The name of the church is derived from the garden on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus passed the night after the Last Supper pleading the Lord to free him from his fate.
In the Gethsemane Church Jesu word “watch and pray” got an special signification several times in history. During the wave of protests shortly before the turnaround the church opened its gates for the oppositionists who were looking for an assembly place. The church also was inofficial press center of foreign journalists.
At times of the Second Golf War the church community had spoken sermons of peace regularly. In 2003 when the Ecumenical Church Congress took place the Gethsemane church celebrated the Holy Communion two times together with catholic and evangelic christans despite of the prohibition of pope Johannes Paul II. . Before these messes had been anounced in public.
The architecture of the church is very interesting. It is regarded as the most excellent work of August Friedrich Wilhelm Orth who lived in the 19th century. Its external form recalls a new gothic hall church made from bricks. By the steel reinforcement the interior is built as a extensive cross-ripped vault that gives the impression of immense height.
The Gethsemane Church offers a multi-sided, sophisticated and dense musical program. A lot of concerts by external organiser take place in the church and in the Elias dome hall.