grass, helping with home improvement projects and feeding the hungry. “It’s about adding value to people’s lives. Just do what you can do – anyone can cut grass, wash windows, pick up trash – just get started,” Webster said.
Webster’s most notable effort at his church is Boot Camp, a program he developed to help boys and men increase their self-worth and recognize how vital their role is to their family and community. Since its inception, the program has served more than 1,000 men and inspired Webster to write the book Small Change: Great Impact!
His time serving those who have been ignored, discounted and given up on has not gone unnoticed. “He is very visible and approachable and has a sincere love and passion toward helping all who others have predicted to be failures – he sees their potential,” said Webster’s 100 Heroes nominator Lillian Payne.
Webster wants to create a vibrant and healthy community, where we love, lift and lead people in life change. His advice: “Start where you are, use what you got and do what you can – other people will come along side you.”