After years of hard work, Gateway Adventist Church in Grants Pass, Oregon, hosted the opening celebration of its new worship center on Aug. 12, 2023. Kip Bradford, Gateway Church pastor, was joined by two former Gateway Church pastors — Nick Jones and Randy Hill — who both took part in leading the service and sharing fond memories for the celebration.
As Jones, who currently serves as Rivers Edge/Grand Ronde/Sheridan district pastor, began song service, he said, “I pastored here from 2013 to 2015, and I remember this room being full of stuff. It’s definitely nice to see it full of people.”
Although the new worship center provided the opportunity for celebration, the focus remained on the work God has done in the Gateway community and on the people He used to bring it all together.
“This is an excellent day,” Bradford shared during the Sabbath message, “what makes it special for me is not that we are in this nice worship space, but that you are all here. Because when we are part of the family of God, that word ‘family’ means something! I am so grateful that in the process of building this worship space the family has responded to this project without drama, without strife and without difficulty.”
Making one of his last stops as Oregon Conference assistant to the president, Hill shared a few words. “I’m here because I’m a friend of people here,” Hill began.
“I’m also honored to be here because I'm a former pastor of this church. I'm here because, for a few more hours, I am a member of the administrative team of Oregon Conference," he continued. "That’s another way of saying I’m here because all the churches of Oregon Conference are celebrating with you today, and I get to represent them.”
After the dedication church service ended, a stack of bulletins remained on a table in the entryway. Toward the bottom of the front page the words read: “May this worship center be a place of love, hope, and transformation for all who walk through its doors. Welcome home!”