Rev. Dr. I. Charles Gates, Lead Pastor
As an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene for over 45 years, Dr. Gates has made his mission to mentor, disciple and develop many leaders who have gone into fulltime Christian service as pastors, missionaries and evangelists. He has served as pastor for more than 35 years and 10 years as a missionary for the Church of the Nazarene to the Republic of South Africa where he pioneered a work among the Ndebele people. Following his missionary assignment, Dr. Gates served as Senior Pastor at Vineland First Church of the Nazarene for 16 years, where he also taught ordination courses for the Philadelphia District. Following this assignment, Dr. Gates was invited to serve as Associate Professor of Religion at Trevecca Nazarene University where he developed and taught graduate and undergraduate courses and developed a Missions Minor program for the University. Simultaneously, he pastored Faith Community Church of the Nazarene in TN. Dr. Gates moved back “home” to rejoin the Philadelphia District as Senior Pastor in 2010 and served at Sea Shore Community Church of the Nazarene in Cape May, NJ. Dr. Gates has a passion for lifelong learning and has focused on continuing his education throughout his career. His undergraduate work was completed at Eastern Nazarene College in 1971, after which he attended Nazarene Theological Seminary. He completed a Master of Church Management from Olivet Nazarene University in 1997, a Master of Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University in 1999 and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC in 2002. He is a churchman who believes that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the holiness message is the most relevant message for our world today.
Rev. Jeff Howell, Associate Pastor
Pastor Jeff was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and received his call from God to the ministry as a young person. He went to Asbury College (now Asbury University), where he met his lovely wife Barb, and they were married a few months after he graduated with a major in Bible and minor in Christian Education. They lived in Kentucky for several years, during which time Pastor Jeff attended Asbury Theological Seminary. In 1986 they moved to New Jersey, where IPastor Jeff worked full time in social work for 26 years, working with the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill. He began bi-vocational ministry as the pastor of the Woodstown Church of the Nazarene and was ordained as an Elder in 1999. In June of 2010, he became the Associate Pastor at the Pitman Church of the Nazarene. Pastor Jeff and Barb are blessed with a wonderful family – a son Chris, his wife Katie, and their daughter Liz.