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The City Gates Church is a non-denominational church focused on teaching the truth of God's Word verse-by-verse, demonstrating the love of God to others, and proclaiming Jesus to the nations.

We hold to the historic, confessional creeds of the Christian faith; we are both conservative and evangelical.

Our Purpose is to...

Gather for worship

Every Sunday we gather for worship, with others forming a diverse group with a single goal; to know God and make Him known.

Grow in faith

We hope to see people constantly growing in their faith through little steps and gigantic leaps as they continue to worship God and connect with each other.

Go where God sends

As we support missions, we also know God has called each of us to be like Jesus, sharing His love with the people in our daily lives.

Our Beliefs


The Scriptures of the Old & New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant and infallible in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13


We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14). 


That mankind was created in the image of God, sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, which is separation from God, and that human beings are born with a sinful nature. Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12 


That Jesus Christ was begotten by God, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin Mary. That the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the basis of His shed blood. In the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, His ascension into heaven and His present life there as High Priest and Advocate for us. That all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God and heirs of eternal life. John 1:1,2,14; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2 


That the Holy Spirit is  the third person of the Trinity, who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He is the life of the believer and He empowers the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18 


Of whose mission it is to preach the Scriptures to all the world, all of its endeavors being guided by multiple leaders and supported by the wise stewardship of God’s people. 


Which are given by the Lord, are Baptism and the Lord’s Table (Communion). Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2;Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. 


We believe in the blessed hope, which is the personal, visible and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Our Leadership Team

Pastor Jeff Schlenz

Lead Pastor

Jeff has served as the pastor of The City Gates Church since its founding. He was previously the pastor of Calvary Chapel DC Metro (2008-2015). He served for eight years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps and currently serves as a chaplain in the United States Air Force. His wife Madeleine was raised in Alexandria, VA. They have been married since 2000 and are busy raising three teenagers – two boys and one girl - so they spend a lot of time on the sidelines of soccer fields and making trips to the library for more books.

Jeff’s thesis on the role faith plays in the lives of missionaries, military personnel, and others during times of cross-cultural captivity can be found here: A Lonely Faith: Lessons in Spiritual Resiliency Learned From the Isolated, Captive, and Rescued.

Pastor Matt Pottenger


Matt has also been on staff with The City Gates Church since its founding. He originally joined the staff at Calvary Chapel D.C. Metro in June 2015 after serving nearly seven years in Kenya, Africa as a church planting missionary. He and his wife Peggy were married in 2003 and love serving the Lord and doing ministry together. Matt and Peggy also love the outdoors and their two little girls who enjoy dress-up, tea-parties, art, and dance. 

Pastor Stephen Simons

Youth Pastor

Stephen joined the staff at the City Gates Church at its founding after serving Barcroft Bible Church for eight years in various deacon, elder, and teaching roles. He and his wife Tiffany were married in 1999 and they have four children, Samuel, Alice, Della, and Wesley. Stephen is an avid “board game geek” and hosts quarterly board game fellowship nights. 

Pastor Trip Gracey

Executive Pastor

Brought to Northern Virginia for a Coast Guard assignment, Trip and his wife Michelle (married in 2012) have been attending The City Gates Church since 2016. In 2020, Trip left active duty, joined the Coast Guard Reserve, and came on staff at The City Gates Church where he now serves as the Executive Pastor. Trip loves reading and studying books of all kinds and especially enjoys writing and teaching the Core Classes here at TCGC. He and his wife Michelle have two little boys who love to read, run in circles, and play in the dirt.

Annie Dalton

Operations Manager and Children's Ministry Director

Annie joined the staff at the City Gates church in 2017 as the Children's Ministry Director. Before stepping into this role Annie was already heavily involved with the Children's Ministry Programs through volunteer service. She has a heart for teaching children God's Word. She enjoys theater in her spare time.

Our History

Calvary Chapel DC Metro came into union with Barcroft Bible Church in 2016 to establish The City Gates Church.

Listen to Pastor Jeff and Madeleine Schlenz, and Pastor Vic and Suebee Ransom discuss how we were established as The City Gates Church in the following 3-Part series: