One of Gateway's distinctives is our commitment to plurality leadership in the church.  Throughout the New Testament, the pattern is that the early church is led by a group of elders.  Knowing that each man on our elder team has different spiritual gifts, we believe the church is healthier as we work together to lead and care for the members. 

What is an elder?  We believe that the terms elder, pastor, and overseer in Scripture all describe the same position in the church.  It is not just a person who is a decision maker, though the elder team does lead the church in its direction.  The primary responsibility of these men is to "shepherd" (care for) the members.  Hebrews 13:17 describes the responsibility of church leaders of "keeping watch over your souls," while 1 Peter 5:1-3 instructs elders to "shepherd the flock of God," to provide oversight, and to live in such a way to be "examples to the flock."  Thus, you often will hear us refer to our elders as the pastoral leadership team as they provide spiritual oversight to the church, the teaching of God's Word, and spiritual care for the members.

At the bottom of this page you will find a form you can use to contact any of Gateway's elders.


Grady is the lead pastor of Gateway and serves as one of the elders.  To learn more about him, visit his profile on our staff page.

Image of Grady Smith


CJ is the associate pastor of Gateway and serves as one of the elders. To learn more about him, visit his profile on our staff page.

Image of CJ Falcione


John Reese is married to Sherry.  He has been an elder at Gateway since 2008.  During his years at Gateway Sherry and he have been involved in all aspects of children’s ministry.  Currently, they teach kindergarten Sunday School, one of the great joys of their life in Christ together. John recently retired after thirty eight years of military service, both in uniform and as a civilian. He has a Ph.D. in military history from Kansas State and pursues the historian’s craft in retirement.

Image of John Reese


Seth is married to Megan.  They have been at Gateway since 2008 and he  has served as an elder since 2012.  Seth and Megan lead the college ministry and an outreach ministry to Capitol Heights Middle School.  Seth works for the Alabama Supreme Court as a senior staff attorney.

Image of Seth Rhodebeck


William is married to Janie and they have four children and two grand-children.  He is a professor with Troy University.   William has been at Gateway since 2003.  He serves as an elder, leads a Life Group, and helps teach a Sunday Bible Study class.  He enjoys house projects, travel, and history.

Image of William Foxx

Contact an Elder

To contact an elder at Gateway, please login.

If you do not have a Gateway login, create an account here.