History of Gateway Baptist Church
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 remained in the facility for about three years, renting the space from Skypointe Church with whom they 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. The church began to see steady growth and new members as many students and new families from the community began to attend regularly. The church more than maximized the space capacity in its rented space, and some families 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.
On August 13, 2018, by God’s grace, Gateway completed the purchase of its own building at 2120 Roe Ford Road, Greenville.
On September 9, 2021, Gateway purchased a new building located at 12408 Old White Horse Rd just outside the Travelers Rest city limits. Gateway retains its focus as Gateway Baptist Church of TR.