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Our story - Short Version

Get a brief overview of how we got started and what we do

Our Story - Short Version

My name is Gary Pate. My wife Dena and I were married in 1985. We are a simple couple from a little two traffic light town called Callahan, Florida, but now we are full time independent missionaries living and working in Ecuador. In 1989, we took our first short-term mission trip and fell in love with missions. Just a few years later we felt God’s calling to full time missions service, but the door did not open for us to go immediately. While waiting on God’s timing, we led short-term mission trips in over 12 Countries, primarily Central and South America. We visited Ecuador the first time in 2000 and in that year, the Lord melted our hearts for Ecuador. In 2010, feeling that God was saying now is the time, we gave up a small six digit income, (my wife was a nurse and I was in the business world) we sold everything we owned, raised our support from churches and individuals, went to language school in Costa Rica for one year and then moved to Shell Mera in the jungle of Ecuador on December 2, 2013.

Since February of 2014, we have been living in Southern Ecuador in a city called Cuenca. We work in very rural and remote villages, some of which are up to two hours drive, each way, and up to 10,000 feet of elevation. We are working with 900 to 1,300 indigenous children and adults in nine different rural villages with eleven weekly Bible clubs. We have done everything from construction, medical clinics, children’s Bible clubs, etc. However, our primary work now is with children and their families. We host discipleship programs we call Bible clubs for children, youth and adults. Our Bible clubs include; music, Bible verse memorization, a lesson from the Bible with practical application, a craft, snack time and game time. We also do humanitarian aide from a Christian perspective as a way to show the love of Christ in a tangible way as the Lord leads us.

Our sending church is North Jacksonville Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, Rev. Dr. Herb Reavis, Jr., Pastor. We are independent missionaries, which means we are not funded nor supported by any financial means by any mission organization. As independent missionaries, we are responsible for raising 100% of the support for the ministry. Pate Ministries is funded by individuals and churches who support Pate Ministries through For the Children Ecuador, Inc., DBA Pate Ministries.

For the Children Ecuador Inc., DBA Pate Ministries is a State of Florida, Non-Profit Organization. In February of 2009, God allowed us to start a 501(C)(3), Non-Profit Organization, called For The Children Ecuador Inc., DBA Pate Ministries to help support works in Ecuador. However, in 2010, it became a sending agency, providing a way for us to raise our support for the work of Pate Ministries in Ecuador. For the Children Ecuador Inc., DBA Pate Ministries is governed by a group of Christian business men that serve as board members and follow all IRS laws governing non-profit Organizations. 

Want more information about Pate Ministries? Visit our "Contact Us" Page or email us at or call us at 904-879-1396.