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About Our Church

A little history about our Pastors...

Pastor John and Joyce met in Homer, Alaska while John was serving in the United States Coast Guard.  John attended Homer Assembly of God where Joyce's parents pastored.  Joyce made frequent trips to Homer to visit her parents and got acquainted with John.  Three years later they got re-acquainted when both attended Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.  They both shared common interests in sailing and the love of adventure as they prepared for full-time ministry.  They joined their hearts together in marriage the summer of 1983 in Homer, Alaska.

After graduation, they took the Youth Pastor position at the Homer Assembly of God.  They served Homer for the next two years.  There they had their first daughter, Sophia.  The small village of Hoonah, Alaska needed a pastor.  John was asked by the Superintendent of Alaska Ministries if they would be willing to pastor a small group of people that met in a home.  They took this pastorate not really knowing what to expect. They, after much prayer, fasting, and discussion, knew that God had led them in this direction .  They pastored there for eight years, during which their son, Christopher was born.  They saw God do amazing things as they surrendered their lives and hearts to the people of this beautiful Alaskan Tlinkit Village.  They learned lessons of trust, obedience, and God's continued faithfulness in persevering after His call to ministry.

They then accepted an appointment to Foreign Missions, with the plan to work in the Hellenic School of Theology in Athens, Greece.  They surrendered to God's plan and intended on staying in this location for a lifetime.  While there, Joyce gave birth to a lovely girl, Victoria Rose.  She was the joy that completed their family of five.  While John served as Academic Dean, Joyce served as the Dean of Students.

In 2000 they returned to Alaska to visit their supporting churches and continue their relationship of building the ministry in Athens, Greece.  After much prayer, fasting, and discussion with dear, faithful friends, they made the hardest decision of their lives and decided they would not be returning to Greece.  They moved to Palmer, Alaska.  Soon, thereafter they began the church plant of Gateway Christian Fellowship and Sophia's Cafe.  


Why Sophia's Cafe?

Building a community: Sophia's Cafe provides a comfortable and welcoming space for members of the church and the wider community to come together and connect over a cup of coffee or a meal.  This helps to build a sense of belonging and foster relationships amongst members of the church and the local community.

Outreach:  Sophia's cafe serves as a point of outreach to the community.  It's a space where people find support, whether in the form of counseling or simply a listening ear.  It hosts community events and caters to the needs of our community.

Find more information about Sophia's cafe on the website.


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