Upon reviewing the testimonies of many church members it has become clear that two major factors influenced members to become Christians. The first was having someone in their lives that would pray for them, LOVE them, and SHARE Jesus with them at every opportunity. The Second was a Divine encounter, in which they were able to MEET with the Holy Spirit. Once people experienced Jesus' presence, they typically want to live for Him.
Being a Christian is fundamentally about LOVING Jesus. The truth is we are all sinners, (Romans 3:23) and the only way to Heaven is through the sacrifice that Christ made (John 14:6), which we could never deserve, but Jesus has given to us freely (Romans 6:23). LOVING Jesus is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:30). One simply cannot LOVE Jesus without LOVING
others. Though there is a radical transformation that begins at the point of MEETING Jesus, it is this step of the process that develops a Disciple's character.
The final step in the process is to take the many things you have learned through regularly MEETING and LOVING Jesus and SHAREthem with others. This is done through serving Christians and people who are not yet believers; also, when given opportunity, through telling others about what Jesus has already done for you.
Our senior pastor, Richard Franklin, has been serving at Gates Assembly of God for over 17 years alongside his precious wife Peg. He came to Gates Assembly in February 1999, filling in for a departed pastor. In June 1999 the congregation voted him in as full time pastor. God called him to the ministry as a teenager, but family pressures kept him from fulfilling the call of being a pastor. He had performed many roles in various churches over the years, but never pastor. His older sister encouraged him to work towards getting his credentials. He began that effort full-time after retiring from Kodak in 1997. He received his credentials from the NY District in April 1999.
Pastor Franklin has participated in 20 mission trips with his wife to several countries such as South America, Jamaica, and Zambia. On these trips they built churches, prepared Bible meetings, and even built a chicken coop.
He has played volleyball, softball, and basketball. He was a high school star in the sport of Basketball. He has always enjoyed Bills football. When he is not watching sports, he likes to watch his great-granddaughter Lilly ride horses and help two of his daughters with projects. He loves tractors and going to tractor auctions. His car has been known to slow down whenever it passes a John Deere store.