D. M. Gates – Senior Pastor

D.M. Gates, Senior Pastor – A native of Wichita, Pastor Gates knew at the age of 12 that God had placed a call on his life for the ministry. He has a passion for speaking truth to people in a way they can understand and apply to their everyday lives.

Pastor Gates began his ministry by leading a weekly bible study group. When the group quickly outgrew its modest accommodations, he founded Mending Place Ministries, which held its first Sunday service on August 2nd, 2009. Pastor Gates continues to engage his congregation with spiritually rejuvenating and energetic teachings based in the Word of God. Today, Mending Place Ministries is growing not only in members, but as a strong spiritual presence in Wichita.

Pastor Gates is a graduate of Wichita State University with a BA in business with an emphasis in marketing. Currently, he is employed with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time Sheriff’s Deputy. He has been married to his wife, Heather, since 1997 and they have three children, sons Isaiah and Elijah and daughter Malone.

Favorite verse: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” – Philippians 1:6



Jay Lewis – Executive Pastor

Pastor Jay was called to vocational ministry at the age of 17. After struggling to balance career and ministry early in his adult life, he accepted his first full time position as a youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Valley Center, Kansas.
Pastor Jay has served congregations in Oklahoma, Georgia and Kansas as Lead Pastor. His passion has always been to serve a multi-ethnic, multi-generational and multicultural congregation. Mending Place at South City has been a fulfillment of that dream.

He and his wife, Dartha, have been married for 41 years and have three married children. Pastor Jay enjoys reading, sports, bicycling and spending time with his nine grand kids. Having studied at Friends University, Midwestern Seminary and Southwestern Seminary, Pastor Jay continues to enjoy digging into the Word of God and teaching its rich truths.

Favorite verse: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
– Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Heather Gates – Youth Director

Heather Gates, wife of Mending Place Pastor D.M. Gates, communicates God’s Word with warmth and grace, inspiring others to pursue a more intimate relationship with Him. Her passion is to see herself and others embrace the joys of walking with Christ in everyday experiences. Currently, she utilizes her gifts in effectively running the Children’s Ministry each Sunday, bringing both enthusiasm and an ability to communicate clearly to the younger generation. She also serves as the Women of Standard Coordinator, conveying her desire to show women their true value and worth in God’s eyes and their potential to uniquely influence the world around them.

Heather is currently employed with Meritrust Credit Union as a Loan Specialist. She enjoys laughing with friends, reading good books and spending time with Pastor Gates and their three children.

Favorite verse: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).



Abby Bryant – Music and Worship Arts Director

The talents of Abby Bryant as a musician and leader are an integral part of our ministry. Abby has a calling to see other people have a passionate, devoted relationship with Jesus Christ. This desire allows her to serve effectively both as a Student Ministry volunteer and as Mending Place’s Worship Arts Coordinator. It is very apparent that her love for authentic worship drives her and is at the heart of who she is.

Abby earned a degree in guitar performance at Wichita State University in spring of 2010. When she is not serving at Mending Place she enjoys spending time with her husband, Darnell, and hanging out with close friends.

Favorite verse: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).



Darnell Bryant – Student Pastor

In 2005, Darnell Bryant made a life-altering decision to accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. In 2008 he came to Mending Place where he has an unmistakable call in ministry to the students and parents of our church. Darnell has a heart for studying God’s Word and communicating it in a way that today’s generation can clearly understand. His desire is for every student to form a committed and unconditional relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been passionately serving in the ministry for over three years, utilizing resourceful and creative ideas to get the Word of God inscribed into the hearts of our youth.

In 1999, Darnell graduated from Monterey Peninsula College with his Associate’s Degree. He is currently employed as the Cafe Manager at Cessna Aircraft Company. When he isn’t serving in the Student Ministry, Darnell enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and hanging out with friends.

Favorite verse: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10).



Mary Burkhalter – Hospitality Coordinator

Mary Burkhalter currently serves as the Hospitality Coordinator for Mending Place @ South City.