Gateway Church in Texas recently made an announcement which startled many Christians.
It has its presence in many satellite locations, with more than 30,000 people in attendance.
Gateway’s pastor, Robert Morris, announced in early 2019 that they were going to open a new church branch in Coffield Unit, a penitentiary- or a prison for convicted criminals.
“At Gateway Church, we’re all about people because God is all about people,” Morris said. “Many of the men and women inside prison have been forgotten by society, but we want them to know we love them and God loves them, and they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Have you heard about our new campus? Our Gateway Church Coffield Prison Campus launched November 28, 2018, with over 300…
This move was being planned for some time now, and had partnered with G3 Prison Ministries.
It was conceptualized by ex-con Stephen Wilson, G3 had connected with inmates almost a half-million times from 2010 to 2018. Roughly 500 men out of the 4,200 total inmates attend weekly.
“The launch of our Coffield Campus has also prompted many families who attend our church to, for the first time, share their need for resources and support as loved ones of someone incarcerated,” Wilson said.
He added that sometimes, all the prisoners needed to hear was someone say that, even though you messed up, I still love you.
He said, that they were going to do both, as they would reconcile people to God and also people to people.
Gateway Coffield Prison campus pastor Niles Holsinger said, that five men, all cartel or gang members, came forward to be baptized together.
These guys were extremely dangerous that they were manacled, and required guard supervision at all times.
“These guys from two different gangs professed the same Lord and were baptized in the same water together and they walked out together, guards not holding onto their arms anymore because God had done something in their life,” Holsinger said.
When they arose out of their immersion in the waters, they were trembling, because they knew their decision had put their lives at risk.
“Never one time in my life have I felt like my decision to follow Christ has put me in danger or discomfort,” Holsinger said.
“To see them walking out trembling, they maybe been afraid for their life not knowing what would happen, but they did not regret the decision they had just made. That was mind-blowing to me.”
Gateway plans to launch six more prison churches.
Matthew 25:36, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”