The ultimate purpose of the Church (and therefore Gateway Bible Church) is to “be to the praise of (God’s) glory.” (Ephesians 1:12) In addition, it is to fulfill the Great Commission upon the earth. (Matthew 28:19,20) Gateway Bible Church therefore commits itself to fulfilling this purpose by:
“Making disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19, 20) by proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ in our community and in the world community. In addition we seek to provide an atmosphere in which believers can grow in their relationship to Jesus Christ.
Equipping all believers for the work of the ministry so the whole body may be edified (Ephesians 4:11-13.) By our example and a leadership style that teaches others to teach others (II Timothy 2:2), we prayerfully seek to participate in the growth of the church.
We seek to teach the Bible, the authoritative Word of God, and its application in daily living (II Timothy 3:16.)
We seek to provide a framework within which believers can be encouraged to discover, develop and utilize their God- given abilities (I Cor. 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 5.)
We prayerfully seek to demonstrate the unity for which Jesus prayed (John 17.) It is our purpose to seek to love, accept and build up one another. Further we seek to build bridges and break down walls within the Christian community (Ephesians 4:3.)
I Corinthians 15:58 “ Therefore, my beloved brethren be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
I Corinthians 16:14 “ Let all that you do be done in love.”
As often as our church develops new programs or new ideas about how to share the Gospel, the fundamental beliefs of our church have remained constant.
We worship one God, who exists and manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, all being in perfect harmony and unity. They are coequal and coeternal.
(John 1:1; John 14:10, 13, 16, 17, 26; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14)
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the product of holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were directed by the Holy Spirit. We accept the Bible as God’s infallible truth in both the Old and New Testaments. As the Word of God, the Bible is the final authority pertaining to conduct and doctrine.
(II Timothy 3:16-17; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Peter 1:21; John 17:17)
Jesus Christ: His Person and Work
We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the Right Hand of the Father where He intercedes on our behalf, and His personal return in Power and Glory.
(Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:35; John 17:11, 12; Isaiah 53:6; John 3:16; Romans 5:9, 12, 6:23; I Corinthians 15:3, 21; I Peter 2:24; Luke 24:6; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 4:14, 10:12; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13)
We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed.
(Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Jeremiah 17:9; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:3)
Restoration of fellowship with God the Father, eternal life, and the New Birth are now available to mankind by personally accepting what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished through His substitutionary death and His resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God to man separate from works and the law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God.
(Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12-13; I Peter 1:23)
We believe in the physical resurrection of the body. Unbelievers will be eternally separated from God’s presence, but believers will live and reign with God forever.
(Matthew 25:46; John 3:36, 5:28-29: Revelation 20:12-15)
We believe that the Church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and that it includes all who have been born again. Its mission is to offer worship to God and to serve Him faithfully by spreading the Gospel and making disciples of all nations. The ordinances of the church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
(Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; I Corinthians 11:23-29; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 3:10-11; Ephesians 4:11-16)
The Ordinance of Water Baptism was established, exemplified and commanded to be continued by the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism in water is by immersion and is for believers only. It is an outward sign of an inward experience and is symbolic of a Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
(Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:36-39)
The Ordinance of Communion was established by the Lord Jesus Christ on the night He was betrayed. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper by partaking of bread and juice which are symbols of the Lord’s Body and Blood. We do this in remembrance of Christ’s substitutionary death for us.
(I Corinthians 11:24-30)
We are a singing church. Ephesians 5:18-20 says “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The purpose of our worship team is to help the church worship. We want to spread a passion for God. Augustine of Hippo said, “Those who sing pray twice.” We encourage “praying twice” because we know it pleases God.
We try to select music to please the Lord. We choose pieces whose content is biblically and theologically faithful. We also select music and lyrics that contribute to the overall mood, theme, and purpose of the service. Our worship style is predominantly Contemporary Christian, but we also value the rich history and Christ-centered content of hymns. However, the most important aspect of our worship has nothing to do with musical style or the publication date of a song. What truly matters is that we sing praise to the Lord with all our hearts.
Music Worship Leader
Pastor Robert Cronk, affectionately known as Pastor Bob, is a native of Watertown, CT. He has been married to his wife, Debbie, for over 40 years and they have nine grown children.
Pastor Bob graduated in 1973 from Mattatuck Community College with an associate’s degree in Sociology. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible from Asbury College in 1977 and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1981.
While attending Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, Pastor Bob served as pastor of churches in Nicholasville and Stone, Kentucky. After graduation, he accepted the pastorate of a three church charge in the United Methodist New York Conference serving three churches in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
Pastor Bob and his family returned to Connecticut in 1985 to minister, planting a church in Woodbury, CT followed by planting Gateway Bible Church with the help of The Bible Church of Waterbury in 1993.
Pastor Bob has been the pastor of Gateway Bible Church since its birth in 1993.
Russ has been an elder at Gateway since 1993 and financial secretary since 2004. He has been married to his wife, Robin for over 30 years and they are the parents of a son, Tyler and a daughter Chelsea. Russ has been employed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline for the last 25 years as a measurement technician and previous to that as an owner of a design building company. His interest include gardening and cycling with his wife Robin and spending time with family and friends.
Chester has been leading worship at Gateway Bible Church since January 2014. Chester lives in Watertown with his wife, Katie, and daughter, Mary Grace. He has been a teacher in the Newtown Public School system since 1989, and an adjunct English professor at Naugatuck Valley Community College since 2000. His interests include cooking, walking in the woods, and all things related to traditional wet shaving. The joy of his heart is spending time with his family.
Gateway Bible Church began as a home Bible study group in Oakville, CT back in 1993. After meeting for several months, the Bible Study group began, under Pastor Bob Cronk’s leadership, to pray about locating a building and beginning to meet on Sunday mornings as a church.
God led Pastor Bob and Pastor Dick Dill from The Bible Church in Waterbury, to inquire about the availability of a former restaurant at 500 Buckingham Street in Oakville. Though the building needed work, and there were only 12 members, Gateway Bible Church began to meet officially in June 1993.
In 2007, after many years of renting, Gateway Bible Church was blessed with the means to purchase the building. It took months of prayer and patience, but God provided the tools we needed to make this dream a reality. We continue to meet in this space today.
Gateway Bible Church has seen God’s hand continually move on our behalf. We know that God has placed us in Watertown/Oakville specifically, so that He can continue to work His purpose in us and through us. We are connected to the family of God in Watertown, and to our community as a whole in order to bring our neighbors to the kingdom of God.