NorthGate Community Church has a long and rich history in the Coachella Valley, but has not always carried the same name.


In 1890, First Church of Palm Springs was built by Thomas Critchlow at Palm Canyon Drive and Andreas Road, Palm Springs. It was a missionary church, primarily using traveling speakers as they passed through the Coachella Valley.


With 19 year-round members, the church organized under Presbytery of Riverside and became officially known as Community Church of Palm Springs.


On March 15, 1936 a newer, larger church building was dedicated on the corner of Baristo Road and Cahuilla, Palm Springs. Known locally as Blackstone Hall, additional classroom space was added in the 1940s.


In 1961 another new sanctuary building was built and dedicated, immediately  across Cahuilla road from the existing Blackstone Hall church. The new building featured stained glass windows, a mezzanine, a built-in pipe organ and state-of-the-art swamp cooler technology.


Community Church of Palm Springs becomes non-denominational in 1967 following a break from Presbytery and resolution to stay with Westminster Confession of Faith.


Community Church of Palm Springs becomes announces affiliation with Christian & Missionary Alliance.


The effects of a two-decade demographic shift in Palm Springs begin to impact the reach of God’s people and the message of the Gospel struggles in a community dense with vacation rentals and inns.  The property on both sides of Cahuilla Road in Palm Springs is sold to John Wessman, Developer.  The members of Community Church of Palm Springs coordinate, band together, and organize to move east to reach more full-time desert residents and carry the Great Commission forward, pursuing  a “family church again”.


Following the sale of the property in Palm Springs, the church moved to neighboring Cathedral City. Services were held at Sunny Sands Elementary and James Workman Junior High Schools and the church selected a new name. NorthGate Community Church is chosen as it represents and indicates the northern end of the Coachella Valley, as well as symbolizes the Apostle Paul’s departure from Jerusalem through the north gate of the city, as he carried the message of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to Asia, Europe, and ultimately the rest of the world.


In 2004, The Church moved into a rental space on Cathedral Canyon Drive, Cathedral City.  With money raised from the sale of the Palm Springs property, 17.5 acres was purchased at the corner of Date Palm Drive and 30th Avenue in Cathedral City. Plans to build a new church were set in motion. 11 acres were subsequently sold to assist in the development, but various problems with installation of utilities, etc. prevented the move forward. As the church grew, so did the space. The facility on Cathedral Canyon was expanded as the church body resolved to stay there a period of five years.


On July 1st, 2012 Pastor David and Tami Gilmore move to Cathedral City and becomes the next pastor of the century-old Body of Believers. Pastor Michael is added in October of this same year as a part time Youth Pastor.


Under Pastor David Gilmore and his Board of Elders, a decision to again pursue and own a building rather than continue paying ever- increasing rent was presented to the congregation. Following much prayer and spiritual guidance, the congregation voted to move forward in faith to build a new church home.


Ground was broken for the first NorthGate Community Church building.

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In 2015, the newest building was approved for occupancy and the first service was held on November 8th, one year after ground breaking.


2020 and Beyond

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, NorthGate continued serving the community and our people with online services and ministries. As the year progressed and conditions changed, we offered outdoor worship services, and resumed our KidsTown ministry to kids from birth through 5th grade in a limited fashion.

By Summer of 2021, NorthGate had fully resumed indoor services, and in June, in accordance with county guidelines, stopped requiring masks for attendance at services and other events.

Another significant change in 2021 came when David Gilmore, Lead Pastor of NorthGate for 9 years, accepted God's call to a District Superintendant position with our denomination. David's last day at NorthGate was March 31st, and we celebrated David, Tami and their ministry on Sunday, March 28th.

Pastor Joe Zanayed
A new chapter begins

In July of 2021, Northgate called Joe Zanayed (Zuh-NAY-ed) as our new Lead Pastor. Joe, Andrea and their three children began their ministry here on August 1st, 2021. Joe graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Biblical Studies, and from Wheaton Graduate School with a MA in Cross-Cultural Studies. He then worked at Bloomingdale Alliance Church in IL for 2 years as the pastor of young adults and discipleship ministries. In 2009, Pastor Joe and his family moved to Jerusalem to serve there. They studied Arabic for 2 years and then moved into the West Bank to help plant Mosaic International Church. In 2012, Joe became the head pastor of the church plant. He and his wife, Andrea, also helped to open an English Center and were very involved in both adult and children’s outreach ministries in the West Bank. In 2020, they returned to the US with a passion to continue serving in pastoral ministry. Joe and Andrea have 3 children ages 13, 12, and 8.