Gateway Church started the ministry of GCC in the fall of 2003. This was their 10th year.
I got a flurry of phone calls and text messages 2 weeks ago (and since) informing me that a vote on the closing of the school had been announced. I was stunned but not surprised, if that makes sense. Because GCC is/was a ministry of a local church and I am an alumnus of the school, I have been in a strange position of “indirect connection” to the school. I attended the annual Bible Conference every year and served as the treasurer of the Alumni Association. I (and a handful of other alumni) even met with the then president 5 years ago to voice concerns and to suggest ideas and solutions.
At times I’ve felt like someone privileged enough to witness a NASA shuttle launch from a safe distance behind the fence. At times I’ve felt like a bystander who comes upon the scene of an accident- concerned and willing to help, but afraid to get in the way of the very busy first responders.
I love/loved GCC. It helped shape me as a Christ follower and as a pastor. A couple of memorable quotes will help give you an idea of the atmosphere of school I attended.
As clear as if it were just moments ago, I can hear my homiletics professor saying, “I am not training you to preach like me or any of the guys who wrote these books. I simply want to help you be the preacher God made you to be, who He gifted you to be.”
Other iconic moments were when my theology and pastoral ministry professor stated, “I don’t expect you to minister exactly like me.” and “You will ALWAYS have our support.”
Gateway has long been known for its unique approach and philosophy of ministry, but GCC was not a school dedicated to a certain approach to ministry. What was instilled in me and my classmates was a dedication to the gospel and to ministry.
Though short, GCC had an incredible run. I am very proud of the fellow alumni that have graduated in only 10 classes. In only 10 years, graduates have been sent out to serve in ministry as teachers, pastors, church planters, and cross cultural missionaries in several states and overseas. GCC grads have already served with NAFWB commissions, State Association leadership, Truth & Peace, FWB21, as well as Home & International Missions. I am excited to see how God continues to work in their lives and ministries. I believe He is just getting started.
I’d like to thank anyone who served in, prayed for, or supported GCC in anyway. God used you to impact my life.