Pastoral Staff

sanford Sanford Cooper
Senior Pastor
Pastor Cooper came to East Tennessee in 1972. He is the founder and senior pastor of Gateway Church. Pastor Cooper has enjoyed a fruitful pastoral ministry for over 40 years. His ministry experiences include youth work, church planting, mission work on four continents, and pastoring other pastors.
In addition to being senior pastor of a growing community of believers, Pastor Cooper is also the President for Reconciliation Ministries! International. Pastor Cooper travels world-wide bringing pastoral care and insightful teaching with real-life application of Bible truths.
Pastor Cooper has been married to the beautiful Debra Ann Rutledge (Cooper) for more than 40 years. Their life together has produced 3 children (2 sons and 1 daughter), 10 grandchildren, and much happiness.
ruth Dr. Ruth Carpenter
Associate Pastor
Ext. 303 –
Dr. Ruth Carpenter serves on the staff at Gateway Church as Associate Pastor, Elder, and Counselor. Her professional experience before joining the Gateway staff was as a public school educator, professor, Social Science Division Chair, and assistant dean at Walters State Community College.
Her education consists of M.S. in Education and Education Psychology and the course work for Ed.D. at UT. She completed her Ph.D. in Christian Counseling at Jacksonville Theological Seminary.
She has always been involved in community outreach serving as hospital chaplain, police chaplain and several social service boards. Dr. Carpenter has authored a book about her life story in East Tennessee “A
Legacy of Love & Ministry”. Most recently, because of the suicide of her son, Dr. Ruth is devoting her ministry to the process of recovery as it relates to the survivors of suicide. Her focus is to apply the truths of God’s involvement in their lives at such a time as this.
Adam Adam Cooper
Associate / Youth Pastor
Ext. 305 –
Adam has spent most of his life as a member of Gateway Church. Throughout his life Adam has been enriched by it’s ministry, including his time as a student at Covenant Academy. After graduation from Covenant Academy, he attended Tennessee Technological University, where he received a degree in Electrical Engineering. Adam has been ministering as the youth pastor since 2001 and began teaching at Covenant Academy in 2005.
Adam was married to Jeanine Wright before his senior year of college. They have three children; Caleb, Aaron, and Lydia.
Omar Omar Perez
International Pastor
Omar was introduced to Christ in 1992 by a Canadian pastor he met in Holguin, Cuba. He became involved in different ministries with the local church, teaching and opening mission churches in some areas of Holguin Cuba. He also served as assistant pastor for 5 years at the Methodist church in Holguin.
His wife, Andria, and he founded a youth ministry in Cuba called “Soul Winners for Christ”. In these clubs they trained and discipled teenagers while meeting in homes.
The Ministry grew rapidly, so they began to work with different churches in Holguin and across the island. By the time they left Cuba for the United States, there were over 400 kids. Currently, there are clubs in more than 10 provinces of Cuba and “Soul Winners” is reaching over 500 kids.
At Gateway Church, Omar is helping us to reach the international community God has brought to the Lakeway Region. He gives pastoral oversight to our 11:30 Sunday service.
Susan Susan Schmid
Administrative Pastor
Susan began attending Gateway Church while a college student at Carson-Newman College in nearby Jefferson City. After graduation she made her home in Morristown and began teaching at Covenant Academy. Since that time, she has worked with Jews for Jesus while living in New York City for two years, helped start a church and taught English in Dagestan, a Muslim republic of Russia for three years, lived and ministered in inner-city London, England, and ministered at Gateway Church International in Emalahleni South Africa.
Whenever Susan is with us in the United States, she keeps herself busy serving on the worship team, teaching music lessons through Gateway School of the Arts, ministering to our children through worship, and ministering at local churches. Her motivating desire is to see the Body of Christ united and mature as they grow in the Kingdom of God and fulfill the Great Commission.
Debra Debra Cooper
Director of Education
Ext. 402 –
Gateway Church has been Debra’s church family for most of her married life and has been a blessed environment in which to raise her three children and ten grandchildren. From very early in her life she knew that she wanted to teach – that’s who she is. Debra loves learning, and has been delighted to respond to God’s call to “train up children in the way they should go.” In the founding of Covenant Academy in 1985, God gave her an outlet for her passion for children and for education. Her connection with the school has both challenged and fulfilled her through the years, and she is truly grateful for the opportunity to give herself to something so significant as “making disciples” of the next generation.
Fred Myers
Pastor of Worship Ministries
Fred Myers is the director of Praise and Worship at Gateway Church. He has attended Gateway Church since birth and been a member of the worship team since 1995. Fred graduated from Covenant Academy in 1999. He traveled with “The Company”, a teenage dance and drama group, while in high school. As a member of Gateway’s worship team he has played a variety of instruments and served as sound engineer. In 2005 Fred was promoted to worship leader and has acted in that role both at Gateway Church and on the road with a group of young worship leaders at youth retreats, camps, and lock-ins. Fred married his wife, Michelle, in 2008. They celebrated the birth of their first child, Adella in early 2012.
Michelle Michelle Myers
Dance Ministry
Michelle Myers was born in the Philippines. She assumed leadership of the dance ministry in August 2009
Brad Brad Patterson
Associate Pastor
Brad Patterson serves Gateway Church as an Associate Pastor and Armor Bearer for Pastor Cooper. Brad is a native of Morristown, TN and attended Covenant Academy. Brad completed his education at ITT Technical Institute and Lincoln Memorial University. Brad served for a number of years as the Executive Director at YES, a transitional home for displaced children. Brad gives oversight to Gatekeepers, a ministry determined to raise up a generation of young men that have a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
He is married to the lovely Lori Patterson, who also is a graduate from Covenant Academy. Brad and Lori have three wonderful children, Branna Grace, Elijah, and Treece.

Administrative Staff

Jeanine Jeanine Cooper
Church Administrator
Ext. 302 –
Jeanine began going to Gateway Church in 1987, graduated from Morristown Covenant Academy in 1991, and later received her Bachelor of Science degree from Athens State University. She has worked on the administrative staff of several colleges, and currently serves as the Administrator at Gateway Church. Since marrying her high school sweetheart, she and her husband have brought three wonderful children into the world.
Angel Angel Fielden
Church Receptionist
Ext. 301 –

Angel Leon (the “Angel “of the church) was born and raised in Morristown and has grown-up in Gateway Church. Angel graduated of Morristown Covenant Academy in 1991. She is married to Fernando Leon. She has one daughter, Bailee, and a son on the way. She also ministers in song as a part of the worship team.