Gateway Church of Christ was started as a church plant in September of 2011…one year and a month before Hurricane Sandy. Carl & Alicia Williamson (Pastors of Gateway) helped organize and put together a team of five families who started the church. It was started in an effort to reach out to the broader Monmouth County, NJ area with the message of the gospel. We have never had large money donations that have backed our work. We have merely trusted God would provide for His church.
We are seeking to share the gospel with the community and be a church that truly helps those who are in need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Prior to Sandy, the church leadership had been praying God would give a clear direction for the future of His church. We had reached out to the community with postcard mailers, evangelistic events, children’s activities, and service projects. On October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the NJ shoreline and devastated the Bayshore towns which are located just 10 minutes from where we meet, for church, in a rented facility in Holmdel, NJ.
The day after the storm Carl & Alicia got down on their knees and asked God for direction. They essentially prayed “Here Am I, Send Me. God, if you could use your church or us individually, make us aware of how we could be used for your glory through this disaster.” At that time there were no resources the Gateway church had on hand for helping others. However, on the day when Carl and Alicia prayed, God began to answer in a powerful way. One of Gateway’s Elders, Conrad Gross, drove to the Williamson’s house and exclaimed that a truck load of basic supplies was being donated to Gateway through the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, out of Nashville, TN.
We prayed together and then went to the Holmdel Police Department to find out the needs of the community. This eventually led Gateway to be the first responders to the disaster in Union Beach. We set-up a relief center which helped bring in supplies through Churches of Christ Disaster Relief. Just over 1.5 million dollars was donated in supplies. During those first 6 months we handed out basic supplies, mattresses and appliances. We also sent out teams to work in homes. We created a great relationship with the Union Beach township Mayor, Council, and community officials which we have kept till this day.
The active efforts of our church members allowed the church to receive grants and funds to continue the process of disaster relief up until the present moment. We have received and spent to date grants in excess of 1 million dollars. Along with the efforts to work in the disaster the Gateway church has formed a community restaurant called Spoon Full of Hope. The JBJ Soul Foundation has given Gateway a grant to run and organize our community restaurant that meets in Union Beach every Wednesday night.
At the beginning of 2016, Gateway began transitioning from several ministries we had begun after the devastation done by Superstorm Sandy. We began the process by looking back at our mission God gave the church when it it was planted: Grow, Lead, Love. As the leaders looked back on the first five years of its existence we saw God had allowed us to fulfill this mission through the work He gave us in helping families and friends recover from a tragic storm. Therefore, Gateway began establishing a new mission and created a new logo.
We believe Gateway exists to bring people closer to Jesus by sending love Inward, Godward and Outward. As you look at our logo you will notice the cross is the center of the logo and each arrow illustrates a different part of our mission. An easy way to remember our mission at Gateway is to remember the initials “I GO.” Inward, Godward, Outward.
In life we need to make sure we take care of ourselves physically and spiritually. Inward illustrates all of Gateway’s ministries that are focused on Gateway church members and families. In order to help them grow, we have events and activities to help church members grow spiritually. We also need to make sure that the center of who we are is a people devoted to God, so Gateway gets together to worship each week and encourages its community to trust God wholeheartedly. This is illustrated by our Godward focus. Last, we have the Outward focus. We want to not only talk about our faith, we actually want to live it out by serving our community, helping those in need, and sharing Jesus with the world.
The Gateway church is a small church that is growing to become the community of God. We are not a perfect people, but we welcome individuals who do not have faith, searching for faith or want a community to grow in faith to join us. We are a simple people who want to be devoted to being disciples of Jesus Christ. Join us as we seek to make a difference in the lives of the people in central New Jersey.
The church is looking forward to continued efforts of growing new leaders and raising our families and community to center their life around Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus can change the lives of those who are hurting and suffering. We also believe God changes us as we serve faithfully in helping those in need. Join us as we seek to make a difference in the lives of the people in central New Jersey.