When it all started
In 1999, God released a dream to plant a church near the University at Buffalo. One night, in prayer, Jon was led to the scripture of Ezekiel 44:4 from which we received the name "NorthGate." For the next 10 years, Jon served as the Senior Associate Pastor under Pastor Tommy Reid at The Tabernacle in Orchard Park. This proved to be an essential time of training and preparation for the launch of Northgate which occurred in 2008.
A key part of the vision was to plant NorthGate in partnership with a number of different churches across denominational lines. Jon began to share our vision with others and the Lord opened door after door for churches to work together to fulfill this vision. We met with over 14 churches from our region who expressed a strong willingness and excitement regarding partnering with NorthGate to reach the University at Buffalo and the surrounding community. Jon also began to meet with a number of campus ministries who were already doing great work reaching out to students at the University at Buffalo. NorthGate has a strong desire to partner with congregations and ministries throughout the Western New York region. As a result, we have seen a number of Senior Pastors develop relationships and cross denominational lines. Our desire is to see The Church of Buffalo partner together in a way that will reach every man, woman, and child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, October 19, 2008 the vision for NorthGate was released at The Tabernacle in Orchard Park. Pastor Tommy Reid endorsed NorthGate publicly, followed by a video message from Pastor Jerry Gillis of The Chapel. These two leaders have had a tremendous influence on the development of NorthGate.
Our first gathering took place in a home located in Amherst with about a dozen people. Over the next 11 months, we developed a core team of people. This group met on Saturday nights to develop a sense of community, vision, and purpose. Over time, the core team grew to approximately 60 people and we launched public services in the AMC 8 Movie Theater located at the corner of Sweet Home and Maple Rd.(pictured here) In February 2011 we moved to our current location at 5225 Harris Hill Rd. Clarence, NY.
In November of 2015, NorthGate completed a building project titled "Making A Place For You." This expanded the physical space of the church to accommodate the rapidly growing congregation which includes new space for our Children and Youth Ministry.
NorthGate is a Christian community of all ages mentoring students to change the world. Today, NorthGate welcomes students, young families, and people of all ages and walks of life. We would love to have you join this community. The Lord is making a place for you at NorthGate.
In 2020, Pastor Jon initiated a conversation with Pastor Bob Tice. Pastor Bob was the founding pastor of RiverRock church. These two pastors agreed that NorthGate was being called to give leadership to RiverRock Church in the westside of Buffalo. RiverRock Church was shut down for the summer largely due to COVID-19. Out of this, the NorthGate team felt it was time to plant a new campus; NorthGate @ Hertel Ave. The vision was given to see One Church with Two Locations. At the Hertel campus, there was a massive undertaking to renovate the original sanctuary that had not been used for 20 years. As the year went on, many volunteers spent countless hours on the renovation project for the opening and launch of NorthGate @ Hertel. On November 1st, 2020, NorthGate held its first service in the newly renovated west side campus!
Today, God has given NorthGate the vision “Love Builds Bridges”. We believe that this new campus was a shift in the season of the church to intentionally become a multicultural community. God has built a bridge from the city to the suburbs to see both communities learn from one another."
Our greatest desire is to see individuals and society eternally impacted through the presence of God.
Above all our staff loves God and His people, and are passionate about pursing and fulfilling the vision God has given them.
Jon & Yolande Hasselbeck
Jon Hasselbeck was born and raised in the Buffalo, New York area. Jon attended Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He eventually gave up his business to serve as the Senior Pastor of Harris Hill Mennonite Church for five years, under the tutelage of Pastor Richard Bender. He later joined Pastor Tommy Reid at The Tabernacle in Orchard Park as the Senior Associate Pastor for 10 years before starting the NorthGate church plant. Pastor Jon and his wife, Yolande, were married in 1982 and have three wonderful children Joel, Emily and Julie.
Jason was born in Mokpo, South Korea, but through adoption, God brought him to the Buffalo area. As a high schooler, he became a part of the Tabernacle youth group in Orchard Park where Jon Hasselbeck was the Pastor. He has been working as our Executive Pastor since November of 2016. Jason met his wife Laura at the bagel table at NorthGate in 2012. The have been married since 2014 and now have two sons, Everett and Asa.
Hertel Campus Pastor
Roy Van Der Westhuizen
Roy was born in Santiago, Chile, Latin America. He grew up being part of the vineyard movement in Chile, as his parents planted a church in Ñuñoa (Santiago) in 2000 where he served as a worship leader and youth pastor. He moved to USA in September 2017 and got married with a Buffalo girl, Julie Hasselbeck.
Hertel Campus Administrator
Andrew grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania and eventually moved to Shippensburg, PA where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. After college, Andrew felt a call to Buffalo, NY and moved up to Western New York in 2017. In 2020, Andrew joined NorthGate’s staff as the Hertel Campus Administrator and also married his wonderful wife Sierra Thiel.
Harris Hill Children & Youth Director
Born and raised in the Buffalo area. Laura began attending Northgate in 2012 as a graduate student from SUNY Fredonia where she studied Communication Disorders and Sciences. After graduating, she began volunteering in our Children’s Ministry and joined our staff part-time in 2013.
John and his wife Jean have been attending NorthGate since 2015 and enjoy being a part of the incredible community. They have been married for 45 years with seven grown children. John is a former Town Supervisor, has worked in top levels of a few non-profit organizations, as well as PromiseKeepers and Kingdom Bound Ministries. John owns Elma Hardware.
Bio Coming Soon!
Josh & Emilee James
Bio Coming Soon!
Mark & Lisa Grimmer
Mark & Lisa both work from home in the information technology field. They've been a blended family since 1992 with five children, 12 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Mark & Lisa joined the NorthGate family and were saved in 2011, and have been serving since. They enjoy golfing, travel, and our local sports teams (Go Bills! Go Sabres!).
THE ONE TRUE GOD
There is but one living and true God, the eternal Spirit. The one true God is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love; the maker of all things, both visible and invisible. With Christians throughout the ages, we affirm the eternal unity of God in three persons, of one substance, power and eternity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We affirm that the Holy Spirit proceeds from and is one with God the Father and God the Son. He convinces the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He leads people to respond to the Gospel and into the fellowship of the church. He regenerates, indwells, comforts, empowers and leads God’s people into all truth.
We affirm that the Bible is the Word of God. We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s Word to accomplish His purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all, for God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes.
Because God truly loves humanity, He judges our sin, calls us to repentance and faith, pardons us, receives us by grace, and restores us in His image. The only hope for humanity is through the work of Jesus Christ, who is the unique Savior of the human race and the sole Mediator between God and humanity. Through his suffering and death human beings receive forgiveness from sin and are restored in the image of God. Salvation includes release from the power as well as the penalty of sin. The goal of God’s redemptive action is to restore what was lost in the Fall, and includes the healing of human beings at every level of their being. God’s salvation also includes the renewal of the created order. Salvation not only effects reconciliation between God and humanity but also between persons as well (Col 2:14-15).
ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
There are two ordinances ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We affirm that Water Baptism symbolizes our being buried with Christ and rising in the newness of life. We also affirm that the Lord’s Supper serves to remind us of the finished work and power of the cross. These ordinances are not badges of Christian profession, but signs of God’s grace by which He works in us by His Spirit.
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent His Spirit to bear witness of His Son; without His witness, ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary Spirit; thus, evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. Believers receive power when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Holy Spirit occurs through prayer, the ministry of the Word, teaching and the manifestation of spiritual gifts.
We believe that the ascended Lord has given gifts of ministry to His church, including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These ministries exist to build up the body of Christ and to equip men and women for ministry. A person is set apart by the Holy Spirit through calling and gifting, and subsequently recognized by the leadership of the local congregation.
THE RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly for His Church, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
We affirm that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the end of history. Jesus Christ will raise believers of all ages to everlasting life, and those who reject his plan of salvation to judgment and eternal damnation.
We affirm that the Father is the source of creation, the giver of life, and God of the universe.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We affirm that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. In Him the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is fully God in every respect, possessing all the powers and prerogatives of the sovereign God. He is also fully human, possessing all the capacities of human life. With Christians throughout history, we affirm that He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.As a ministering Servant, He lived a sinless life, suffered and died for our sins on the Cross. He was buried, raised from the dead by His Father, ascended into heaven to be with His Father. Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, gives gifts to the church, and by Him all people will be judged. He shall return to the earth to establish an eternal Kingdom.
We affirm that the world was created by the Sovereign God through the Word and the Spirit. The created order is good and was created for the well-being of all creatures as the place of human dwelling in covenant with God.
We affirm that human beings were created in the image of God. God placed man and woman on this planet to walk in fellowship with Him and to cultivate and manage the earth. As beings created in God’s image, every human being has destiny and worth and is to be treated with dignity and respect.
Our relationship with God was broken through the willful rebellion of the first humans, Adam and Eve. As sinful creatures we have broken covenant, become estranged from God, wounded ourselves and others, and wreaked havoc throughout the creation. As the result of sin, all human capacities have been affected. The mind has been darkened. The heart has been corrupted so that all human actions have been polluted by self-will and the desire for self-gratification. Only God can save us.
SANCTIFICATION & HOLINESS
We believe that sanctification is a work of God’s grace through the Word and the Spirit, through which those who have been born again are cleansed from their sins in thought, word and actions, so that they become whole persons, able to live in accordance with God’s will. Sanctification is both event and process.
We affirm that there is one holy, apostolic and universal church established by Jesus Christ and built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, composed of believers from all ages. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology. God has been calling out from the world a people for Himself, and sending His people back into the world to be His servants and His witnesses, for the extension of His Kingdom. The church is a community of committed relationships in which personal faith is nurtured by mutual responsiveness and accountability.
MISSION AND SERVICE
Personal faith always involves mission and service to the world. Christian faith entails more than personal piety; love of God always produces love for one’s neighbor, a passion to see the salvation of others, the renewal of life and the establishment of justice. No local congregation, association of congregations or parachurch ministry can hope to complete the tasks of mission and service in isolation from other parts of the body of Christ. The Gospel is God’s GoodNews for the whole world. We are determined by His grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim to all people and to make disciples of every nation. Therefore we maintain that unity and partnership are essential for the fulfillment of the evangelistic and cultural mandates of God’s people.
THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
We affirm that Jesus Christ shall reign over all creation and restore the created order. We look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever.