Gateway Assembly/Calliste Pentecostal Church History to Present.
How it all began
A seed was planted. This seed sprouted, took root, matured, blossomed and in the process of time, produced its own fruits, which in turn gave rise to its own seeds. Thus started the saga, of the Calliste Pentecostal Church, now Gateway Assembly.
The first group of believers who began the Pentecostal movement in Calliste, held prayer meetings in a house, which belonged to Mr. Wille Mark. The House was situated just behind the ‘Club House’ on Calliste Hill. Mr. Mark was living in the United States at the time and he gave permission to the brethren to hold services there. However, when he returned to Grenada, the brethren had to find an alternative venue to worship. The late Oliver Ferguson, who then attended the Market Hill Pentecostal Church, came to their rescue, giving them a room in his home.
Pastor William James and other believers like Sis. Evelyn Mc Intyre, and some of her children; Sis. Angela Patrick, Sis Louise Frederick, Sis. Veronica Pilgrim, and Bro. & Sis. Uriah Moore cleaned out the room and there they worshipped for several months. During this period there was prolific increase in believers and it became increasingly evident that new accommodation should be found.
In July 1982, plans were made for the construction of a church. Oliver enthused by the spiritual revolution, approached the Market Hill Church with this idea, and although it was met with approval, the actual initial work was somewhat tardy. There was the matter of finances, administration, and the usual engagement of various channels before undertaking such a major project. Undaunted by the frustrations, Oliver opted to finance the construction himself, and encouraged the brethren along with him. The Moore’s donated a plot of land and Pastor James donated the first twenty ($20.00) dollars.
Initial Stages of Work
Meanwhile, the Men’s Ministry department of the Evangelistic Center came down to the village, to give support to the new work. Brother George Gilkes, Bro. Collin La Barrie, and Bro. Knight gave of their time and labour freely, and about four months later the church was finished and worship began there.
Growth and Devastation, the great oxymoron
In 1983, the church saw the investiture of Pastor and Sister Ashley Roberts and, not too long, evangelism became the heartbeat of the assembly. They embarked on a vibrant evangelism thrust to all surrounding areas. The church grew significantly under their leadership and by 1986 several outstations were established. These included Paraclete, La Fillette, Clozier and Mt. Rose. Unfortunately these outstations soon fell apart as there were insufficient mature Christians to give leadership to them.
July 1989 marked a dark period in the life of the church. With the enthusiasm of striving to increase the folds of the assembly, Pastor Roberts took upon himself to demolish the existing building and relocate it in another area in order to embrace a wider community. At that time, the church had not become autonomous, which meant that consent would have first had to be granted from the local district executive. However, without this being done, the move was initiated. The district stepped in and took over the supervision and administration of the assembly. Pastor Roberts went his own way. A number of members went with the former pastor and others became members of other churches in the vicinity.
Fresh Start, a time of restoration
From July 1989 to December of the same year, the church was under the direct supervision of Rev. Thomas A. Welsh, the District Superintendent. A roster was set up for pulpit ministry and a church board was put in place to assist in its administration. Pastor Christopher Barker expounded on the word of God every Wednesday night, which brought a wealth of strength to the brethren.
Pastor and Sister Stephenson Worme were installed in December 1989. This was a difficult period for the church as it sought to cope with the trauma of the division that occurred several months before. However, several of the brethren who had relocated, returned to the church and were taken back into fellowship of the assembly. This was a time of restoration, as God’s Spirit brought healing and soon the church began to stride smoothly again.
Pastor Worme focused strongly on Bible study and prayer during his early tenure at the church. He also ensured that all the departments were functional. In May of the following year, new toilets facilities were constructed, replacing the outhouses, which were built several years ago. In 1991, work commenced on the road that lead to the church. The road, which was rocky and rugged, was leveled with the use of pick axes and other tools for digging and was paved with concrete, making it more easily accessible. Pastor Worme and the men of the assembly, worked tirelessly to see its completion. A small church office was also built in March 1992.
Also in March of 1992 a Crusaders unit was established in the church. This unit was under the command of Sister Wendy Thompson and was later placed in the hands of Brother Osmond Henry, when Sis. Thompson migrated to the United States. The unit flourished quickly, but after several years it fell away.
Calliste Pentecostal Church continued to grow numerically and spiritually. On April 17th, 1994, the assembly was granted “autonomous” status, now having the power to make its own decisions and take care of its financial transaction.
New Church Construction
Plans for the construction of a new church building began in 1995. Pastor Worme donated two hundred and fifty (250) bricks to the project, which he had purchased to commence his home. Bro. Uriah Moore contributed three hundred and fifty (350) and the church purchased two thousand, nine hundred (2,900).
The Community Development Division in the Ministry of Works contributed some sand and gravel and fifty (50) bags of cement to the project. Efforts were also made to purchase a piece of land to the south of the church. However, the efforts were futile because the owner of the land could not be verified.
Five men were employed on the building project but the pastor and members worked, evenings and sometimes late at night to accelerate the completion of the building. The members of the church and the community must be complemented for their hard work and financial support that they gave.
While the church was being built, its members worshipped at the neighboring Open Bible Church. The brethren worshipped from 7.00 a.m. and the members from the Open Bible, commenced their worship at 10.00 a.m. The Open Bible brethren must also be commended for their goodness.
The church building was dedicated on May 14th 1997. Hon. Mark Isaac, parliamentary representative for south St. George attended the dedication ceremony and congratulated the members for their hard work. Also in attendance were the District Superintendent Rev. Lodwin Antoine and the members of the District Executive.
Birthing of Gateway Assembly
Rev. Stephen Worme resigned as pastor of the church in July 1998. The Church remained without a pastor until December 24th, 2000 when Rev. and Sis Adrian Banfield were installed to give pastoral leadership. The Benfield’s who resided in Winnipeg, Canada, brought several years of pastoral experience with them. The church grew physically and spiritually under their leadership as they saw to the establishment of a pastor’s office, a kitchenette and a junior church quarter.
In 2002, the church was formally named “Gateway Assembly”, significant with its location being approximately quarter of a mile from the International Airport. Gateway Assembly purchased a piece of land, approximately 2 acres, even closer to the Airport and built this building to seat approximately 2,500 persons, a junior school, a conference center and other necessary amenities.
Thursday, September 7th 2004, the Assembly experienced a major disruption in its operations, when Hurricane Ivan struck Grenada, leaving many members with substantive damages to their homes and place of worship. The Pastor and members, with the help of our God, immediately joined together with much tenacity and perseverance, to ensure that quick restoration and a state of normality were regained. Gateway Assembly was one of the few known churches, who had service in their building the Sunday following the hurricane.
Bro. Joseph Moore one of the founders and long standing member of the Calliste
Pentecostal Church/Gateway Assembly died on January, 1st, 2005. He will always be remembered as a stalwart of the faith and an encourager, to both the young and the elderly.
Where we are today
Today Gateway Assembly celebrates 32 years of existence, from July 1982, when $20 and some land, were donated for construction of a church building, to where we are now.
Many things have changed since the ground breaking ceremony of our new building, which was held on April 5th; 2006:
The first floor of the assembly has been completed and furnished into a beautiful auditorium presently seating 300 plus persons.
The school, despite being hit by the recent harsh economic tide, remains focused on its ministry through Christian education.
Gateway Assembly is about “building people” and so has grown in its outreach ministry, as teams of men and women are disbursed on different days to the hospital visitation, shut-ins, ministry to young mothers, food distribution and shopping for free.
Gateway Assembly also hosted the 36th Biennial General Conference from May 24th-27th 2016 under the theme “Responding to the end times”.
At present, the Assembly continues to make preparations to complete the building with the installation of the roof system. Thought it has been discouraging at times; we are thus encouraged from the word in Philippians 1:6 which says “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
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Where to find us
P.O. Box. 1452,
Phone: (473) 439-2909