What is the Gospel, really, and what does it look like when people believe it? The gospel is a message of atonement in Christ, the forgiveness of sins, that results in a person who pursues holiness and lives in obedience to Him. That powerful truth is what brought about Grace Church.
Grace Church met together for the first time in a little Chinese restaurant with tears of gratitude on Sunday, January 30, 2005. Well over 100 people crammed themselves into booths and around tables. It was an unlikely scene…
Liquor bottles at a mirrored bar lined on one side of the spot we placed the pulpit, and on the other side a Buddha statue sat perched on a platform! For us though, it didn’t matter. When it came time to worship, we were a mess of streaked cheeks. And when Tom R. sang When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and couldn’t finish due to weeping for the impact of the words, those who weren’t choked up picked it up from memory and sang the rest for him. A hundred voices, swelling with worship to Jesus Christ, transformed that restaurant into a sanctuary of praise to Jesus Christ. We opened our Bibles, read Psalm 1 together, and studied God’s word together. Grace Church was excitedly born that Sunday morning.
By the next week we had eight Sunday School classes up and running and were excitedly applying God’s Word to every aspect of our new church. Before long we had elders, music staff, and a youth pastor. Within a month we signed a contract with the University of Hartford that provided us with enough space for worship, nursery facilities, and the wide variety of educational ministries that go on every week. The church planned together, prayed together, and gave together.
We came together because the gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful and the Word of God is living and active. Having seen and felt the power of God in the gospel, we are passionate about living it out and will defend it to our last breath. The gospel finds its Christ-centered expression in the doctrines of grace, once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). We are a church astounded at the love of God in Christ. As a result, we fervently love each other, and wish to share with you the glorious riches of Christ, our ministries, and our love.
Please click below to listen to a recording from Grace Church’s first worship service on January 30, 2005:
Salt and Light, Matthew 5:13-16