Who We Are
We are an urban ministry in Washington D.C., seeking to open doors of opportunity, empowerment, and friendship. Our focus is on the children and youth of the city, and their families. We welcome the participation and support of all who want to serve and share in building communities of inclusion and hope.
Our programs reflect a vision of the ancient city gate - a gathering place which showcased the vibrancy of the community. The city gate was a place where the elders met, where business was done, and was generally thought of as the nexus of culture and opportunity. In addition, the city gate served to welcome the immigrant and invite them to take part in the community. Our programs are imbued with that same welcoming spirit.
Our mission is to empower those on the margins of urban society to access and participate more fully in the life and benefits of the larger community, and to implement strategies of partnership that address the needs of urban youth, the poor, the immigrant, and others who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised.
City Gate was established in 2000, by Dr.Lynn Bergfalk, who was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. The goal was to expand community programs that had emerged from a century of urban mission emphasizing education, character development, and life-skills for children and youth into multiple venues in SE, SW, and NW Washington, including the Johenning Community Center in Southeast D.C. When the Johenning Center was threatened by closure due to a loss of funding in 2003, City Gate assumed management of the Center and its community programs, through a partnership agreement with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. City Gate has a strong track record of engaging disadvantaged children and youth in quality after school and summer day camp programs that embrace multiple components related to academics, social/recreational activities, field trips, and life skills development – providing a safe and structured environment where youth are empowered to realize their potential and become caring, confident, and responsible adults. City Gate now operates youth programs at a many different locations (including summer-only sites), serving approximately 400 children and youth last year. Program sites include public schools, community rooms in Section 8 or public housing, community centers, and church facilities.