Church opens new Gateway
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
By Donnita Nesbit Fisher
Gateway Community Church celebrated its first service in its new facility by giving to another church a world away.
Amidst the celebration of having a new facility, the congregation presented a check for $25,000 to Dick Ackley with Sending in Mission. The funds represent 10 percent of the cost of the Gateway facility. The money will be used by a congregation in Ghana for a church building.
Sunday, Pastor Thomas visited with the Gateway congregation via video chat. He thanked the church for giving. His worshippers must pay rent to use a school classroom – the Gateway group was in a similar situation.
Gateway had been meeting in Smith Elementary School. The school is built on property previously owned by the church. Money from the sale of that land helped build the church’s new worship facility just in front of the school at 2201 Country Club Rd.
Of the initial 29 acres, 16.5 was sold to Wylie ISD for Smith Elementary. The church built on the portion closest to the school with the frontage property reserved for expansion.
In his sermon, Pastor Blake Switzer spoke on 1 Corinthian 13. This chapter of the Bible is often called the love chapter and most everyone is knows it, Switzer said. “But we can become so familiar, we lose what it means,” he said.
“Sometimes we can overlook the obvious.”
The identifying mark of the church in the community is love – to love one another and love the members of the community, Switzer said.
The new facility will help them do that, he said.
“Gateway is a fun place to get serious with God,” Switzer said after the service. “We love people and accept them right where they are, but we also seek to help them move to where God wants them to be.”
The new facility is 13,800 square feet and took just over a year to build. The worship area is designed to hold 350 and includes video screens and moveable seating. Besides the worship area, the new facility has areas for children, teens and preschoolers.
“The preschoolers have their own classrooms now instead of meeting in the (school) gym. The youth and school-aged kids have their own space as well,” Switzer said. “Gateway invests a lot of time and energy into developing our children of all ages into the leaders of tomorrow.
“For the adults, we now have a worship center that is built to allow us to focus our full attention on God with no interruptions. We also look forward to the way having our own facility will enable us to serve our community more effectively in the future.”
Gateway has about 350 members and offers two Sunday services – 9:30 and 11 a.m.
The church offices have also relocated to the new facility and can be reached by calling 972-429-8530 or by visiting the church’s website www.gatewayonline.org.
Switzer started Gateway in 2001 with a group of 40 people. Today the church has about 350 members.
There were about 600 in services at the church Sunday.
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