Conceived in 2000 through individuals with a desire to start a new kind of church, Gateway Christian Fellowship celebrated their 8th anniversary Sunday, November 2, with a praise and covenant service followed by a luncheon.
“Gateway happened after a number of like-minded Mennonite Brethren shared how they felt the Lord wanted them to be a part of a new type of church – one that would reach out to the community in innovative and practical ways,” said lead pastor Ed Willms.
They shared ideas and hopes for a different kind of church – one that would be biblical, while also being informal and practical. It would be a church where people would spend their time building friendships while growing together in their relationship with Christ.
Reach out they have, and no doubt will continue to do. As the Gateway website states: “We want to try and keep things simple and casual, so dress comfortably, grab a free coffee and enjoy your time with us.”
Gateway has a number of ministries, including a mom’s drop-in called “Friends of Friends,” and The Lenz, a Saturday night program for at-risk youth. They also hold an annual fall festival, offering plenty of food, fun, music, face painting, and fellowship.
Located in the north end of St. Catharines, Ont., Gateway’s storefront ministry and youth drop-in centre are located on Lakeshore Road. They hold Sunday services in a school cafeteria just down the street.
The anniversary celebration was an important milestone in several ways. First, it was a recognition that God continues to call those involved to be a community of faith, hope, and love, expressed in very practical ways. Second, it was the fourth commitment Sunday, when members and attendees covenant to give of their gifts and talents for another two years.