How and when did this church start?
Grace opened for public ministry in the fall of 1992, after several years of prayer and a year of preparation and training by a small group of visionary people. We officially organized as a church in the summer of 1993. Community surveys and studies provided us with a sense of the needs, and the PCA and Calvary Church (Willow Grove, Pennsylvania) provided generous start-up funding. Through much prayer and fasting, we set out to . . .
Attempt things for God that are so great that only He can get the credit!
How big do you hope or plan to get?
We really are not interested in size, but we are interested in people. So, although we have not intended and are not planning to be bigger, and do not “market” the church, we want to welcome and pursue anyone God may lead to our path. We do believe in several principles that we hope will keep us flexible and open to whatever God may do.
1.That as the church gets bigger, it must get smaller -- we must emphasize smaller groups and communities where relationships can grow.
2.We must continually seek repentant hearts that will keep us from self-glory and kingdom building on the one hand, and apathy toward new and interested people on the other. We don’t want to be proud or materialistic, but neither do we want to be cold, uncaring, and cliquish.
Are you part of a denomination?
Grace Church is made up of a wide diversity of church backgrounds, united by our central focus on the gospel. We have a relationship of mutual accountability and support and are connected to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). This is a denomination that emphasizes biblical faithfulness and missions. Becoming a member at Grace does not require agreement with Presbyterianism in every point of doctrine, only that you have a personal relationship with Christ. Our vows include promising to promote the peace and unity of the church and to respect its leadership and governance.
How is your leadership set up?
We follow what we believe is a biblical and representative form of church government. The congregation elects elders based on their spiritual qualifications to serve. These elders (together called “the Session”) are responsible to guide and oversee the church. The pastor(s) and staff are accountable to the elders. The congregation also elects deacons and deaconesses, whose sole function is the ministry of mercy to the needy. And the elders appoint an administrative board, whose function is to advise and assist with finances, property and management. See our staff page for a list of these individuals.
What sort of financial controls do you have?
Our treasurer serves as an elder. We also have established a set of financial guidelines and internal controls that are strictly followed. Further, our leadership reviews financial statements monthly, and a line-item budget is adhered to for accountability. Periodic independent audits are also part of our stewardship plan.
How do you become a member?
Do you plan to have Sunday evening or Wednesday evening services?
Not in the traditional sense. Since we want to encourage home meetings and small groups, we plan to avoid anything that might compete. We do have Sunday morning Grace Classes and small groups that meet throughout at the week in homes.
What about missions?
We are very active in missions. Our approach, though, has been to seek close personal ties with the missionaries we support. Therefore, instead of supporting many people with little amounts, we support a few with large amounts. This allows us to be much more involved. See the mission display in the north hallway for information on the great folks we are connected to. We also have many people from our body serving on short-term mission teams each year.
Questions or Comments?
Grace Community Church
495 Cardinal Road, Mills River, NC 28759
8:30 am-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
8:30 am-1:00 pm Friday
Let's Journey Together
We welcome you to join us as we journey together into God's grace. Our passion is to pursue the message and promises of Christ with humility, authenticity, intellectual honesty and relevance. We believe faith is much like life – a process and a cycle of different seasons. You may be here for healing or to explore the claims of Christianity or to move into deeper relationships or to better serve those around you. Our desire is that you will experience the hope and encouragement of Christ without pressure or hype.