History of Gateway Baptist Church
Matthew 16:18 "...and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it."
This church was founded on January 1, 1950, under the name of Berean Baptist Church. The
sponsoring church was Berean Baptist Church located in Houston, Texas, which Bro. H. Frank
Fort pastored at the time. Brother John Paxton, Jr. was the first pastor. He served through the
month of August, in the year 1951. Kermit Johnson was called as pastor on April 16, 1952 and
faithfully served the Lord in that capacity until August 25, 1954.
Alfred Gould became the third pastor beginning on August 25, 1954, and continuing on until
February 19, 1956. Bobby Paxton was called to be the fourth pastor, on February 19, 1956 and he
served until June 3, 1960. During his time as pastor, the church chose to change its name. In the
month of December, 1959, the membership voted to rename the church Bridge Street Baptist
Church. This was a logical choice of names, since the church, from its inception had been
located on Bridge Street, here in the heart of Gatesville, Texas. Fred Holland was called to pastor
Bridge Street Baptist Church on June 4, 1960, becoming the fifth pastor to so serve; he
continued as pastor until February 4, 1962.
The church once again called Bobby Paxton. Brother Bobby served this time from February 4,
1962 to October 2, 1966. The sixth man called as pastor was Edgar McNeely. He accepted the call
on October 3, 1966. He resigned some ten years later on September 1, 1976, to accept another
The church then called Don Warren, who accepted and became the seventh pastor of our
church. Brother Don served from September 1, 1976 until October 9,1977. During his tenure as
pastor, the church bought two acres of land on Highway 36, as the proposed site for a new
church building. The church decided to incorporate, and voted to change the church name to
Gateway Baptist Church. This took place on July 10, 1977.
Earl Baugh was called as pastor on October 12, 1977, and served through November 11, 1981. As
the eighth pastor of this church, he saw the new church building completed, and ready for
services in 1978.
Leroy Kimbrell was the ninth pastor called to pastor Gateway Baptist Church. He pastored from
November 15, 1981 until February, 1984.
Don Surles became the tenth pastor on March 24, 1984, and served until March of 1991.
Ronald Dulaney became the eleventh pastor on August 5, 1991 and served until June of 1995.
Dr. Royse T. Cockrell became the twelfth pastor on October 1, 1995 and is currently ministering
to this church.
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