History

 

Gateway Baptist Church was organized by Pastor Larry Cook and officially launched at his home at 110 Oxford Street in Greenville, SC, on November 4, 1992. Later that month, Pastor Cook petitioned the office of the Secretary of State and the church became officially incorporated as Gateway Baptist Church of Greenville. After renting space for a brief time at a church building in the Cherrydale area, in the fall of 1993 the congregation leased the Coleman Building at 128 South Main Street in Travelers Rest and legally changed its name to Gateway Baptist Church of Travelers Rest to reflect the new location. The church then applied for membership with the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches and was formally welcomed into the NTA in April of 1994. Gateway Baptist Church is current in its membership with the NTA and has the distinction of being the only church in South Carolina in this association.

            The legal occupancy capacity for the facility at 128 South Main was only 25 people. Yet the congregation remained there, faithfully gathering each week for twenty years. During that time, Pastor Cook resigned in September of 2001 to pastor a church in Tennessee. In 2003, Don Heinrich, a retired pastor from New Jersey was asked to lead the congregation as interim pastor. In December of 2014, Gateway Baptist found a space to rent in the church building at 28 Ebenezer Church Road in Travelers Rest, which is now owned by Skypointe Church. The congregation intended to rent this space, the main room of which holds 65 people, for only a brief time while they looked for another location. However, the church has remained in the facility since that time, renting the space from Skypointe Church with whom they have formed a good friendship and working relationship.

            At the beginning of 2017, Pastor Heinrich announced his retirement and the church called Greg Stiekes as its new pastor in April of that year. Pastor Greg, who had been burdened to plant a new church in Travelers Rest in the first place, is also a professor at BJU Seminary and has over 25 years of pastoral experience. Since his ministry began the church has seen steady growth and new members and has more than maximized its space capacity. Many students and new families from the community have begun to attend regularly, so that some families have volunteered to sit in a side room during the services to make room for everyone. The church is convinced that, with God’s continued blessing, a larger, sustainable congregation is emerging from their effort and prayers under Pastor Greg’s leadership.