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.
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 a room in his home.
Pastor William James and other believers, namely, 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 was to be sought.
The year was 1982, in the month of July when plans were made for the construction of a church. Oliver being in the vanguard of spiritual revolution approached the Market Hill Church with this idea, and although it was met with approval, the actual initiation was somewhat tardy. There was the matter of finances, bureaucracy, and the usual channels to be skirted in any major project. Undaunted by frustrations, Oliver opted to finance the construction himself, and encouraged the brethren along with him, to that end the Moores donated a plot of land and Pastor James donated the first twenty ($20.00) dollars.
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.
In 1983, the church saw the investiture of Pastor and Sister Ashley Roberts and not too long evangelism became the heartbeat of the assembly as they embarked on an ardent 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. Even the enthusiast and forever striving to increase to folds of the assembly, Pastor Roberts took upon himself to demolish the existing building and relocate in another area in a bid to embrace a wider community. The church had not become autonomous and so he would have needed consent of the parent church, the Evangelistic Center. However, without consent or consultation, he proceeded to dismantle the building.
The district stepped in and took over the supervision and administration of the assembly. Pastor Roberts launched out independently and constructed his own place of worship. A number of members went with the former pastor and others became members of other churches in the vicinity, 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 in place to assist in the administration of the church. Pastor Christopher Barker expounded the word of God every Wednesday night which brought a wealth of strength to the brethren
Succeeding the Roberts, 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 departed, returned to the church and were taken back into fellowship and into the flow of the assembly. Thus began a time of restoration and consolidation. God truly helped the brethren in the healing process and soon the church began to stride smoothly again.
Pastor Worme established strong emphasis on Bible study and prayer during his early tenure at the church. He also ensured that all the departments were functional. In May the following year new toilets facilities were constructed, replacing the outhouse, which were built several years ago. In 1991 work commenced on the road leading to the church, the road, which was rocky and rugged, was leveled with the use of pick axes and other tools for digging and it was paved with concrete, making an accessible path for vehicles. 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 and on April 17th, 1994 was granted indigenous status, now having the power to make its own decision and take care of its financial transactions.
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 on the building on evenings and sometimes late at night to accelerate the completion of the building. The members of the church must be complemented for their hard work and financial support to its construction. Some members of the community gave tremendous manual assistance to the project. Special mention must be made of Bro. Bernard Julien who worked sacrificially on the building on a daily basis, Bro. Eric Smith must also be commended for installing all the electrical facilities in the church without charge attached to his labour. Sis. Cynthia Francis was always present with refreshments for the labourers and her financial assistance was also noteworthy.
While the church was being built, its members worshipped at the neighbouring Open Bible Church. The brethren worshipped from 7.00 am and the members for the Open Bible commenced their worship at 10.00 am. The Open Bible brethren must also be commended for their fraternal 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 sterling work. Also in attendance were the District Superintendent Rev. Lodwin Antoine and the members of the District Executive.
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 Banfield’s who resided in Winnipeg Canada brought several years of pastoral experience with them. They immediately began to consolidate all areas of the church life. The church has been growing tremendously numerically and spiritually under their leadership. Since their arrival at the church, a pastor’s office, a kitchenette and a junior church quarter has been built in the basement.
The church is now formally named “Gateway Assembly” This name is significant with the location of the church, as it is approximately quarter of a mile from the International Airport.
Gateway Assembly has recently purchased a piece of land measuring approximately 2 acres, even closer to the Airport. This land will be used to build a new church, expecting to seat approximately 3000 people, a junior school. A Conference center and other necessary amenities. The ground breaking for the erection of this new building is scheduled for April, 2006.