Mark Jobe doesn’t often see things that aren’t there. But what he saw in October 2012 would change the course of his ministry career … and his life.
As a pastor with Gateway’s Global Ministries, he had teamed up with an international compassion ministry based out of Shady Grove Church’s massive building located a stone’s throw from highway 161 in Grand Prairie. The building would soon house Gateway’s Grand Prairie Campus, but he didn’t know that at the time. All he knew was that he needed to fill a large box truck with several hundred army cots destined for Kenya where they would be used by the influx of pastors during ministry conferences and young Kenyans during youth camps.
As he exited 161 and approached Shady Grove Church, he looked at the sign and saw Gateway Church. “I turned to a friend of mine and said, ‘You’re not going to believe what I just saw,’” says Pastor Mark, now the Campus Pastor at the Grand Prairie Campus. “‘I saw Gateway Church written on the side of the building,’ and my friend asked, ‘What do you think it means?’”
Pastor Mark responded, “I think this is going to be an extension campus one day.”
A Vision Comes to Fruition
A few weeks later, during a pastor’s meeting, Pastor Tom Lane mentioned Gateway was considering adding an extension campus in Grand Prairie. Pastor Mark approached him after the meeting and asked, “The campus in Grand Prairie wouldn’t happen to be Shady Grove Church, would it?” When Pastor Tom said it was, Pastor Mark began to share his story with him.
In the following weeks, he began having dreams about the Grand Prairie Campus. In one of them, he was speaking on the stage inside the building, and in another, he was hiring staff. “I went to Pastor Tom and said, ‘I can’t get Shady Grove off my heart. I believe the Lord is speaking to me about it.’” That’s when Pastor Tom informed him he was a candidate for campus pastor. “The rest,” Pastor Mark says, “is history.”
Big Changes Ahead
Since that time, the sign has changed. Now it really does say, “Gateway Church.” That transformation, however, is miniscule compared with the other changes that will occur in the near future. Because of campus growth (attendance has almost tripled since last February), one of the first changes will happen with Amazing Kids. In early 2014, it will be transformed to match Gateway’s current ministry model of Amazing Kids. A third service will be added early in the year, as will additional parking. There are many more changes on the way, but they won’t be happening all at once. Instead of just tackling the master plan from day one, the changes will be paced out based on campus growth.
The growth of the campus has led to more people receiving ministry, which is producing more testimonies as well. One woman who relies on the help of a walker attends the Grand Prairie Campus. She had been plagued by several diseases—one which made it difficult for her to speak. However, during a recent Habitation service, she was completely healed. She no longer needs a walker and her entire family says it’s a miracle! “I believe there is a deep, deep well in that house for healing and for the presence of God,” says Pastor Mark. “We’re going to hear more and more testimonies coming out of the congregation.”
Overall, the transition from Shady Grove Church to Gateway’s Grand Prairie Campus has been exceptionally smooth. The root structure of the two churches is the same, making it easy to merge and solidifying a foundation for future growth, the latter of which will happen gradually over the next few years. Pastor Mark says that same foundation has made it easy to lead his team, with whom he’s felt a tight connection since the beginning. “I’ve really enjoyed having the honor of leading that team,” he says. “It’s like they were a part of my family from day one.”