Chapter 1: Camp Friends
The beginning of Gather's story dates all the way back to 2006 when two little girls, Adria King and Mary-Michael McCathren, met at summer camp and became fast friends. For the first few years, their friendship survived only on the 12 days out of the year they spent at camp together where they bonded mostly over competitive sports, a love for Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets, and the things God was stirring in their hearts.
As they got a little older and began to recognize the God-given gifts within themselves and each other, they half joked/ half dreamed about Adria becoming Beth Moore and Mary-Michael becoming Christy Nockels and the two of them going on tour together. Somehow even as silly middle schoolers they had an inkling that their friendship might be something special. They had no idea what was coming...
Chapter 2: High School
Although Mary-Michael and Adria lived an hour away from each other and went to rival schools, they spent their high school years being a consistent source of encouragement and accountability for one another as neither of them really had many friends at school.
Part of the reason for their lack of immediate community was due to their desire and determination to live a life that was honoring to God, even in high school. And while they were well-liked by their peers, their desire to live for Jesus excluded them from most invitations to anything happening on a Friday or Saturday night. Adria and Mary-Michael spent many weekends at home alone feeling frustrated, lonely, and wondering if their obedience was even worth it...
Chapter 3: 2017
In His infinite kindness, God had planned all along for those awkward preteens with big dreams to return to the place they had met 10 years earlier to step into their callings by leading worship and teaching His Word together all summer. After spending almost 10 weeks doing ministry, working, and living together for the first time in their decade-long friendship it became unmistakably clear that their friendship was not just a gift, but it was purposed for Kingdom work.
Upon returning home at the end of the summer, neither Mary-Michael or Adria could shake the feeling that although camp was over, their time of working and doing ministry together was just getting started. They began praying and dreaming yet again and not long after, Gather was born.
The heart behind it is this:
On some level, we're all the girl at home alone on a Saturday night. And it stinks. But who says we have to be alone? If we're all trying to live God-honoring lives, and that's keeping us from most of what our peers are up to, then why don't we all be alone together? (And hello maybe invite some of those peers who might need to be redirected with their weekend plans...). We really believe the main mission of Gather is simply to connect girls the way Adria and Mary-Michael got connected. Sometimes we’ll all get together at events and it will be amazing, but really our heart is that we’re equipping you to do some gathering of your own.
Chapter 4: Let The Future Begin
Although on most days, Gather still doesn't feel real, Mary-Michael and Adria know deep down this is way bigger than the two of them and that this is just the beginning. Only God knows what the days ahead hold- that's half the fun- but no matter what comes Adria and Mary-Michael are committed to surrendering their friendship to be leveraged for the will of God on the Earth.
We hope you'll join us in whatever capacity you can.
His Kingdom come, His will be done, in us at it is in heaven.