Jay and Senior Pastor Sven Verbeet
Pastor Sven was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, an industrial town about 50 miles west of Frankfurt, and close to the border with France. After his mother met an American army soldier stationed at Ramstein, they relocated the family to Pasadena, Texas in 1981. Shortly after arriving in Pasadena, Sven, his brother Frank, and his sister Kirsten, were invited to ride the bus to Sunday School at the Austin Avenue Independent Baptist Church. It was through this outreach ministry that Sven found the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. At the age of 13, he received his call to ministry. Hungering for more of God, Sven received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of 16 and began attending an Assembly of God church in southeast Houston. Pastor Sven began working in the church with children at the age of 17. He became actively involved in the bus ministry and the sidewalk Sunday School program.
After completing his studies at Berean School of the Bible (of the Assemblies of God) and receiving his ministerial credentials, he joined the staff of his home church, in Pasadena, as Children’s and Outreach Pastor, in July of 1994. After relaunching the bus program, the children’s ministry grew from an average of 30 children to over 200. Though the Lord was greatly using him, after a great personal struggle with his sexual identity, Sven resigned his position after eight years of ministry.
In 2002 the Lord led Pastor Sven to Community Gospel Church, a small affirming church in Houston. After witnessing first hand the power of God demonstrated among this group of believers, he knew that this was where the Lord had planted him. He remained there for 10 years, eventually joining the staff, first as Children’s Pastor, then Worship Leader, and as an Associate Pastor, and in the Spring of 2012 followed the Lord’s prompting to gather a like minded group of believers to launch Gateway of Hope Church. Pastor Sven was ordained as an Apostle in the Five Fold Ministry by Bishop Randy Morgan of the Covenant Network in July of 2014.
Pastor Sven married Jay in March of 2018 and together with Pastor Sven’s mother live in Katy. They have a large extended family throughout the US, Germany, and The Philippines.