The Gate Community Church of Albia, was started in the family room of Garrick and Missy O’Brien in May of 2010. Garrick and Missy gave their lives to Christ in September of 2003,holding hands with some precious friends, in that very room. Their walk with the Lord continued to grow as they attended a large local church. During a Sunday morning Bible study at that very church, Garrick and Missy met Leslie and Dustin Sample. Leslie shared a personal experience during the class that Missy could 100% relate to and felt lead to speak with Leslie after class. Little did both couples know, that both of them had been praying for God to bring some close Christian friendships into their lives.
Their friendship blossomed quickly and they became more like family to one another, than simply friends. For the next few years, the Garrick and Missy and the Samples continued to fellowship often, study the Bible together and pray diligently for one another. Garrick and Dustin developed a love and passion for God’s word and became increasingly interested in reaching out to others in sharing the gospel. They were particularly interested in helping those struggling with addiction, as they both were recovering addicts from their younger years. The couples would sit around on Friday nights eating pizza and talking about how cool it would be to start their own ministry, not at all aware of what God had in the works! The couples would discuss how awesome it would be to have a church on the square, where it was available and visible to many!
The two families attended a couple other churches over the next few years, feeling restless and unsure of where God wanted them Though they would feel comfortable at a church for a time, eventually, they would always feel as though God was asking them to move on, they were just not sure to where or what. Garrick had developed a miraculous passion for studying God’s word and would often write sermons in his head, he was unsure of what God wanted him to do with them. The families had a strong conviction for God’s word and believed whole-heartedly in the sufficiency of scripture. They wanted nothing more than to reach others for Christ in sharing, boldly, biblical truth, eliminating watered down versions of God’s word; knowing the truth…. Is what shall set others free.
In May of 2010, due to a lack of clear direction, the families began meeting on Sunday mornings at Missy and Garrick’s home. Garrick felt he had been called to give them messages and worship was done through an IPod and little red speakers. Quickly, others began asking the couples about their “home church” and desiring to attend themselves. Over the next few months, through word of mouth, up to 40 people were showing up at Missy and Garrick’s home for church on Sunday mornings. People were worshiping, sharing personal struggles, asking for prayer and staying for fellowship until the wee hours of the afternoon. It became clear that many individuals were looking for something different that the “typical” American church. They were looking for close fellowship, honesty and authenticity. They longed to come as they were and feel totally comfortable doing so.
The families could see God was choosing to develop a church, but they had no idea where to go from here. After praying, they turned to a church for counsel that they loved and greatlyrespected. Third Reformed Church of Pella, took the group under their wings, gave Garrick proper training and The Gate Community Church of Albia was officially born.
Over time, the church outgrew Missy and Garrick’s home and for a short time, used the Westover Center in Albia, as their church home. God then, in His awesome provision, allowed the group to purchase a building on the square in Albia, just as they had hoped for years prior! The Gate, though has experienced it’s ups and downs and major struggles, continues to hold fast to it’s core values and beliefs The Gate believes that parents are the most important influence in their children’s walk with the Lord, therefore, The Gate practices family integrated worship bi-weekly. The Gate does not sit in a traditional rows of chairs, but families sit around tables where they are encouraged to open their Bibles and study together.
The Gate also has a children’s area; where there are quiet activities available for children to take back to their seats and play with during service. Coffee, drinks and snacks are available to eat during service as well. Every other week, Missy O’Brien, leads children’s church in a separate room that focuses on their current sermon series being preached. Children are encouraged to dig into the Bible and begin their journey in studying God’s word. The Gate also encourages children to participate in leading worship and sharing their musical talents with the congregation. The Gate tries to train children that God has given them talents and gift to use for His glory!
The Gate also offers a Wednesday evening small group Bible study and sharing session that encourages participants to be authentic and real regarding their struggles by providing a safe and supportive environment to do so. This group goes from 6:30-8:00 on Wednesday evenings.
In the last year, The Gate has also started a Youth Group that meets on Wednesday evenings at the old Baptist Church on Benton Avenue. The group meets at the Baptist church as The Gate building is still under construction in building classrooms. The youth group is run by Faith and Don Powless and goes from 6:30-8:00 on Wednesdays!
Our church is more like a close family and welcomes all new comers with open arms. We are passionate about God’s word and loving others they way Christ commanded us to do! Please join us Sunday mornings for fellowship from 9:30 and service at 10:00!