Gateway Center for Israel – An exemplary model of Unity with Messianics

by | September / October 2021

Over forty years ago, Pastor Olen Griffing and his wife Syble sat down at Shady Grove Church in Texas to watch a documentary about Nazis performing medical experiments on Jewish people in the concentration camps. Their hearts were broken, they cried and realized the Jewish people were G-d’s beloved. Their love for the Jewish people influenced many Christians within their sphere of influence and has recently led to the creation of the Gateway Center for Israel, Gateway Church being an offspring of Pastor Griffing’s heart, and Shady Grove Church.

Nic Lesmeister, current director of Gateway Center for Israel, expressed in 2016 to Wayne and Bonnie Saul Wilks, Founders of the Messianic Bible Institute and previously involved in ministry at Shady Grove Church working alongside Pastor Robert Morris, current Pastor of Gateway, “There’s a problem with Christians not knowing how to interact with or support Jewish people.” Lesmeister shared his convictions while he had been the leader of MJBI at that time. The Messianic world knew the great contributions MJBI had made to the Messianic movement. Within twenty years they helped plant more than one hundred Messianic Jewish congregations internationally. They birthed twenty-five Bible schools training Messianic ministers on several continents and in a dozen nations.

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