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As we reflect on the words of Numbers 6:24-26, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace," we are reminded of the blessings that come from above. This month, as we show our appreciation for our dedicated pastors, we are delighted to share some wonderful news.


The Gateway Board of Administration has taken a significant step forward by establishing a

403 (b) plan tailored to benefit all pastors and staff members of our local churches in the Gateway Conference. We want to emphasize that this plan is entirely voluntary, and you are under no obligation to enroll. Our primary goal is to provide a resource that can truly make a difference in your financial future.


We are excited about this initiative. We understand that financial planning can be a complex and daunting task for some. To address this, we have streamlined the process to make it as simple as possible for you to participate. This way, regardless of your level of financial expertise, you can confidently explore the benefits of this plan.


Above all, we want you to know that this endeavor is a clear demonstration of our unwavering commitment to supporting our local pastors and churches. Your mission is our mission, and we will continue to work diligently to provide the resources, structures, and encouragement you need to fulfill the divine purpose God has set before you.


May this new opportunity be a source of abundance in your life, and may it bring you the peace and security you deserve. As we embark on this new venture together, may you feel blessed beyond measure by our Lord Jesus Christ.


On the adventure,


Supt. Ben


403 (b) Plan available to Churches and their Employees.

The Gateway Conference Board of Administration voted to begin a 403 (b) Retirement Plan through Guidestream (an FM Financial Company) beginning January 1, 2024

A 403(b) is a tax-advantaged retirement plan for employees of non-profit organizations, like churches and hospitals, as well as some public-sector workers such as teachers and librarians.

As with all employer-sponsored retirement plans, 403(b)s offer tax-efficient growth for your retirement savings. This means the investments you buy and sell in your account are free of capital gains taxes, which helps you build your nest egg for retirement.

Gateway Conference will offer a Roth 403(b), you will fund your account with money that’s already been taxed. You won’t pay any taxes when you withdraw money from the account later—even on investment earnings, no matter how much your money has earned.

Quick look at the offered 403 (b) Plan:

1)     This is a Roth 403 (b) plan (meaning after-taxes deduction)

2)     This is a voluntary plan. Employees are not required to enroll.

3)     All employees (those who receive a W-2) can enroll in this plan if they would like to.

4)     Employee will need to check the second box on the Salary Reduction Agreement (the one that says on an after-tax basis -Roth)

5)     Minimum of $50 per month to enroll

6)     In order to sign up: contact Michelle Boyd at [email protected]

7)     Complete form that is sent to you and use link on form to schedule a short phone call with Advisor Ridge Foco to determine an invest strategy best suited for employee. 

Click here for GuideStream (an FM Financial Company) 403 (b) info at a glance information

Click here for more information on the plan

Click here to contact Gateway Conference to enroll

Consecrated Deacon Candidate

Information from the Center for Pastoral Information

The Place of Deacons in the Local Church

Deacons have been influential in the life of the local church since biblical times. Their focus is servant-leadership and reflects the ministry of Jesus. As pastors and local congregations help people to recognize, accept and use their gifts in ministry, God will call some to lead in specialized areas. They will assist the pastor and equip people for ministry and service. Deacons will typically but not exclusively lead in ministries of:

• care and mercy • worship, music and creative arts • disciple making and mentoring/coaching

Pastors will find the following information helpful with those considering the Consecrated Deacon path:

  • Approval of Consecrated Deacons is managed by the local church pastor and board, not the MEG board.
  • Deacon Candidates will follow the equivalent of the LMC process plus a Bible survey course (Old and New Testaments), or proven competency, and two practical ministry courses, or proven competency.
  • Consecrated Deacons will serve at a local church under the direction and supervision of the local church pastor.
  • Deacons’ consecration does not transfer to another church unless approved by the receiving church’s pastor and board.
  • Deacon consecration is reviewed and renewed annually by the local church pastor and board action.

The Center for Pastoral Formation has the information on the Deacon Candidate path available through Pathwright to help candidates track their progress through their training (see document below for basic outline of path). It will be up to the candidate to share with their local mentor their progress through these steps through pathwright; however, the local mentor may see the steps listed in chapter nine of the Wholistic Mentoring book and be able to guide the candidates accordingly. It is recommended that candidates use the Consecrated Deacon Path on Pathwright so that their progress may be accessed if they ever decide to move on to Conference Ministerial Candidacy or transfer to a different church or conference. To register an LMC or Deacon Candidate for use of the tracking paths, please contact [email protected].

Click here to view the Consecrated Deacon Process

Click here for the Center for Pastoral Transformation website

Encounter (Church Planter Mentorship)

Friday, November 10-Saturday, November 11

Durley Camp & Retreat Center

ENCOUNTER is an in-person worship, prayer and training experience that teaches the strategies for multiplication. You will be equipped to plant a church and start a movement of churches in creative spaces and places. Encounter is followed by a coaching and mentoring journey designed to guide you in the five strategies for planting churches.

Registration is free. The cost to cover meals and lodging is $50, made payable to Gateway Conference, 1501 Chicago Drive, Greenville, IL 62246.

Click here to register




Spots are going fast! Only 61 FREE SPOTS left. 


Here’s the info you need:


FMX SUMMIT Event: Monday, March 4 (1pm-5) – March 5 (8:30 -11:30)

Exponential Global Conference: Tuesday, March 5 (1pm) –March 7 (12pm)

Orlando, Florida – First Baptist Church


We have a total 150 Free Registrations for FM Summit & Exponential Global Conference available on a first come, first serve basis. (For the free registration, register ONLY through us and NOT through Exponential. It is necessary to attend the FMX Summit to receive the free Exponential registration. Travel, lodging and meals are not included.)


Registration link: Exponential Global Conference + FMX Summit registration


Please feel free to pass on the registration link out to any FM leaders or pastors. It’s FREE to register.  


Our FMX SUMMIT will include world-class communicators, FM focused workshops, FM networking times, anointed worship and prayer. More info as we get closer. 


Here’s some info on EXPONENTIAL GLOBAL 2024 - (https://exponential.org/events/) It is with a strong sense that God is calling us back to the primary purpose of the church that the Exponential Big Idea for 2024 will be One Eighty: The Return to Disciple Making. In order for churches to return to Biblical disciple making we will need to pivot and make the following one-eighties… From Reaching To Making / From Informing To Equipping / From Programming To Relationship / From Activity To Intentionality / From Accumulating To Deploying  

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

November 10-11-Encounter (Church Planter Mentorship), Durley Camp & Retreat Center

December 2-Gateway Conference Christmas Luncheon (for Pastors and Gateway Board and Committee Members). Invitations will be mailed in early November.

Looking Ahead:

Leadership Summit, Saturday, April 20, Greenville FMC

Click here for more information

The word MINISTRY written in vintage letterpress type

Superintendent's Schedule:

November 1-IL Faith & Recovery Collaborative Advisory Groups

November 7-BOA meeting

November 10-11-Encounter (Church Planter Mentorship), Greenville, IL

December 2-Gateway Conference Christmas Luncheon (for Pastors and Gateway Board and Committee Members)

December 5-7-Supt.'s Meetings with Bishop Cowart

Our Mission:




Gateway Conference - FMCUSA
1501 Chicago Drive, Greenville, IL 62246
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