Friday, January 8, 2021
Dear Gateway Church,
By now, you may have heard the news that our beloved Rev. Dr. Daniel Mercaldo, Founding Pastor of Gateway Church, peacefully went home to be with the Lord. Our hearts are grieving as we process the loss of this man who meant so much to so many of us for years here on Staten Island and across the world. Yet, we do not grieve as those who have no hope! We find rest and peace today knowing that Pastor is comforted in the arms of Jesus, his Savior and Lord, who he loved with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength until his final breath. We take comfort in the Psalm that reminds us that “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants (Psalm 116:15).”
Today, we lift up our beloved Vangie to the Lord in prayer as she mourns this loss, that God might be her strength and comfort this day and every day moving forward (Psalm 28:7). Their example of love in marriage and ministry continues to inspire all of us. Pastor loved Vangie till his final breath, and we at Gateway love her too. In addition, let’s continue to pray for Debbie and Liviu, Tim and Ann Marie, the grandchildren, and great grandchildren as they process this loss in the coming days and celebrate the life of this amazing man of God that they had the privilege to call Dad and Papa.
The personal impact of Pastor Mercaldo’s life and ministry for me and my family is hard to fully express in mere words. I’ll attempt to share some more thoughts this coming Sunday, but suffice to say for now that my life was changed for eternity through this messenger of God, when he led me to the Lord as a 9-year-old boy at our old church building on Clarke Ave. In addition, His belief in and support of me as the new Senior Pastor here at Gateway was a gift that I would never have imagined from God, one for which I am thankful every day. Pastor’s encouragement and prayers for me both behind the scenes and in public have meant so much to me these first 11 months as your Senior Pastor, and I’ll miss his texts, phone calls, and encouraging notes that he would share.
As a church, we have the awesome privilege to process this loss and grief together and to love each other well through this difficult time. I encourage you to share your stories, laugh and cry together, and give God the glory for the impact of Pastor Mercaldo’s life on all of us. Call each other. Send encouraging texts and scripture to each other. Pray with each other and don’t hesitate to reach out to me, our Elders, Deacons, or Ministry Leaders for encouragement and support. We love you and are here for you. I love you and am here for you.
The family is planning memorial services here at Gateway a few months from now, and we will let you know those details of when and how we will be conducting them given our current times. For now, continue to pray and encourage each other and spur each other on to love and good deeds, even more so as we see the day of Christ’s return drawing near.
Grace and Peace,