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Northgate Free Methodist Church

Northgate Church announces dedication and grand opening of new playground

By Press Release

Press Release:

Northgate Church is thrilled to announce the dedication and grand opening of the Northgate Playground on July 14 at noon. We warmly invite the community to join us at Northgate’s North Campus, 8160 Bank Street Road, for this special event.

The Northgate Playground is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, with the exception of Sundays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. This new playground offers a safe and fun environment for children and families to enjoy. For more information, please contact the Northgate office at 585-343-4011 or visit our website at

Submitted photos.


Northgate to host charity rummage sale Friday and Saturday

By Press Release

Press Release:

Northgate is excited to announce that we will be hosting our annual Rummage Sale on Friday, May 10 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 11 from 8 a.m. - noon at Northgate South Campus located at 350 Bank Street, Batavia. 

The proceeds from this event will go to fund the development of a Women’s Farm Project in Gahanda, Rwanda, which will teach sustenance farming to the women within the community, as well as Northgate's Costa Rica Missions Trip high schoolers within the congregation will be taking in July 2024. 

Drop off times for donations will be Monday-Wednesday, May 6-8, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 5:30- 7:30 p.m.

All acceptable items should be clean and in good condition. Items not accepted are as follows: mugs, VHS tapes, TVs that are not flatscreen, adult clothes/shoes, car seats, cribs, flammable or hazardous materials, and firearms. Electronics that are in working order will be accepted. 

Please consider joining Northgate for this sale and contributing to the important work that these charities do. For more information, call the Northgate office at (585)343-4011. 

Matthew Kota memorial blood drive Saturday at Northgate Church

By Press Release

Press Release:

Join in to celebrate Matthew’s birthday and bring a “Plus One” with you to give blood and help patients in need celebrate more birthdays with their loved ones. The event includes a t-shirt sale and basket raffle with all proceeds for the Matthew Kota Scholarship Fund for students at Notre Dame High School and Byron-Bergen Jr./ Sr. High School. 

At a very young age, Matthew Kota, of Byron, knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up - a doctor. But sadly, his dreams were cut short. In memory of Matthew for his birthday, the Batavia community and surrounding areas are encouraged to give the gift of life and donate blood at the largest annual American Red Cross blood drive in Genesee County on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Northgate Church South Campus in Batavia. 

“Matthew never waited for anything to happen, he made things happen,” said Jason Kota, Matthew’s father. “He was truly one of a kind and I’ve yet to meet anyone else on this earth like him.” Matthew, the eldest of four children, was just 17 years old when he passed away in 2008 from complications of brain surgery.

Matthew enjoyed the outdoors and had a smile that would light up a room, but it was his humanitarian spirit that friends and family say was contagious. Matthew had a desire to help people, and that’s one of the reasons why he became a blood donor and volunteered with the Red Cross. He had hoped to join the Gallon Donor Club and even though he did not achieve that goal, his family and friends are now carrying out his wishes by holding blood drives in his memory. He was posthumously awarded the 10-gallon milestone from donors on his behalf in 2021. “Matthew was our son, a friend, leader and now our Angel,” Jason Kota said. 

Family and friends say hosting this blood drive is a unique way to memorialize what Matthew stood for - helping others. They are now giving back by turning their heartbreak into hope for other families in need. At this point, the Kota family has now collected 906 units - and counting - in their 15 years of hosting the blood drive. 

How to Sign Up

Schedule your appointment by visiting and entering the sponsor code bataviany or zipcode 14020.  Walk-ins are welcome around appointments. 

 Donate at the 16th Matthew Kota Memorial Blood Drive on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northgate Church South Campus – Community Room located at 350 Bank St. Batavia.

Photos: Holiday Remembrance Service hosted at Northgate

By Howard B. Owens

H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home's annual Remembrance Service was held at Northgate Free Methodist Church on Wednesday.

The service is an opportunity for area residents to honor and remember loved ones who have passed. 

Pastor Vern Saile led the service.

Photos by Howard Owens.


28th annual service of prayer and remembrance Dec. 6 at Northgate Free Methodist Church

By Press Release
h.e. turner remembrance servcie 2021
File photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith, and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes proudly present their 28th Annual Service of Prayer & Remembrance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.

For those who wish to participate from home, we will livestream the service as well.

“We hear from families how the service helps them through their grief, especially during this time of year," said Joshua Smith, of H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home. "For some of these families, it will be their first year participating in the service, which means it is their first Christmas without their loved one, and for others, they come back year after year.”

A candle in memory of your loved one will be lit prior to the start of the service and remain that way throughout.

One candle will be provided per deceased loved one and will be given to participants at the service. If you choose not to attend but would still like a candle to participate from home, please call our office to arrange a pick-up.

Call 585-344-4295 to reserve your candle by Friday, Dec. 1. There is no cost for a candle and all who experienced the pain of loss are welcome to participate regardless of who took care of your loved one and arranged their funeral service.

The ecumenical service will combine music, prayer, scripture reading, reading of the names of loved ones, the tolling of the bell in remembrance, and a message of hope by Reverend Vern Saile.

To register the name or names for your candle, please call H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home at (585) 344-4295 or register online by visiting by Dec. 1.

Northgate to host charity rummage sale

By Press Release
northgate rummage sale 2022
File photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

Northgate Church is excited to announce that they will be hosting a Rummage Sale on Friday, May 12, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, from 8 a.m. - noon in the gym at the Northgate South Campus, 350 Bank Street Road. 100 percent of the proceeds from this event will benefit Northgate’s ‘Connected Community’ in Gahanda, Rwanda, Africa.

Northgate will be funding food and agricultural projects throughout the village, helping many of the families learn to grow and maintain sustenance for their loved ones, which is something that is not prevalent in Rwanda.   For more information, call the office at 343-4011 or visit

Take a lesson from this funeral service: 'be like Jim'

By Joanne Beck

Be like Jim.

You didn’t have to know Jim Owen to want to be like him. You didn’t have to know him to respect the man he was and what he brought to this community. And you especially didn’t have to know him to reap some of the good and kind messages that he left behind.

But if you didn’t know Jim Owen, a Batavia resident whose name has been echoed throughout the city with particular might this past year, it truly was a loss that you never had the privilege to feel. Perhaps you’ve read about Jim recently, about his passion for the city school district as a substitute teacher, supporter, mentor, historian, and music lover who lived long enough to see the high school auditorium named after his father, Frank E. Owen.

Or perhaps you read about him being dubbed the Mayor of Redfield Parkway by Batavia City Council for his efforts to have pillars restored on the westside street, and tireless advocacy for the neighborhood and beyond. Or when he donated funds to make the Owen library at GO Art! a reality.

Make time for others
This piece isn’t so much about Jim as it is about what he created up until he died on Jan. 19 of this year. Yes, he gave the community quite a lot — financial and material donations, camaraderie, encouraging words, bits of history culled from his research, recognition, cheesy jokes that somehow always hit the mark, friendship, and, certainly, time. He always gave his time.

During Owen's funeral service Saturday, the Rev. Vern Saile noted something about Jim’s obituary. Usually, one’s obit states everything about that person, Saile said.

“But Jim’s obituary is almost entirely about the people he wants to thank,” Saile said in a near-packed sanctuary at Northgate Church.

That’s a striking difference. Instead of thinking about how he transformed the world, Jim thought about how others made an impact on him. Outward thinking. Positive thinking. Those weren’t just phrases from a motivational book; they were how Jim Owen lived his life.

Be a friend
“He loved people, he loved to encourage them,” Saile said. “He appreciated family, friends, students, and community. He may have more friends than anybody I’ve ever known.”

While visiting Jim in the hospital one day, Vern logged friends who stopped by while Jim had nodded off. There were a dozen in 90 minutes, Saile said with a hint of astonishment.

You don’t have to be perfect, but you can be positive
When he began his talk, Saile admitted that he first found Jim Owen “a little quirky.” He wasn’t quite sure how to take the man that had volunteered to be part of an important committee.

“He didn’t always say a lot, but when he did speak, it was positive,” Saile said. “I cannot remember him saying anything negative.”

He then joked about how Jim would check to see if he was in the minutes. He would sometimes make the first or second motion just to ensure his name was documented. He was the same with local events — often attending ribbon cuttings and business openings, somehow appearing in the media photos.

Quirky? Perhaps. His mom, dad, brother and sister have died, leaving Jim as the remaining Owen, and it seemed as though he wanted his life to be known. To be worth something. Sound familiar? Who can say that’s an unfamiliar notion for most mortals?

Be interested in others
Jim’s good friend Michael Marsh gave an example of how caring and genuine Jim was with everyone he met. He would ask your name, where are you from, “and on and on, and on and on,” Marsh said.

Jim Owen had a sincere interest in people — it wasn’t just small talk, but a need to know more about someone. He “strongly believed in education, and giving tools” for students to believe in themselves, Marsh said.

Jim was a coach, and often told his students that “it’s not important if you come in first or come in last, but that you come in.”

“He would slide into your life and just be there,” Marsh said.

And without Jim’s jovial one-liners, questions, historical trivia, upbeat adages, and other topics of discussion, “you find yourself missing it,” Marsh said.

Jim was diagnosed with esophageal cancer last year, and during his last days in hospice care, he wondered aloud if he would be forgotten. Alas, no.

Leave a piece of yourself
“His presence has caused all of us to form new friendships, and to foster those friendships,” Marsh said. “It’s our responsibility to carry this legacy on.”

Marsh reminded folks to take time to appreciate one another. It only takes moments to enjoy a conversation, share encouraging words, or make someone smile.

Another one of Jim’s favorite sayings was that “a setback is just a setup for a comeback.” Saile believes that he got the ultimate comeback and is safe and at peace.

Meanwhile, Jim left behind plenty of people to carry forth his legacy of not just seeing the glass as half full, but making it wholly delicious.

Be like Jim.

Top Photo of Michael Marsh speaking about Jim Owen during Owen's funeral service Saturday at Northgate FMC in Batavia; musical performances included vocals, piano, violin and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," a special request that Owen had made when planning his service. Photos by Howard Owens.

Photos: Vintage Christmas at Northgate

By Howard B. Owens

Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia held a Vintage Christmas celebration on Friday evening.

The church will host another Vintage Christmas event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday. 

It includes a nativity walk through the woods with live animals, food, tree lighting, s’mores roasting over an open fire, Santa and outdoor Christmas movies.

Photos by Allison Lang.

Northgate to Host Carol McLeod Conference in October

By Press Release

Press release:

Have you ever wondered where God is in the muddle of life? Have you ever wished that God would speak specifically to you and tell you what His will is for you in the dailiness of life?

The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter nearly 2,000 years ago and his words still hold kinetic power for our lives today.  As we study the book of 1 Peter, we, like Peter, will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. That powerful voice will fill your heart and your home as you join with Peter in living a life of authentic faith during life's most challenging times.

We will discover that the book of 1 Peter addresses what we believe about God as well as the details of practical living; it is also a call to holiness and humility. Over the course of this conference, we will dig into the rich mysteries of worship, joy and God's unconditional love for each one of us.

So, invite a sister or a friend who simply wants more of Jesus! Come prepared to have your heart restored, your questions answered and your assignment refined. You will fall in love with Jesus all over again and you will be changed by the truth of the Word of God

This conference will take place on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia, NY, 14020. Tickets for this two-day event are $25. Payments can be made through the website listed here: or call Northgate’s office, at (585) 343-4011 to register over the phone. 
Hotel rooms are reserved at the following hotels:

Holiday Inn Express
4356 Commerce Drive
Batavia, NY  14020
$119.00 per night 

Hampton by Hilton
4360 Commerce Drive
Batavia, NY  14020
$119.00 per night

Reservations for the hotels MUST be made by September 14, 2022, to secure this rate. To make a reservation, call the hotel of your choice and ask for the rooms blocked for NORTHGATE CHURCH WOMEN'S CONFERENCE.

Northgate Church to host children's summer camp

By Press Release

Press release:

Northgate Church is hosting a children’s summer camp, On The Case, July 11-15. 

This week-long camp will be structured for children ages 3-9.

Kids Camp will run Monday through Thursday, July 11-14 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Friday, July 15 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with lunch provided.

The camp will take place at Northgate’s North Campus located at 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia.

The cost per camper is $125 with a subsequent discount for multiple children. 

Pre-registration is required.

Applications and cost descriptions are available here: ​​

Scholarships are available.

If you have any questions about the camp, please email or visit 

Photos: Charity rummage sale at Northgate

By Howard B. Owens

Northgate Free Methodist Church hosted a rummage sale today to benefit the people of Gahanda, Rwanda to create and maintain a self-sustaining farm and co-op, which will provide their local families with food and a source of income.

Northgate hosting charity rummage sale

By Press Release

Press release:

Northgate Church is hosting a Rummage Sale at its South Campus, 350 Bank Street, Batavia, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 6, and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, May 7. All proceeds will be donated to Northgate's "Connected Community" in Gahanda, Rwanda, Africa, and its school serving 1,200 children. Last year, this event raised $3,000 toward the needs of the Gahanda school.

"A core value of Northgate is for people to reach out and fulfill a purpose in the community, alongside other people – people within a church family, in small groups, and in the world around us," said Allison Lang, director of communication for the Northgate congregation. "The volunteers organizing and facilitating this sale are responding to that call."

This year, donations are being collected, sorted, and priced with the goal of helping the people of Gahanda, Rwanda, create and maintain a self-sustaining farm and co-op, which will provide their local families with food and a source of income. The Genesee and Orleans communities are invited to participate in the Rummage Sale to benefit our global neighbors. For more information, please contact the Northgate office at (585) 343-4011 or email

Submitted photos.

Northgate to host vintage Christmas event

By Press Release

Press release:

Northgate Church invites the community to its annual Vintage Christmas event on Friday, December 3, and Friday, December 10, 2021.  This family-friendly event will be “come and go as you please,” from 6:00-8:00 p.m. each Friday evening.  Enjoy a guided tour of a live nativity through the community prayer walk, complete with carols, tractor rides and hot chocolate.  Come celebrate the season, enjoy a few classic Christmas movies on our outdoor movie screen, all while staying cozy around a campfire.  There will be a small devotional, presented at 7:00 p.m., to ready our hearts and minds for the Christmas season, accompanied by a magnificent tree lighting.  This is a free event, open to all ages.  Northgate Free Methodist Church is located at 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia, New York. For more information, contact the Northgate office at 585-343-4011 or visit

Northgate Free Methodist Church to host disc golf course; Boyd says GCC, Williams Park are other options

By Mike Pettinella

It might be said that news of Northgate Free Methodist Church leadership’s desire to underwrite a nine-hole disc golf course on its property at 8160 Bank St. Rd. could be a sign of redemption for Phillip Boyd, the City of Batavia resident who caused a firestorm in May when he proposed placing a course at Centennial Park.

“I was Public Enemy No. 1 for a while, but now I just laugh it off,” Boyd said this afternoon, adding that he and Northgate personnel have joined forces to build a course behind the church in the Town of Batavia.

Boyd also said that he and fellow disc golf enthusiast Matt Strobel are working with the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees about a course there -- and have left the door open to a course at Williams Park in the city.

“At one point, it didn’t look like anything was going to happen, and now we may be getting three in the area,” Boyd said, recognizing the irony in all of it.

The subject of disc golf came up at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, with City Manager Rachael Tabelski (responding to a public comment) saying that she hadn’t heard from Boyd recently.

Boyd said he left a message yesterday with Ray Tourt, the city’s maintenance supervisor, seeking to continue talks about a course at the Pearl Street recreation area.

“I am looking to get final approval on the course at Williams Park and then make a new proposal to City Council at a future Business Meeting,” Boyd said.

While the city may still be an option, Boyd said he currently is focusing on assisting Northgate Youth Pastor Dan Calkins with the logistics of setting up the course at Northgate.

“We’ve created a course design and the board unanimously voted yes,” Boyd said. “They said this is something they wanted to do for the community. I didn’t realize it but they’ve got about 50 acres behind the church.”

Boyd said they’ve cleared space for four of the nine holes thus far, and hope to make room for the remaining five before the end of this month. The goal is to open the course – which will be free to the public – next spring.

The course will feature tee pads, tee signage and baskets, he said, noting that the church’s financial commitment could approach $5,000.

Contacted today, Calkins said he read the articles detailing Boyd’s plight on The Batavian and approached Rev. Vern Saile, senior pastor, Mark Logan, operations director; and the board with the idea of locating a course on church grounds.

“Even if you don’t go to Northgate or never want to come to Northgate, we want to show that we love the community and we want to be a part of the community,” Calkins said. “We welcome the public to enjoy the course at no charge. Northgate is covering the sponsorship 100 percent.”

Calkins said disc golf fits in with the church’s outreach as it currently offers pickleball on Wednesdays at 2 and 8 p.m.

“We want to show the community that we’re more than just a Sunday church. We want to be part of their lives all week,” he said.

Boyd said he’s “pretty sure” the course at GCC will happen, considering that he and his partners have raised the money to fund it.

He also said that Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle in Batavia would be willing to sell disc golf equipment if the courses are built.

Photo above: Northgate Free Methodist Church.

Northgate hosts VBS Base Camp Aug. 16-20, theme is 'Space' stuff that's 'Out of This World'

By Press Release

Press release:

Northgate Free Methodist Church will once again be hosting our annual VBS (Vacation Bible School) Base Camp between Aug.16th–20th with some exciting changes this year!

As we are growing rapidly our younger campers (ages 3–7) will enjoy a half day program at our North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road) from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. while our older campers (ages 8-12) will participate from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at our South Campus (350 Bank St.)

This year’s theme is Space with OUT OF THIS WORLD activities, games, devotionals and special guests like Art of Mandy and the Seneca Zoo Mobile.

The older campers will also have the opportunity to engage in skill building and instructional exercises for their preferred sport to stay sharp over summer!

For costs and applications please visit and click on “Register” or call us at (585) 343-4011. Scholarships and family discounts are offered and always available as we want all students and families to be able to attend.

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Daniel at or just give us a call! See you this summer!

Long line at Northgate church for final distribution of free boxes of food

By Billie Owens

The final free food box distribution starts now at Northgate Free Methodist Church's north campus, 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia.

The Salvation Army is co-hosting the drive-thru distribution of boxes of assorted fresh produce and boxes of assorted dairy items. The distribution will continue until the boxes are gone.

Be sure your trunk/hatch are cleared out for the volunteers to place the boxes in your vehicle. You will need a photo ID for each household you will be picking up for. When lining up ahead of time please do not block traffic and stay in your vehicle until it is time to procede.

It's a good turn out today and at one point law enforcement was called make sure the queue was not impeding drive-by traffic.

Final food box distribution is 2 p.m. Monday at Northgate church

By Press Release

Press release:

The Salvation Army in partnership with Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia will be hosting their final food box distribution at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 28th.

The distribution will take place at the church's north campus located at 8160 Bank Street Road. This is a drive-thru distribution.

Be sure your trunk/hatch are cleared out for the volunteers to place the boxes in your vehicle. You will need a photo ID for each household you will be picking up for.

There will be boxes of assorted fresh produce and boxes of assorted dairy items. The distribution will continue until the boxes are gone.

When lining up ahead of time please do not block traffic and stay in your vehicle until it is time to procede.

Northgate church offers free youth pickleball on Thursdays this summer starting July 1

By Press Release

Press release:

Northgate Free Methodist Church will be offering free youth pickleball this summer for students in both middle school and high school on Thursdays at 1 p.m. All events will be held at Northgate’s South Campus (350 Bank St., Batavia).

There is no cost, no equipment or knowledge of the game required to attend. All that is required is the ambition to have a great time while learning an awesome game!

Games will begin on Thursday, July 1 and continue weekly on Thursdays.

Northgate encourages you to bring a friend and learn to “dink,” stay out of the “kitchen” and, hopefully, don’t get “pickled!”

If you have any questions, please call Pastor Daniel Calkins (585) 343-4011, or email him at:!

Psst...Free pizza the first week!

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