Gateway is Moving and Frequently Asked Questions!!!!
Chances are you have clicked on the picture of our new building on the front page of our website either out of curiosity or to confirm the news. Gateway is indeed moving, twice actually!
Our temporary location will be on Sunday mornings, beginning January 19th, 2020. Worship assembly will remain at the same time of 10am with Bible Classes resuming on February 9th at 9am. Many preparations are being (and have already have been) made to ensure we seamlessly transition to the temporary space without major hiccups. Once again, for the first three Sundays there will be no bible classes to better prepare and acclimate our teachers to their new spaces. Children's worship will be offered during our worship assembly beginning on January 19th.
Words can't express how excited we are, but how important it will be to remain positive, encouraging and unified during this temporary move that should last about 1 year. During that year, we will be trying our best to maintain the same events, promotions and traditions that have made Gateway such a special place for so many years. We believe that our best days are yet to come!
We ask you to bathe in prayer this transition as well as to listen for dates in which our new facility on 610 Burgess/Creighton Rd. are open to tour. God has been so faithful to this church and we wait with anticipation to see the magnificent things He is about to do!
Below are our FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions). Feel free to look through them. They are quite lengthy but we want to make sure everything is communicated in order to have as smooth of a transition as possible.
FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions:
Gateway In Transition
Frequently Asked Questions
Will we have Sunday Morning Bible Classes?
Yes! We will offer three different Adult Bible classes. The Bereans will have a class, there will be a class in the main auditorium and we will have the Welcome to Freedom class. We will NOT have bible class on January 19th, January 26th and February 2. We will begin our Sunday AM classes on February 9.
We will also have bible classes for all children, Roc Kids and Student Ministry as well (not on the above listed dates. Classes started on February 9)
Will we have a nursery?
Yes! The areas we have designated for our children classes and our nursery are set in what we are calling little Cul De Sacs with one entrance and one exit so they are very secure. Each Cul De Sac (we have access to two of these wings) will have someone on the security team there at all times. There are two large classrooms for the nursery, connected with a hallway with a sink and changing tables. In addition to this, we will have partitions in each room to separate the ages, just like we have here. The nursery is very easily accessible to the main gathering area and will fill our needs quite nicely.
Will we have Children’s Worship during the main time of worship?
Yes! We have two designated rooms for our Preschool and our Elementary ages for worship during the main assembly. They are set in a Cul De Sac and are very secure and easily accessible to the main worship area.
Will we have Wednesday night bible classes?
No, until May 2020. We will NOT have a formal Wednesday night bible class though we will be offering life groups and original class material via video that will be made available online and through email that you can study. We are also encouraging our members to create their own “Wednesday night bible class” as a type of life group gathering. In May, we hope to partner with another local church to use a large room in their facility to begin our Wednesday night bible studies again. As we get closer to that date, we will begin making that announcement.
Will we have to set up and break down every Sunday?
Yes. While our contact at Booker T. Washington will be setting up our chairs for us, we are responsible for setting up everything else (including classrooms). We are currently doing a Gateway in Transition Ministry Fair in the lobby where you can sign up to participate in these ministries that require set up. Our ministry leaders have created plans for exactly how this will happen and as people join the ministry, they will be informed of the plans and the rotation of help. We are very blessed to have some permanent storage space at Booker T. Washington that will make set up and break down much easier. After worship, we will be helping our contact at Booker T. Washington set the cafeteria back up for school.
Each children’s classroom will have a rolling container with all of the items needed that will be moved into the classroom and will be packed up and stored after class. The Bereans class in the Atrium will also be set up with tables and chairs before worship and broken down afterwards.
How will we manage communion?
We will have partitions creating a preparation area in the back of the meeting space for our communion prep and for our servers to congregate as they prepare to pass out communion. We will be putting the juice cups back in the tray after we partake in communion. Supplies for communion will be handled by our ministry leader in that area.
How will we manage the contribution?
We have a secure, designated area for our contribution to be counted and sorted and have developed a secure method to transport those funds to exactly where they need to go.
How will we handle baptisms?
We are currently in communication with Booker T. Washington to be able to temporarily access their pool they have on the grounds for all baptisms. We also have developed relationships with other churches to use their baptistry if we have a situation during the week where some one desires to be baptized.
How will we know where to go in the building?
We will have copious amounts of signs in the parking lot as well as a parking lot ministry team with people directing you where to park and which entrance to use. We have two entrances (one with an over hang for inclement weather) on the same side of the building (on the south side). In each hallway, we will have signs directing you where to go as well and also will have people at each sign to answer any questions and to direct you toward your location. Both of these ministries (parking lot/Hallway) are ministries you can sign up to be a part of right now at the Ministry Fair. Setting up signs will be part of the set up/take down ministry. We are excited to let you know that everything we have access to at Booker T. Washington is very close and very accessible and we will not have to traverse a large area within the school.
What do we need in the main meeting area (seating, temperature, internet access, etc.)?
The chairs in the cafeteria are plastic. You may want to invest in a cushion to bring with you. Also, the temperature in the building is controlled off site and we have no access to how to change it, so we also recommend you keep a jacket with you at all times to be comfortable. We will also have very limited internet access (no social media) and we have no control over that either, so it may be a good time to invest in a physical bible and note pad if you have become accustomed to having access to the internet during service. As schools are regulated in multiple ways from off site, we don’t have the option to make changes to many of the facets we normally have access to. We will need to exercise patience and grace as we become accustomed to the different dynamic.
What about bathrooms?
There are multiple bathrooms all over the area we are meeting. There are bathrooms at both exits in the main worship room (the cafeteria) and there are bathrooms in each off the Cul De Sacs for the children classrooms. They are very easily accessible.
Will we still have bulletins? What about signing up for information and receiving information at the CONNECT tables? What about Life Group sign up and information?
We will still have weekly bulletins with all of our information. We will also have a fully functional CONNECT table staffed by CONNECT Team Members (you can sign up for this ministry at the Ministry Fair in the lobby) with sign ups and more information. We will also have our video announcements. In conjunction with the CONNECT Table, we will also maintain a Life Group Hub with information about ongoing life groups and creating new groups.
What about security?
We will have a security team member in every single hallway and in the meeting room. When worship starts, the doors will be locked with a person manning each door. In addition, there are only two doors we have access to for entering the building and the rest of the school will be in full lock down. We will also still have our uniformed officer present during our time of worship. Due to school policy that we cannot change, absolutely NO ONE can conceal carry on school property, even with a license. Only the uniformed officer can carry. If we have people that choose to still conceal carry and not heed this policy set by the School, we will breach our contract and will no longer be able to meet at Booker T. Washington at all.
Where will the church offices be?
Beginning in December of 2019, the church offices will be at 610 Burgess Road, Pensacola, Florida. They will be located in the corner of the building that we purchased. You will see our Gateway Emblem on the door that leads into our offices (and that is the only door you can use at this time). They will remain there for close to the entire year of 2020 as that building is not scheduled to be remodeled until that time. After that, we will keep everyone up to date. Also, we will be keeping the same phone number so you will be able to contact us regularly.
Our mailing address is
Gateway Church of Christ
P.O. Box 11247
Pensacola, Florida 32524
When does construction begin and for how long?
Ground breaking is tentatively scheduled for Early to Mid February. Estimates on construction vary, going from February 2021 to July 2021. We will make sure you are in constant awareness of the schedule of construction. We know that we will be in Booker T. Washington for the entire year of 2020 at the minimum.
What about major events we have had in the past?
As of this moment, we will not be having many of our major events that were housed in the building in their regular context. This includes Easter egg Hunts, VBS, Fall Festivals, various children/ROC Kids/GSM events, dinners (Young at Heart and Widows). That is NOT to say these events won’t happen in another capacity (for example, we are doing a dinner in January at a Restaurant for one of our ministries). We just need to be prepared to think outside of the box and keep in our heads the fact that the event may not happen this year but that will be ok. All events that do happen will be communicated in timely manners so we all know what to expect.
What about major life experiences (funerals, weddings, baby blessings, etc)?
As we will not have a building, obviously it will be up to the members to arrange these in other capacities (funeral homes, other churches, other locations). We will provide a meal for the families of those going through the funeral at their home (the contact for this is the Elders wives) and that can be arranged as needed. We will still doing the Baby blessing once a quarter at the worship assembly. For Wedding showers, we will provide the bride-to-be with the option of a money tree at the worship assembly or a shower at someones house. That is also the Elders Wives area and they are the contact.
How will the Gateway Community Outreach/Food Pantry/Clothing closet work?
We are currently in a massive planning stage for this amazing ministry. The Ministry leaders are hard at work coming up with a plan that may be more mobile as we will not have long term space. There will NOT be room at 610 Burgess to house any part of this ministry unfortunately, as we have already checked out that option. We will make sure that we have any updated information on this ministry as the leadership team develops it. For now, they are finishing out the year 2019 with a Thanksgiving Meal and a smaller scale Christmas Meal.
What we will do with items from this building we want to keep? Sell? Get rid of? How will we store items during the year?
We are currently in the process of preparing our plan for this question. For right now, we are staging items in the gym that we know for certain we want keep or sell/give away. That process will take much of the month of November. We plan on storing some items at 610 Burgess (the building we purchased) before it has to be remodeled. This will be items that we may need during the year. We will have items stored in storage facilities. We will also utilize some members homes to store things that will need to remain accessible during the year. If you are wondering if an item is available or if you are interested in obtaining an item, you must submit your request in writing to the church office for consideration from the elders. The elders are prayerfully coming up with a method to fairly grant permission to obtain an item that we are not keeping. We have also contacted over 25 local churches and other operations about interest in obtaining some of our larger items that we will not be keeping. If you know of any local church or organization that could benefit from some larger items, feel free to inquire as to whether or not the item is available through the church office and we will get that information before the elders for the final decision.
What can I do right now?
Pray without ceasing! Get involved. Sign up for one of the ministries to help. Be aware of new initiatives that will arise during the year as we formulate best practices and introduce new practices. Pay attention. Things will have a comfortable sense of permanency but will also have a degree of flux as we manage the year 2020. We ask for continued patience and grace and also, we ask that we all stay focused on the fact that we are not a building…we are the Body of Christ trying to be an outpost of the Kingdom through our actions.
I have questions but I can’t think of them…
I have questions that may come up later…
So do we! We are all in this together. We have no idea what major changes can come any time during the year 2020 and we want to be ready for them with well thought out ministry teams, leadership teams and most importantly, lots of prayer. While we have lots of ideas and lots of suggestions, we are currently at a place where have a very well oiled plan in place and we want to get it implemented. As we go into 2020, we will continue to assess our situation and make adjustments accordingly. Thanks for taking this journey with us.