Author, Born to Preach (2011)
Bishop of Rock Chuch International Fellowship in Virginia Beach, VA
Co-Founder of Rock Church in 1968
Co Founder of Washington for Jesus Rallies
Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree, Oral Roberts University
Married to the late John Gimenez
Child, Robin; Grandchild, Amelia
Anne Gimenez: A Journey of Faith
The 700 Club
A VIRTUOUS WOMAN
Pastor Anne was born during the Great Depression. “If abortions had been legal in the 1930’s, I have no doubt I would have never – ever – seen the light of day,” shares Anne. Her father told her mother, “I want you to get rid of this child!” Her mother refused and cried out to God. “That very day, God placed His shield of protection over my life – sparing me from the abortionist’s knife – and called me his own,” says Anne. When she was born on November 26 she was marked to be a vessel of God.
As a teenager Anne was called to the altar and Pastor Pemberton began to prophesy over her. The prophecy reflected the deepest desires of her heart. That service was a defining moment for Anne. She always had known that she was called to preach, but now a desire to preach had come into her life.
One Sunday morning Anne was asked to lead the worship service. Although unsure of herself she led the worship and was asked back to lead the worship service again. “I see how God used that position to train me; it was there that I learned to be at ease standing before an audience and leading the worship. I learned firsthand how to speak publicly, to pray without inhibitions and to prophesy,” recalls Anne. The Lord was equipping her for what was to come.
Anne became ordained at the age of nineteen by Pastor Hodge whose life-changing ministry was legendary among Pentecostal and Full Gospel believers throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Soon after she was given her first opportunity to preach at a Friday night youth service at the Tabernacle.
The opportunities to minister began to multiply, but not without opposition from others within the body of Christ who believed women were disqualified from certain jobs in the church based solely on their gender. In one encounter Anne remembers being grilled relentlessly with scripture about the wrongness of being a woman and preaching. Anne replied calmly, “You certainly have a right to your opinion, but one of these days I’ll stand before God and give an account of what I did with the calling upon my life.”
As an anointed minister, God opened doors for Anne to preach. She traveled extensively in evangelistic work, preached at large camp meetings all over the country and in Canada before marrying John Gimenez in 1967. Then together they traveled with Anne doing most of the preaching and John giving his testimony. During this time, they appeared on The 700 Club. They eventually moved to the Virginia Beach area where together they founded the Rock Churchas well as a ministry for drug addicts, unwed mothers and the homeless. They also birthed the Washington for Jesus Rallies in D.C. with the support of Christian leaders such as Dr. Pat Robertson and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ.
WATERS TO SWIM IN
In 2007, Anne and John celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. To celebrate they had taken a trip to Paris, France. However, John complained of a stomach ache the whole time. When they returned from their trip John was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with colon cancer. On February 12, 2008 John had a massive stroke and went home to be with the Lord. Anne’s world changed overnight with John’s sudden “homecoming.” She took her granddaughter Amelia and flew home to Corpus Christi, Texas for a visit, the place where God had first called her as a teenager. Now that she was about to embark on a new phase of life and ministry without John, it helped to remember that God had used her as a single woman before.
On May 8, 2008 she was consecrated as Bishop over the Rock Ministerial Fellowship, succeeding her husband. The medallion placed around her neck was the very one John had used. She felt a new and different anointing come upon her life that night when she was consecrated as Bishop. “I felt as if I were entering “waters to swim in,” as Ezekiel prophesied in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 47:12). “I no longer struggle as I did in the past to be accepted as a woman in ministry. I no longer wonder whether I’ll be asked back to preach. I’m free now to minister and do the will of God – going where He wants me to go. It’s a freedom I’ve walked in ever since I first met and married John Gimenez,” shares Anne. Within two months of becoming Bishop, Anne traveled overseas to visit affiliated churches in the Ivory Coast and Liberia. She also continued to pastor the Rock Church International Fellowship.
It all began in January 2010, during an ocean cruise with members of the Rock Ministerial Fellowship. Pastor Anne had been battling a blood platelet disorder six weeks prior, but her health had improved and her physician had cleared her to go on the cruise. Anne was sick for most of the cruise. By the time she returned to Ft. Lauderdale, Anne was unable to fly back home. She was rushed to a local hospital where the physicians told her daughter Robin, “She may not make it.”
Robin sent the message to her husband, John Blanchard, who was in the midst of a Sunday morning service in Virginia Beach. He stopped the service and called for prayer. Anne suffered major organ failures – heart, lungs, and kidneys. For eighteen days, she was on life support existing in the haze of a medically-induced coma. When she awoke she believed she was paralyzed. She could not move any part of her body except for her head. After three weeks in a Florida hospital doctors were still unable to determine the cause of Anne’s illness. Robin contacted a friend who knew some physicians at Presbyterian Hospital. She was flown to Dallas in the middle of a snowstorm. Once admitted she began physical therapy to gain the ability to walk again.
During this time she also battled pneumonia. Finally, Anne was released from the hospital and admitted to a new facility that specialized in rehabilitation. An infectious disease specialist diagnosed her overall problem as a virus that had attacked her heart – viral myocarditis. In late April 1010, Anne flew back home to Virginia Beach after being away almost 14 weeks. On July 4th – Independence Day – she returned to the pulpit to preach for the first time since becoming ill. She was greeted with applause and shouts of rejoicing from the congregation.
Anne believes her life was spared so that she might “lay hands” upon another generation of God’s servants and send them forth to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.
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