Our mission is to help each person at Gateway believe in Jesus, belong to family, become a follower, and build God’s kingdom. This mission is something we see in the lives of our members every day, and accomplishing it isn’t just a one-time thing—it’s a process that continues throughout the life of a believer. Here are some examples of Gateway people, living out the mission of Gateway Church.
Believe in Jesus
Eric Rodriguez grew up in a Christian home. He went to church every week, but his heart wasn’t in it. Eventually, he ended up attending a Bible school only to find out it wasn’t what he expected. “I didn’t know what I believed, and I left school identifying as an agnostic,” Eric says. Although still playing the part of the religious, good Christian, Eric secretly didn’t want to be a part of the Church. So when a friend invited him to a Gateway Young Adults service a few months later, he was reluctant to go, but he didn’t want to let his friend down. “The message that night was called ‘How Faith Works’ and I remember sitting there thinking, What is this? Why have I not ever heard of this before?” Eric says. “It seemed brand new.” Eric continued to attend Gateway, and he also started listening to archived messages throughout the week. Then, on September 3, 2013, while listening to a message at work, Eric really gave his life to the Lord. “I responded to the altar call at my desk. And everything changed.” Eric now works for the Gateway Café and is actively involved in Gateway Performing Arts as well.
Belong to Family
As Evelyn Baez was wheeled into the operating room to have a C-section, Pastor Samantha Golden walked alongside her. Evelyn didn’t have family in Texas, but the entire waiting room was filled with people who came to welcome her child into the world. As a single mom who was new to Texas, the Single Parent Family Ministry became her family. “I remember starting to attend and the whole group was so welcoming. They took me in immediately,” Evelyn says. During her pregnancy, doctors told her they couldn’t nd a heartbeat, but they did find four tumors. She immediately went to the Healing Ministry at Gateway and sought out her Single Parent Families friends for support. Nine weeks later, after much prayer and many visits to the Healing Rooms, doctors found a heartbeat. It was truly a miracle, and Evelyn continued through the rest of her complicated pregnancy relying on friends and prayer. And when she finally went to deliver her son, people were there still. “I never felt alone. When I needed it, someone was there to walk with me through the storm,” Evelyn says. “No matter where I am in life, there is a place for me here.”
Become a Follower
In Chad Leader’s senior year of high school in California, he was introduced to heroin and methamphetamines. He used them for 20 years and spent a total of 10 years in prison for drug-related charges. Kelly, who he would later marry, was a drug dealer, but after a few years, they decided to move to Texas to get out of that lifestyle. Kelly’s dad, a member of the Gateway NRH Campus, brought them to church where they gave their lives to Christ. However, Chad had some unfinished business in California. “Leaving California to move to Texas was a parole violation,” he says. “So I knew I had to go back and turn myself in and serve the mandatory one-year sentence.” Chad and Kelly got their finances in order so she would make it through the year, and he said his goodbyes. When he turned himself in, he had recommendation letters from several Gateway pastors, and when the judge saw them, he let Chad go free. Now, Chad and Kelly are heavily involved at the Grand Prairie Campus, where he serves as the building coordinator. “I do ministry every day with my crew,” he says. “I oversee 13 people and I get to pour into them and share my story with them. I used to be timid and embarrassed to tell people about my past, but now I realize that God wants me to use my story to help others.”
Build God's Kingdom
When Mark O’Briant, a business man and longtime Gateway member, serves at the Dallas Campus each week, he rarely enters the building. Instead, he chooses to serve as a parking lot attendant, and he’s become an integral part of the campus. “I love working in the parking lot because of the people I get to talk to,” he says. “They might be intimidated by the pastors and deacons wearing suits inside the building, but they’ll talk to me—I’m just the parking lot guy.” This unassuming role has given him the opportunity to minister to people in a unique way. One weekend, a young man struggling with addiction pulled into the parking lot. Before he ever stepped foot in the door, Mark had already prayed with him. Now, the young man is plugged into Gateway, and it all started with the initial connection with Mark. “When you’re outside, you see people in a different way,” he says. “I remember helping a lady with a disability who was struggling to get out of her car. It takes her 10 to 15 minutes to get from her car to the door and I was able to walk with her through that small struggle. It was an honor for me, and that’s why I love to serve out in the parking lot.”