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The History of Gateway Church

In 1954 when the Gateway area of Multnomah County was still largely raspberry and strawberry fields, a young man by the name of Dan Lawler and his wife became interested in starting a church in this neighborhood. In fact, if you could talk to Dan (he has been taken home to be with the Lord) he would tell you that God spoke to him and told him that there was to be a church in this area and that he was the one who was to build that church. At that time, new homes were beginning to appear all over this area. A survey of the residents provided sufficient encouragement of the Lawler’s to start a home Bible study which soon resulted in a Sunday evening service in a neighborhood home.

Incorporation papers for the new church were drawn up in June 1955, the present property was purchased, and a service was held on the site at Christmas time of that year. During its 55+ years of history, the church has grown from a few families to a membership of over 300. During that time, the church has been served by five pastors: Rev. Dan Lawler, Rev. Sheldon Hawes, Rev. V. Deane Keller, Dr. Richard L Hagenbaugh, and our present Pastor, Rev. Tom Schiave.

The original building (Lawler Hall) was built in 1956. The building was built out of used materials and was used by the church until 1990. The Worship Center was built in 1964 and the Youth Center in 1967. The Ministry Center was completed in 1990 and replaced Lawler Hall. From the beginning, the church as been affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Association of America.