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Pensacola then...

Located in the panhandle of Florida, Pensacola has had a rich and diverse heritage for well over 450 years.  Originally established in 1559 by Tristan de Luna and Spanish settlers, Pensacola is technically the oldest city in these United States as St. Augustine, Florida was established later in September of 1565.  It wasn’t long after the first settlement was established that the newly established city suffered a direct strike from a hurricane which led its Spanish occupants to leave its shores in 1561 and not return until 1698.  This “technicality” allows for St. Augustine to retain the title of the oldest city due to “continual occupation”.  But who’s counting, right?

Pensacola derives its name from Native American origin.  Its earliest occupants were most likely there and went by their tribal name, the Panzacolas which when interpreted means “long hair”.  While under British occupation the change in pronunciation seems to have occurred and has been referred to as Pensacola ever since.

Often referred to as “The City of Five Flags”, Pensacola is known for having changed ownership several times.  The Spanish, French, British, Confederate and American flags have all flown over this beautiful city.  Each year this fact is celebrated during a 10 day festival known as “The Fiesta of Five Flags”.

The bay of Pensacola was one of the young countries largest ports with as many as 400 tall ships navigating to and from her port to take advantage of the large lumber industry that had been created there.

Pensacola now...

Pensacola has seen a resurgence in growth in the last decade alone.  With annual festivals, events, and performances our area showcases concerts, amazing restaurants, shows, artistry and vendors who flood the city each year while captivating the hearts of those who live and vacation here.  Residents enjoy luxuries such as primary and secondary schools that annually rank among the highest in the state when it comes to standardized testing.  Some of the finest medical hospitals and surgeons in the country reside and practice here not to mention award-winning retirement homes.  It is the ideal place to belong.

Known also as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation," the Pensacola Bay Area is proud to call itself home to the world-renowned Blue Angels, officially known as the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.  Thousands of Navy and Marine pilots earn their wings in Pensacola before moving off to serve in the armed forces.  Pensacola International Airport also offers nonstop service to nine major U.S. cities, over 1300 domestic flights, and 21 international flights via six major airlines.

Pensacola Beach boasts 50-plus miles of coastline which includes the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico as well as Bays that attract thousands each year to try their hand at catching some of the vast arrays of sport fish.  In 2015, Pensacola Beach was even awarded the Traveler's Choice Award for being one of the top 5 beaches in the country.  The sugar white or "chirping sand" is literally the icing on the cake as it creates the most perfect atmosphere in which to relax, collect seashells, surf, snorkel, paddle board and kayak.  We like to think of it as the worlds best kept secret beach destination.

Gateway then...

The Gateway Church of Christ has been around for quite a while, but it hasn't always been called that.  What began in the East Hill area of Pensacola in 1886, the East Hill Church of Christ grew until they eventually recognized a need for a church to be located within the quickly expanding West Hill side of town.  The newly formed West Hill Church of Christ officially became constituted in 1911 and enjoyed numerical growth for quite some time until once again its leaders saw an opportunity to acquire land in an area of town where concentrated numerical growth was evident.  In 1975 the West Hill Church of Christ changed their name to the Gateway Church of Christ and built at 245 Brent Ln.  Once again, God grew this church to 900+ membership and churches around the country began to keep their eye on the successes Gateway enjoyed launching events such as the annual evangelism conference known as the Spiritual Growth Workshop and the Gateway Get-Away which drew hundreds each year from campus ministries around the southeast.  The journey however hasn't ended for the Gateway Church as it took advantage of yet another opportunity because of the expansion of the brand new Baptist Hospital needing to acquire their location.  Land was purchased just up the way at 445 Creighton Rd. where Gateway began construction on a state of the art facility to both house its ministries and outreach to the community.  The church worshipped during construction at the Booker T. Washington High School and then held its first official service on September 19, 2021.  

Gateway now...

Apart from being a church that is known for rolling up its sleeves and serving others, it is equally welcoming.  It is extremely difficult to make a visit to Gateway without being greeted, approached by someone, be given a free cup of coffee or just made to feel warm by the overall atmosphere of the place.  While Gateway has had a history of reaching out into the community and beyond it with ways to make the world a better place, it has become even more so since the grand opening of the new building in 2021.  Gateway has had a long history for sure, but its future is brighter than ever.  From the multiple communities within these walls to which one can belong, to the ways one can serve there is no shortage of possibilities to grow and reach one's potential.  Our desire is for people to literally feel the love of Jesus when they are here, and to find a place where they can shed all of the pressures that the world lays on them.