One unique way we’ve been able to support the local church is by helping coordinate the Farmers to Families initiative—a grant that funds distribution of food directly from local farmers to families in need.Read More
Night of Prayer looked a little different during this season, but it was a sweet time of fellowship across multiple campuses.Read More
As part of our celebration of those who serve in assisted living facilities, we highlighted Senior Honor—our elder care ministry! We love that Grace is able to serve those in assisted living through prayer and words of encouragement.Read More
We Choose is our two year ministry plan. It is a strategic way to budget, discuss, raise, and spend resources in a manner that will help us accomplish our mission of making disciples.
We Choose sustains the ministry we have already been entrusted with, as well as looks ahead to future opportunities God has put in our path.
Didn't get a hard copy?View our ministry plan
One of our ministry partners is Jasmine Road—a two-year residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. These women receive hope through housing, a meaningful work experience, and a loving community of support.
We were recently able to partner with Jasmine Road on an exciting project! This year, three women celebrated graduation from the program at the annual Jasmine Road luncheon. While the limitations of the pandemic made their traditional luncheon impossible, Grace was able to come alongside and make a virtual event happen. Our A/V and communications teams, along with other volunteers, helped provide resources so that those who support Jasmine Road could hear stories of life change and celebrate God’s faithfulness.
Please join us in not only praising God for this life change, but also pray for continued growth. To watch a video that captures some stories of life change from Jasmine Road, click below.
The pandemic and E-learning have presented challenges for many families, particularly those with single parents or parents who are teachers. One way we are supporting these families is by facilitating an education pod at our Pelham campus! Grace has hired qualified teachers to assist children with E-learning while their parents are at work. We also have volunteers who are serving as reading buddies to help homework go more smoothly.
28 students across 17 families have been able to participate. Although this is just one way we are seeking to serve the body of Christ, it is worth celebrating! If you are interested in volunteering, please email Taylor Frick. To learn more about all our Outreach opportunities, click below!
In a year when we have had to spend a lot of time apart, we are thrilled that over 1,300 Grace students and leaders were able to come together for Fallstar Game! This event featured opportunities for Fusion, 24Seven, and Forge students to hear biblical teaching, meet with their small groups, worship together, and enjoy some fun.
Our Fusion students considered the question, “am I a follower of Christ?” Students in 24Seven discussed what biblical expectations look like, and Forge students were able to hear a biblical perspective on the topic of anxiety. We are so thankful that each student could hear godly leaders unpack relevant and meaningful ideas to equip them as believers. We hope you’ll celebrate with us, and ask a student you know what they learned at Fallstar Game!
To learn more about student ministry at Grace, click below.
Senior Honor is our elder care ministry, and it has certainly looked different this year! However, after seven months of “no in-person contact” with our Senior Honor members at The Woodlands at Furman, we were recently able to host an outdoor service. Over 30 residents and several staff members attended, and it was life-giving to see our friends in person once again. Senior Honor members were able to worship together and sit under the truth of Biblical teaching.
We hope you will join us in praying that we can continue outdoor services and find new, creative ways to connect with our Senior Honor community. Please pray that God would continue to provide a way for us to make disciples in a changing world.
To learn more about Senior Honor, click below!
Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” One way we are seeking to defend the cause of orphans is through OVC Kenya—a partnership program that provides sustainable support and promotes long-term relationships with orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya.
Through OVC Kenya, individuals and families can become advocates for children in need. Each advocate not only contributes financially to help provide for their child, but they also send letters of encouragement and support. We have found this to be an amazing way to build relationships, get outside ourselves, and even create discipleship opportunities with our families.
Recently, we hosted an OVC Kenya Vision Night to give our advocates an update. 71 kids have been supported by advocates at Grace Church, and five of them recently graduated. It was exciting to hear their stories and how the program has helped equip them financially, emotionally, and spiritually. We hope you will join us in prayer and celebration around this ministry. To learn more about OVC Kenya, click below!
One of our goals at Grace is to build and strengthen healthy families. We all know that we live in a broken world, and this has affected many families in our community whose children have gone into DSS care. We have a unique opportunity to help with reunification efforts for these families by offering a parenting class—Families Count.
This six-week gospel-centered class is state approved, and it helps biological parents meet requirements to reunite with their children. In addition to offering the class, we are providing childcare, transportation if needed, a meal, and a mentor for each parent if they would like. What an amazing opportunity to show God’s love in a concrete way to those in need. We want each participant to be treated with dignity and know that they are valued.
If you or your community group are interested in providing a meal or being a mentor, please contact Beth Drake at [email protected].
To learn more about our outreach ministries and opportunities, click below!
Night of Prayer looked a little different during this season, but it was a sweet time of fellowship across multiple campuses. Many of us heard stories of life change, our Greer campus did a prayer walk, our Powdersville campus celebrated baptism, and other campuses found unique ways to come together. In all, 1,485 people were able to participate!
The purpose of this time is to unite in prayer and express our dependence on God in every facet of our lives. We certainly need to find our stability in God now more than ever. What a blessing to praise God as a body of believers!
To learn more about how to get connected to community at Grace Church, click below.
Our Dignified Crisis Housing Ministry is a 2-year program designed to help individuals and families in crisis build a firm foundation with the goals of continued sobriety, gainful employment, financial independence, and spiritual maturity. We know that the individuals coming into our program are coming out of crisis, recovery, abuse, poverty, and neglect, and we want to give them a clean, safe, warm environment that validates their worth and invokes a sense of dignity and pride as they move into this next chapter of their lives.
One facet of this ministry is collecting donations and setting up a home or apartment for incoming families. Grace members and individuals from our community are donating everything from furniture to silverware, and it’s all stored in a warehouse in Greer. Once we learn of a need, we will find out the size of the family, children’s ages, favorite colors, activities, and any preferred styles—we then work with volunteers to pull donated items together, create a cohesive design plan for the entire home, and move everything in!
This is a beautiful, tangible way that we can serve our community. If you have donations for this ministry or are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected]
Our partnership with local churches in Allendale county is about much more than summer camp programs. One unique way we’ve been able to support the local church is by helping coordinate the Farmers to Families initiative—a grant that funds distribution of food directly from local farmers to families in need. We worked with the Allendale County School District to organize the drop-off and distribution of over 1600 boxes of fresh produce, allowing every student and staff member within Allendale County Schools to receive a food box.
What an amazing opportunity to help be the hands and feet of the Church! We hope you will continue to pray for our partnership in Allendale county. To learn about volunteer opportunities in all our Outreach ministries, click below!
What a journey the past six weeks have been! Many of us practiced the spiritual discipline of fasting for the first time, and it has been exciting to see God work in our hearts. The focus of our Call to Pray & Fast was to grow in dependence on God and in unity as a church. We hope you have grown in awareness of your need for God in every facet of life.
Although our focused time of prayer and fasting has drawn to a close, we must continue to practice these disciplines with faith and in community. May God continue to unite us in praying with one heart for each other, our communities, and the advancement of his kingdom.
If you missed any of the pastoral devotionals or want more resources on prayer and fasting, click below to visit our resource page!
As summer comes to a close, we want to celebrate the harvest of fresh produce from the community garden at our Taylors campus! Throughout the summer, many volunteers have helped plant, weed, and manage the garden, and we are so thankful for their faithfulness. As a result, over 500 pounds of fresh vegetables have been harvested! Many in our community have benefited from this produce—Miracle Hill Boys Home, those in our Dignified Crisis Housing, families impacted by COVID-19, and many others.
Currently, volunteers are working on canning and freezing vegetables so we can continue to support our community, and others are planting cool weather crops. We hope you’ll join us in prayer around this ministry. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email Fran Williams at [email protected]. To learn more about outreach opportunities, click below!
Did you know that September 13-19 is National Assisted Living Week? As part of our celebration of those who serve in assisted living facilities, we want to highlight Senior Honor—our elder care ministry! We love that Grace is able to serve those in assisted living through prayer, words of encouragement, and acts of kindness.
One of our Senior Honor volunteers, Downtown member Rachel Belk, says this about her experience:
“It has grown my faith in learning how to listen and in being more open-minded. A lot of the time, these people are just so hungry to share their stories and have someone listen. Open-mindedness comes with understanding that each resident is in a different place mentally, physically, and spiritually. Sometimes loving the residents as Jesus wants me to looks like helping them tie their shoes, put on their jacket, or getting them a glass of water during the worship service. Senior Honor has taught me to be interruptible and to walk the halls asking God to make me present for whoever needs him at that time.”
“I always get an inexplicable boost of joy when I serve at Senior Honor; you get to care for others and at the same time gain so much wisdom from those who have walked through many more hardships, victories, and times with Jesus than we have.”
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating National Assisted Living week and praying for our Senior Honor ministry. If you’re interested in volunteering for Senior Honor, please email Julia Eldred at [email protected] To learn more about Senior Honor, click below!
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected students in particular—many are learning virtually and no longer have the same extra-curricular opportunities. However, we have found ways to get creative for Student Kickoff this year! Forge, 24Seven, and Fusion have all begun a new semester, and we are so excited to see students meeting with their small groups and hearing teaching from God’s Word. This semester, students are addressing topics of Creation | Fall, Choices, and The Hard Sayings of Jesus. We hope you will join us in prayer for our students, their families, and their leaders as they navigate this season together. Click below to learn more about Grace Students.
The limitations of the pandemic have been especially challenging for our families who have children with special needs. Mosaic—our special needs and disabilities ministry—has been able to support these families by hosting a Mom’s Night Out. These women gathered for a time of fellowship and fun as they took a painting class together led by Joy Foster, member of our Pelham campus! This kind of opportunity to connect with other women is invaluable to our Mosaic moms.
To learn more about Mosaic, click below. If you’re interested in volunteering for Mosaic, please email [email protected]
One way we’ve adapted to life in a pandemic is by holding outdoor services. Many campuses now have large tents that can accommodate a service in the fresh air. What a blessing to be able to join together in worship and sit under the teaching of God’s Word! As the weather cools down, we hope you’ll consider joining us for an outdoor service.
To learn more about our small worship gatherings, or to register, click below!
For five weeks this summer, we joined together as a church to memorize Scripture. Thank you to all who participated and encouraged others along the way. It’s been great to see the fruit of God’s Word in our hearts, and we hope you will continue this important discipline in your own life.
Colossians 1:11b-12 says, “May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.” What a gift from our Good Father to be able to “live in the light” and to have the light of his Word in our hearts!
To learn more about the Scripture Memory program and find resources to help in your own Scripture memory journey, click below!
Miracle Hill is one of the local ministries that Grace Church has partnered with over the past several years. The Miracle Hill Overcomers Center—a residential, biblically-based recovery program—exists to help men suffering from life-dominating addictions.
In a new facet of our partnership, a team of leaders is helping facilitate the Overcomers’ Saturday morning chapel service. Teachers and worship leaders from Grace are coming alongside these men to offer hope, resources, and biblical community. Working through our Men’s Round Table curriculum and leading in worship are just a few ways we can support Miracle Hill in their mission to lift up the marginalized in our community.
We hope you will join us in prayer for this exciting ministry opportunity!
To learn more about the Overcomers Center, click below!
There are both hard and beautiful parts of parenting within transracial families. Many foster and adoptive parents are ready to receive a child into their home with open arms. However, parenting a child of a different ethnicity often brings unique challenges and unexpected difficulties.
One way that Grace has striven to bridge that gap is by offering a training session—Raising Children of Color—with Brenda and Toney Parks. Both Dr. and Mrs. Parks have years of experience in dealing with this topic, from both a pastoral and welfare perspective, and we are so thankful for their wisdom in this area. Over 40 parents were able to attend the training and learn about topics such as the Black experience and identity neglect in a biblical context.
Are you interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent? Want more information about being a guardian ad litem? There are also many ways you can help support our foster and adoptive parents—donate to our resource center, support a specific family, or be part of a wraparound group. However, the most important thing you can do is lift up these families in prayer.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent or moving towards adoption, click here to learn how we can support you in that journey. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, click below!
Thank you Grace Church! We were able to collect 875 backpacks filled with school supplies for children in foster and kinship care across three counties. There were also many school supplies collected for League Academy and Bryson Middle School, and we are thankful for a tangible way to support these community partners too!
Each backpack will be delivered with a bracelet attached that reads “You are Loved Forever—Romans 8:28.” We hope and pray that these children will know their value in Christ and that they are loved.
We hope you will celebrate with us and pray for these children as they begin a new school year!
We can’t believe our Kairos interns are wrapping up their summer! While the interns have served in numerous ways over the summer in their specific ministry areas, they were able to come together in July for Kairos Outreach Week and serve our Foster & Adopt ministry. Over the course of this week, interns helped sort donations in the Foster & Adopt Resource Center, went to various foster families to help with yard work, cleaned car seats at local DSS offices, and even hosted a story hour for children.
We are so thankful for these interns and their ministry of love this summer. Be sure to reach out and thank them for their hard work and dedication to serving our community! To learn more about internship opportunities, click below.
Mosaic—our special needs and disabilities ministry—is finding new ways to continue supporting families even in the midst of a pandemic. Recently, Mosaic hosted a virtual family festival to provide an opportunity for fun and community! Fourteen families participated, and each received a box with snacks, prizes, and supplies for games. After playing games together, each family got to participate in a talent show, watch a video of campus pastors sharing their unusual talents, and enjoy a magic show!
We are all facing difficulties in these uncertain times, and we hope you will lift up these families in prayer as they deal with some unique challenges. If you’re interested in serving as a volunteer in Mosaic, please email [email protected]. To learn more about Mosaic, click below.
Serving in Allendale County has been a long term gospel investment for Grace Church, and we are excited to share how God has worked this summer. Our Camp Impact Staff—six Grace college interns—have returned with stories of life change not only from their own lives, but also from the lives of others. In particular, our Junior Staff have experienced spiritual growth and developed leadership skills. These Junior Staff members are students from Allendale County who have come up through the Camp Impact program over past years, and now they have had the opportunity to serve alongside Grace staff and influence the lives of children in their community.
What an amazing blessing to see God’s hand at work over years of prayer, sacrifice, and personal investment. Click here to hear Bill White talk about the gospel impact of Grace’s ministry in Allendale County. Also, many of our high school students were able to minister through Camp Impact this summer—click here to see some photos of love in action!
To learn more about our ministry in Allendale County, click below.
One facet of caring for our community is through our Dignified Crisis Housing ministry. When an individual or family finds themselves without a home due to financial need, abuse, or any other crisis, we want to come alongside and lend strength and support. We currently have 17 fully furnished apartments that provide housing for over 30 adults and children in need.
This housing project is provided in partnership with Miracle Hill, SWITCH, Jasmine Road, and United Ministries. Along with a full-time housing director, Grace has volunteers serving through donations, setups, job placements, and medical assistance.
We hope you will rejoice and pray along with us as we strive to show Jesus’ love in concrete ways to those in need. There are several opportunities to serve within this ministry—if you are interested in serving or have gently loved items to donate (from furniture to kitchenware and everything in between), please email [email protected]
Click here to learn more about our Care and Recovery ministries and partners. Click below to see how Grace is partnering with United Ministries to provide housing for those in need!
Due to the spread of Covid-19, our Senior Honor ministry looks a lot different these days. However, we are excited to share some of the ways volunteers have adapted and gotten creative to continue ministering to those in our Senior Honor partner facilities.
Currently, we are partnered with eight senior living facilities to serve 700 residents through Senior Honor. Grace volunteers and some pastoral staff record a 20-35 minute teaching or devotional, and it is uploaded to a YouTube playlist every week. Our volunteer site coordinators are also provided with a packet of worship material including printable song lyrics and accompaniment MP3's for the weekly worship service. In this way, our Senior Honor members can still attend Grace every week!
Since many of our Senior Honor members are isolated from family and friends, volunteers are offering encouragement by sending cards and gift bags. Also, our PALS (People Actively Loving Seniors) are continuing to connect through FaceTime.
If you’re interested in learning more about Senior Honor, click below! To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please email Julia Eldred.
One way we have been able to serve our Grace En Español community this summer is through offering a free medical clinic on our Taylors / Español campus. Fifty volunteers, including seven doctors and ten nurses, participated in caring for local Hispanic, low-income families. Medical personnel offered consultations, blood pressure and diabetes testing, and resources for preventative care.
Another clinic will be offered in September, and we hope you will join us in prayer as we continue to show Jesus’ love to our Hispanic community. If you’re interested in serving or have questions about this ministry, please email Christian Ruiz.
To learn more about Grace En Español, click below!
No parent ever foresees or is prepared to receive a terminal diagnosis for their child. Unfortunately, this is a reality that some parents face. One of the most difficult aspects of this journey is explaining death to your child.
Grace has recently published a children’s book that addresses this complex issue. In Caterpillar Coach, we follow the story of Sam, a young boy who is terminally ill. Sam is able to have open conversations with his parents and think about the transition from death to eternal life by talking about his caterpillar, which transforms into a butterfly.
This narrative is rich with gospel truth, and the book also provides reflective questions to help parents and children talk about death with openness and hope in Christ. If you or anyone you know could benefit from this book, click below to purchase through Amazon.
This July, our Care Ministries were able to provide a summer camp—Ascend—for teens and children who are experiencing the loss of a loved one or the divorce of their parents. Through Ascend, teens and children going through a difficult period in their lives were able to experience community, learn biblical truths, discuss coping skills, and find hope, all in the context of a safe, loving environment.
The campers worked through age-appropriate curriculum, and leaders were able to come alongside them to help them process their thoughts and emotions. In addition to seeing personal growth in their individual lives, these kids were also able to simply have fun with each other and their leaders through various outdoor activities.
We are so thankful for our leaders and volunteers who made this ministry possible. We hope you’ll join us in prayer for these kids as they move forward.
To learn more about Care Ministries at Grace for children, teens, and adults, click below.
After several weeks apart, we are excited to resume baptism at many of our campuses! Baptism is an outward testimony to the grace God has given us by uniting us with Christ in his death and resurrection and raising us to new life in him. It is a beautiful picture of the gospel, and we rejoice with those who are taking this step of obedience to Christ.
If you are ready to be baptized or want to learn more about baptism, click below.
Mission Upstate is a local outreach program for our high school students. This past week, 17 high school students and 7 leaders partnered with Griggs Memorial Church, pastored by Mitch Miller, in the Poe Mill area of Greenville.
Grace students participated in service projects such as yard work and deep cleaning for local churches. They also provided a day sports camp for children ages 5-13 in the neighborhood. These opportunities not only provide our students with a way to support the needs of our community, they also help build the credibility of the local church.
Next month, another group of high school students will be participating in Mission Upstate. We hope you will join us in prayer around this ministry!
Using our voices to praise God and affirm our beliefs through worship is an integral part of the Christian life. It is certainly a facet of the church that is more difficult during quarantine! However, we are excited to see the creative ways our people are using technology to keep worshiping God together.
Our Living Room Worship Sessions are one exciting opportunity to come together as God’s people and praise him for his goodness. We are thankful for those who are leading these sessions, and we hope you will take advantage of being able to worship from your home!
To stay connected with Grace Church and learn about current Covid-19 updates, click below.
For the past three years, a ministry focus in Allendale County has been summer camp. Grace Church partners with two local churches to host Camp Impact—a community effort focused on engaging the children and youth of Allendale County, who we believe are its future leaders.
In order to provide more educational resources for campers, teachers from Grace Church are serving as tutors each week to help with remediation efforts. Allendale County, like the rest of the state, has faced unique challenges from school closures, such as lack of adequate childcare and access to reliable technology. Serving families through tutoring is a practical way we can meet the needs of these families.
Ultimately, Camp Impact exists to build up the church. As we work with students, pray that Camp Impact will be a place where they can find support, leadership opportunities, the gospel preached and lived out, and dignity as humans—made in the image of God.
Meet the third round of our Kairos summer interns! Be sure to say hi when you see them around. They’ll be with us until August, working with various ministries and campuses while serving and taking internship classes. Watch this video introducing each of them!
We are celebrating ten years of the Ezer ministry, and in those ten years, we’ve seen God do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. Many women have shared stories of how the Ezer discipleship studies on shame, sexuality, identity, our speech, and our bodies have resulted in life change. Watch as Laurie shares her story of being in community, learning to release control to God, and resting in his sovereignty.
Meet more of our Kairos summer interns! Be sure to say hi when you see them around. They’ll be with us until August, working with various ministries and campuses while serving and taking internship classes. Watch this video introducing each of them!
Through the Financial Peace University curriculum, Grace Church has been able to provide guidance for those working to get out of debt and take control of their finances. This course not only gives sound financial advice, but it also supports couples in growing their communication around giving, saving, and working as a team.
Here are some exciting stats from this spring’s participants:
Total Debt Paid Off: $38,180
Total Saved: $23,150
Class Turn-around: $61,330
Proverbs 22:7 says, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” Debt can be enslaving; however, financial freedom can enable us to be courageously generous.
Check out these awesome summer interns! Be sure to say hi when you see them around. They’ll be with us until August, working with various ministries and campuses while serving and taking internship classes.
This year, something new and exciting is happening in Allendale County. For the first time, our Camp Impact Staff will include six paid Junior Staff from Allendale County. These Junior Staff members will work closely with six Grace Church college interns to run the summer Camp Impact program.
Over the past three years, we have worked to incorporate leadership development through all of camp programming. Many of the campers have returned year after year, even when too old to participate in the camp (designed for 5-12 year olds). As our staff have invested in these young leaders and returning campers have grown older, this new opportunity to bring them on camp staff will be invaluable. We, along with our partnering local churches, believe cultivating youth leaders in Allendale County is key in promoting sustainable change.
Not only will the Junior staff members help run the Camp Impact program, they will also be taking classes to develop their spiritual knowledge, life skills, and job readiness. As they grow spiritually, academically, and in maturity, they can come alongside local leaders to build the credibility of the local church and further the gospel in Allendale County.
This year marks ten years since we launched the very first Ezer study, Biblical Femininity. Since then, we’ve tackled issues that weigh us down and sin that so easily trips us up—setting our eyes on Christ and seeking God’s word to transform our minds, hearts, and lives. We’ve seen God do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine in those ten years. Do you have an Ezer story? We’d love you to help us celebrate all that God has done and hear how God used the Ezer resources to grow you in your faith and life as a disciple. Would you share your story?
We are loving all the creative ways our campuses are serving our communities and people! Here’s a look at what our Travelers Rest campus has been up to.
We are loving all the creative ways our campuses are serving our communities and people! Here’s a look at what our Taylors campus has been up to.
One way that our women have served other women during this pandemic was by writing letters to those incarcerated. We have an incredible opportunity to speak words of life into these women during this time. We had an overwhelming response of sign-ups, and we are so thankful! Click below to read a powerful testimonial from one of the participants.
Grace family, thank you for uniting together and finding ways to meet together virtually. The church is not comprised of buildings but of people—we are grateful to be in this with you. Please refer to our COVID-19 response page for all church updates and communication from our leadership team, dated by when we announced each. Hopefully, this will help answer any questions you may have!
Our next ministry partner is Project HOPE Foundation, an organization that offers a lifespan of services to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
-1 in 59 children is diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
-Grace and Project HOPE working together:
1) We have committed to giving Project Hope Foundation (PHF) $100K/year for two years.
2) PHF offers services at seven locations across the Upstate, including one Grace campus, and hopefully a second in 2020.
3) More than 200 Grace members from all ten campuses helped clean and paint the PHF school in Landrum last year.
-You can learn more about Project HOPE by clicking below!
Our first ministry partner out of four is Jump Start, a discipleship ministry that serves current prisoners in 17 South Carolina state prisons and also assists former prisoners with re-entry to society.
-96% of people who complete both the inside and outside programs do not return to prison.
-Grace and JumpStart working together:
1) We have committed to giving JumpStart $112K/year for two years.
2) We share staff: Inside Program Director of Jump Start, Cary Sanders, also works on Grace Outreach staff.
-You can volunteer with Jump Start by clicking below!
We have a team in Puerto Rico this week specifically working on earthquake relief through construction and care. They are helping build temporary structures and counseling many individuals and families who have lost their homes. Please be in prayer for them and especially for the families we are serving there.
We have staff members in both central roles and campus staff roles all over the Upstate! We want you to get to know some of them as you stay updated on the life of our church. Click below to learn about one of our women's ministers, Cindy Barwick!
As a church, we believe it is crucial to take a look back at how God has been working in the past as we move forward into the future. One way we do this is through a digital document called our "Year in Review" that walks you through everything that has happened in the life of our church in the past year. It is exciting, humbling, and encouraging! If you haven't gotten a chance to scroll through it yet, click below.
Continuing our recently-started three-year Grace Institute Nicaragua in Chinandega, Tom Fowler has returned for the week to train approximately 70 pastors and leaders. Tom is leading the participants through two studies: 1) Study of the Holy Spirit; and 2) Bibliology - A Study of Biblical Doctrine. These classes continue to lay the foundation for the curriculum to be executed over the next 36 months. Please pray for Tom and all the students who participate.
We are so excited for the opening of Jasmine Kitchen! Jasmine Road, one of our ministry partners, will open a restaurant this month, providing job training, employment, and career-building opportunities to survivors of sexual exploitation and addiction.
Jasmine Road is South Carolina's first two-year residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. You can find out more about Jasmine Kitchen and Jasmine Road below.
We thought it would be fun for you to get to know some of our staff that you may not run into at your campus! Get to know Madei a little! ⬇️
What is your job title? Graphic Designer
What do you enjoy most about your job? Making Matt Williams' teaching slides every week. ;) But really, I most enjoy working with our awesome Communications team and pitching in on print layout projects where I get to bring to life ideas from our campus and ministry staff in engaging and interesting ways.
What campus do you attend and what is your favorite thing about it? Travelers Rest! We just joined a new TR community group this year and it meets two doors down from our house—now that’s local community! Not only is it convenient, but our group has been amazingly vulnerable, real, and intentional with each other in just a few short weeks.
What are you most excited about right now? Watching my two-year-old and my nine-month-old begin to play together—their giggles are just about the best sound in the world!
What is one interesting thing about you? Being from New Orleans, I was a princess in a Mardi Gras parade when I was eleven, so basically, I’m royalty.
What is your favorite of the series graphics that you've made for Grace? Probably the one I made for the Citizens series because it was the first one I ever created! I still remember where I was in 2015 when my boss called and asked me to make it.
This past weekend, we held our first annual Camp Impact Junior Staff Christmas Party in Allendale County. Junior Staff members (ages 12-17) are from the Allendale community and serve at Camp Impact during the summer, while also taking leadership, life skills, and bible classes for six weeks.
Nine volunteers from Grace Church attended the event. After sharing a meal and celebrating with Christmas games, we broke into gender-specific small groups, where we introduced Men's Roundtable and Ezer curriculum to these students for the first time!
As an extension of the last decade of ministry in Kenya, we have been working with our partner, Bernard Karubu, to expand our ministry into nearby Rwanda to help train and equip other pastors there. We are excited about ministries in three African countries (including our members, the Nelsons, living in Cape Verde) meeting together and the ways God is using our service and relationships in Kenya to meet needs and provide similar training in Rwanda. Watch the video below for more details.
Bernard also runs our OVC Kenya program as we continue to make efforts to care for orphans and vulnerable children. If you are interested in helping with this program, here's how you can help: We need 8-10 more advocates for our OVC high school and college-aged children. High school support is $50/month and college support is $100/month, and we ask advocates to commit for the duration of the student's schooling. You can apply to be an advocate below.
Grace Church foster families recently attended special training on Trust-Based Relational Intervention by Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. This training was aimed towards not only helping foster parents understand the relationship histories of children from “hard places" but also to give parents tools to move forward and deepen connections with them. This training will be moderated by Kelly Childress, a practitioner of Trust-Based Relational Intervention who was trained at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. Goals for this training were to: gain knowledge and insight about what secure attachment looks like between children and caregivers, learn helpful ways to build a connection with children who come from hard places and did not have secure attachment, understand the impact attachment history can have on children’s behavior, gain insight and awareness about how our own attachment history influences the way we care for children, and learn appropriate proactive strategies to empower children with behavioral tools.
On November 11, over 100 of our church family gathered together to learn more about one of our ministry partners, Homes of Hope, and how we can serve them.
Homes of Hope is working to provide foundational, safe environments for low to moderate-income families in the Upstate. By providing affordable, energy-efficient rental and homeownership options, their clients can now afford housing and power bills. Supplemented by Homes of Hope’s financial wellness program, affordable housing gives families the freedom of a disposable income so that they can begin saving and investing.
At Meet Homes of Hope, we shared several opportunities to serve with this ministry. If you missed the night and are interested in serving, click below.
That's a wrap on Fusion, 24Seven, and Forge Fall Weekends! Each ministry had a weekend retreat together where they spent time playing games, worshiping, sitting under biblical teaching geared towards their age group, and hanging out with their small groups at host homes. 5th-6th grade students learned about the power of our words to bring life or bring death, 7th-8th grade talked through their identity and significance that can only be truly found in Jesus, and our high school students were taught on humility and what it looks like to find freedom from performance in what Christ has already done for us. All the teaching from Fall Weekends is now available to you! Click below to watch.
When most people think of Mosaic, our ministry to those in our church family with special needs, they mostly think of our ministry on Sundays to adults, students, and children. However, we have the joy of serving adults and students during the week, as well. One of those components is our monthly supper club! Each month, a different community group brings dinner and joins our students and adults for fellowship and a meal together. This gives parents of adults and students with disabilities time to go out to dinner, and it gives our church family time to fellowship together. One of the goals is for our families with disabilities to feel supported and be strengthened by the community they have with each other and with our church as a whole. To learn more or figure out how you can volunteer, contact Madison Carithers, administrative assistant for Mosaic, at [email protected]
A couple of weeks ago, Grace hosted a breakfast for the Greenville Behavioral Health Coalition. This was a great time to learn about how to remove barriers related to mental health stigma and access to care. Faith leaders from across the Upstate were able to come together as one to hear from educators and speakers on this crucial topic. Leaders were also equipped with varying community resources at information desks that helped to broaden everyone's support network.
Because of the lack of biblical resources in Spanish, our desire is to create discipleship opportunities to fill that gap and translate studies as necessary. We have now translated all four of our Ezer studies for women—most recently, the A Woman’s Words study. Doris Bickel, from our Downtown staff, is traveling to Nicaragua to teach the female staff of our partners, Christ for the City International (CFCI), and some pastor's wives as well. Our goal is to equip the CFCI staff to teach this material in their churches and in nearby towns where they have relationships built.
We recently visited Leath Correctional with 25 of our volunteers and staff for a women's conference on finding freedom from shame. 60 Jumpstart participants learned that they did not have to be bound by the shame of their past but instead could experience true freedom found in Jesus Christ.
We recently held a conference for some of our women who are leading in our church through Re|engage, re:generation, care ministries, our Ezer ministry, Grace Church Students, and more. We trained our leaders on "Active Listening" and "How to Create Trauma-Safe Spaces", and we announced updates on new materials and resources. We also had several organizations from our community join us to be part of a ministry fair to provide additional resources!
A group (pictured below) left Friday, September 27, to help run a conference for local missionaries in Papua New Guinea. We will be there for two weeks leading worship, teaching, and equipping these men, women, and children as they continue to pour out to the people in Papua New Guinea. Please pray with us that it would be a time of encouragement and nourishment for these missionaries. Click below to learn more from Matt Williams, one of our teaching pastors.
We value the individual passions and strengths of our members and believe that God intends to use them to build his kingdom both here and around the world.
Missions Grants is a funding program that invites our members to apply for yearly grants of $1000-2500 to support specific projects or programs of their personal ministry. Recipients receive financial support as well as personal encouragement, ministry development, and a communication platform. Applications for this round closed on October 10.
Click "Learn More & Apply" to find a list of current recipients and what they are doing with their grants, FAQ's, more details, and a section to apply.
Please also consider ways you can personally support, pray for, and encourage our members as they are serving.
This past weekend, our Grace en Español campuses held a women's conference for 120 women across all three of our Spanish-speaking congregations. These women will continue to meet in groups together for the remainder of the book study, Craving Grace, which was the foundation of the conference. Click "Read More" to hear from Nathalie Richard, who paved the way for this conference and heads up our women's ministry at our Grace en Español campuses.
We sent a team to Puerto Rico for the first time in August and it was a great trip! They served alongside Hunger Corp. to assist in building and restoring homes for victims of Hurricane Maria. We already have teams set for a November 2019 trip and February 2020 trip as well. Please be praying for these teams and for our friends in Puerto Rico during hurricane season.
Our next Puerto Rico trips are set for August 8-14, 2020 and October 31- November 6, 2020. You will be able to apply for these after the start of the new year.
One of our partners, JumpStart, was recently featured on the Greenville News, telling the story of a couple of men who have been impacted by the program and the ministry's efforts. JumpStart’s ministry focuses on long-term discipleship of men and women currently in prison and those recently released. The discipleship program is led by program graduates inside prisons and is supplemented by volunteers.
The Greenville News article begins with the story of Don Williams, who, in 2003, "was days away from finishing a year-long sentence for a drug trafficking charge at the Broad River Correctional Facility when he got a call from his sister. His oldest brother, who had been released from the same prison a few months before, overdosed on heroin after eight years clean, triggering a fatal heart attack . . ."
We are committed to supporting orphans and vulnerable children in our community in numerous ways, including supporting the DSS staff who tirelessly serve the children and their families. Recently, we collaborated with Alfmeier Friedrichs & Rath and the Greenville Foster Parent Association to refurbish the Greenville County DSS visitation rooms to help provide clean, durable, and welcoming spaces that foster an encouraging atmosphere for children, their families, and staff.
Click below to learn about different ways you can support fostering and adoptive families.
We are not only a multilingual church but strive to be a multicultural church as well, as we step into a growing and changing area in the Upstate. Our Grace en Español congregations continue to meet in three different locations weekly (Harrison Bridge, Spartanburg, and Taylors) with over 250 people in attendance. Throughout the Grace en Español congregations, we have 17 countries represented.
Click below as Robby Richards, our Grace en Español Campus Pastor, introduces this idea to our church at large. If you or someone you know is bilingual or Spanish-speaking, you can access all of our Spanish teaching here or on our Grace Church app.
Welcome home, Greer and Anderson campuses! Both of these congregations have moved in to permanent buildings. Watch the video below to catch a Sunday morning in their new homes!
We are trying to equip and motivate our members to get involved in someone else's life, meet their needs, and help them grow in their relationship with Christ. With this lens, we have made several decisions of how to best use our finances as a church. Please watch this financial update from David Delk for all the details.
Continuing a partnership started 16 years ago, we are excited to launch a new three-year Grace Institute Nicaragua. Tom Fowler and Herson Lopez will be training approximately 70 pastors & leaders in Chinandega, Nicaragua from August 26-30. To kickoff the new set of classes, the participants will go through 2 studies: 1) Soteriology; and 2) Survey of Genesis. These classes help set the foundation for the curriculum to be executed over the next 36 months. Our teams are excited to return to Chinandega, as it takes us back to our "roots". The first Grace Church team to serve in Nicaragua spent a week serving in a local church in Chinandega, and the city is also the childhood home of the Christ for the City International - Nicaragua Directors, Fabricio & Claudia Mendoza.
This past Sunday, August 20, was Student Kickoff! We had over 1,400 5th-12th grade students across all campuses come to Fusion, 24Seven, and Forge program! This semester, Fusion (5th-6th grade) will be studying Key Relationships, 24Seven's (7th-8th) curriculum will be about the life of a Believer, and Forge (9th-12th) will be looking at what we idolize over God in #LifeGoals.
Click below for more information on Grace Students, and follow us our new student Instagram account at @GraceStudentsSC!
Another summer of Camp Impact is in the books! Here's a snapshot of our summer in Allendale, SC:
-90 campers (most have been at Camp Impact for all 3 years of camp)
-213 Forge students (278 including leaders) served on short-term trips to run camp and provide hands on support all summer
-8 Camp Impact staff who acted as camp leadership for six weeks while living in Allendale
-19 junior staff members (11 from Allendale, 8 from Grace Church) who acted as "camp staff in training" while taking leadership and Bible classes)
If you want to learn more about the camp staff experience, click below (applications will open in November). And to watch the video of this past summer in Allendale, click "watch video"!
One of our ministry partners, Project HOPE, was recently featured in Greenville Journal. We're excited for the long-term work they are doing to serve people with autism, and we are grateful to get to partner with them as they continue in their ministry. Click below to read the article or learn more about Project HOPE.
Over 900 backpacks full of school supplies were collected across 8 of our campuses last weekend. Thank you to all who participated in this year's Back-to-School Drive!
We want this to be a starting point for building relationships with kids in care and those who work with them throughout the year! We have full-time staff available to help you consider how you might support the foster community, whether working with children directly or serving those who do. We have people in our church body who provide free childcare, freezer meals, haircuts, tutoring, birthday cakes, home repairs, and so much more; the possibilities are endless! Click below for opportunities and to reach out about other ways to serve.
Our Anderson and Greer campuses will meet in their new buildings for the first time on August 11! Click "Watch" to get the full update from Bill White, one of our teaching pastors.
Our Downtown campus has been partnering with League Academy for the past school year and will continue to walk alongside their faculty, staff, and students in the upcoming year. In the last year, here are some of the ways Grace Downtown was able to serve:
-Kept the food pantry stocked for 28 students to take home each weekend
-Funded an after school program for students who cannot afford the normal costs for after school care
-Recruited mentors (partnership with Mentor Upstate)
-Had community groups write encouraging notes to teachers and pray for them
Click below to hear from League Academy principal as we celebrate the past year!
Our Greer campus will be moving into their new facility soon! We recently got to have a prayer night together at the new building, specifically praying for God to use our church and our new place of worship to make disciples in our community. As we thought through Ephesians 3:13-21, we walked through each area and prayed over the ministry and discipleship that will take place there. We took some time to talk through how we want to glorify God (v. 21) by making mature disciples, “made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God”(vs. 19), and living out our core value of being prayerfully dependent with boldness due to God’s ability to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (v. 20). We also had the opportunity to write prayer requests on the floor of the stage for our friends and family in the community. We are so thankful for this opportunity! Our first service in the new building will be Sunday, August 11.
The Nelsons, Grace Church members, are serving in Cape Verde with their two children. They lead a gap year program called Global Year, sending students on a gap year to live and work in areas of the world that are either unreached or have very little access to the gospel.
We are making a two year commitment to the Nelsons as our first missions partners. Missions partners are covenant members serving in a ministry capacity outside of the church, and they will receive financial assistance as well as ongoing encouragement and support. Please join us in praying for the Nelsons and their ministry in Cape Verde. Click below to watch their video or click here to learn more about Global Year.
Outreach and missions is centered on our core value of being "Culturally Engaged". Through engaging our neighbors locally and internationally, we can strategically create relationships that provide opportunities to share the gospel and care for those in need.
Click "Read More" for what the Wood family had to share about their experience on the Chicago trip together!
In two days, June 22, three Grace Church members and staff leave for follow-up training with pastors and leaders in Nicaragua, specifically in Rivas (2010-2012) and Matagalpa (2013-2015). Merritt Anderson will be teaching our "Leadership Values" course, David Vaughan will be teaching a "Study of Parables", and Wes Cavin will be leading a session on "Growing Church/Christian Unity".
Summer interns are here! Be sure to say hey to these guys when you see them around. They’ll be with us until August, working with various ministries and campuses while serving and taking internship classes. Watch this video introducing each of them!
In January, we began a series of discussions on “The African American Experience: How We Got Here” in order to better understand our current situation in the Upstate and beyond, and to discuss how our church can help bridge some of the gaps that still exist. Click "ACTION ITEMS" below for eight action items that we have taken as a church over the last few months.
To visit our page on "How We Got Here", including the full discussion on video, and the downloadable notes, resources, and presentation, click here.
Eight college students are spending seven weeks of their summer running Camp Impact in Allendale, SC. They got here last week and will be here for the rest of this week training before they head out. If you're going on a trip this summer, be sure to say hey! Click "WATCH" below to meet our Allendale Camp Staff!
To learn more about Allendale and meet some of our key partners, watch this video.
To read more about our partnership with Allendale, click here.
We have the privilege of writing biblically-oriented worship songs that our congregation can enjoy. "Hope to Carry On" is a Grace Church Worship original song based in Paul's letter to the church of Thessalonica. In the midst of persecution and uncertainty, Paul was calling the church to stand firm in their faith and to walk in holiness as they anticipate the return of the Lord. Not just in their own power, but through the encouragement and life change that comes through selflessly loving each other.
"And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen."
— 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
Because we are driven by the desire to do discipleship in the community we are surrounded by, it is important to us to have a permanent location for each local congregation in our church family. Our Greer and Anderson campuses are under construction in completely new buildings and will be finished soon! Click below and scroll down the page to see the Greer and Anderson building progress pictures, or click "watch" to hear Matt Williams give an update on each.
Zach Mercado, our Harrison Bridge Students Director, will be teaching this weekend on 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28. Get to know him a little! ⬇️
An important partnership for us is supporting DSS across several communities in the Upstate. One of the ways we have recently done this is through our Foster and Adopt Resource Center. Some of our volunteers from the resource center have cleaned and replaced the toys in the DSS visitation rooms for foster children and their parents. We will continue to clean and replace toys in the rooms for DSS as needed. Thank you to everyone who is helping out!
To learn more about our ministry for foster and adoptive families, click below.
As part of our ongoing commitment to invest in young leaders in the German church, as well as provide discipleship resources, we hosted intern Franziska Klein for seven weeks this winter. Click below to watch as her and Chrystie Cole, our women's director, sit down to talk about her time with us and the difference in local church across different cultures and countries.
Our goal over the next years is to support or establish a healthy church with leadership development and DNA among the English-speaking internationals of Munich. This church can also serve as a base for supporting and resourcing young German church leaders.
Grace Church Equip exists to help advance the growth and success of the local church. On May 7-8, we hosted 22 churches and 3 nonprofits—65 people total—for a conference on how to do discipleship in the local church. It was an incredibly encouraging time and we look forward to continuing to help equip and build up other local churches. For more info, contact [email protected]
"The Equip conference gave us tools and strategies that are actionable and time tested. More than motivation and strategy, Grace Equip was an experience that reoriented us to the purpose most of us got into ministry—to see people changed to be more like Christ."
—A recent participant from Rock Hill, SC
Dr. Carson Felkel, the lead physician from Bon Secours Behavioral Health, further equipped our staff today in assessing suicide risk and learning to identify mental health issues while caring for our members and their families. We also heard from Ken Bickel about Family Grace and the support it offers to family members.
Family Grace is a family support care group we offer for families and spouses of those with a loved one dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health difficulty or disorders. Click below to learn more about our care groups and to sign up if you are interested in being a part.
We choose to partner with JumpStart as they help prisoners, through Christ, move towards a future greater than their past. Recently, over 50 Grace members chose to go inside of Perry Prison to show appreciation to the prison staff for their difficult work and to learn more about the mission of JumpStart. Click below to learn more about JumpStart.
Our Chicago team (pictured below) and Allendale team (pictured above) are spending their spring breaks serving others!
Our Chicago team left this past weekend, and they are spending the week serving a local church with construction projects and VBS activities to further the church’s efforts in their own community.
Our Allendale leaves tomorrow and comes back April 20, coming alongside local Allendale churches for a weekend including a community service project and a field trip with kids in the community.
Chicago team pictured here.
We recently wrapped up our month of Grace Church Students retreats. Thank you to all the volunteers who spent their weekend with our students. We danced a lot, worshiped, played games, spent quality time with our small groups, and sat under teaching about pride, creation, parables, and who we are following. Needless to say—God was present, and lives are being changed in these students. We are grateful to know them and grateful that our parents give us the chance to speak into their students' lives. To watch the teaching and recap videos from each retreat, click below!
We are a multilingual and multicultural church, spanning across 12 campuses, in which three of those are Spanish-speaking. We have just launched two new Grace en Español campuses in Spartanburg and Harrison Bridge. We are excited for what God is doing through these communities! By clicking below, you can watch Daniel and Mariagracia tell their story of life change and finding a church family through Grace en Español, and you can also hear Matt Williams share the update on our new campuses.
This medical team is in Kenya this week, focusing on providing support for local churches as they seek to have a credible voice in their communities. To learn more and get involved in what we are doing in Kenya, click here. For real-time updates and photos from our Kenya team while they are there, click below.
What has changed?
While the situation in Nicaragua is still very fragile, we're seeing several encouraging signs. In addition to a resumption of talks and negotiations between the government, private sector, and religious entities, we are also learning about other missions teams from the U.S. that are returning to Nicaragua (medical teams, teaching teams, and construction/other humanitarian teams).
3 Minute Read
This past weekend, Bill White taught at our church plant in Charleston, Grace City Church. They are going through a series on Judges, and Bill was able to step in and teach on Judges 5. Grace City is pastored by Will Plonk and was launched over a year ago. Please continue praying for them with us as God works in the lives of their people.
To learn more about Grace City, visit their website. To listen to Bill's teaching, click below.
It takes a variety of churches to reach the city with the gospel. Mitch Miller is leading a church revitalization efforts at Griggs Memorial Baptist Church in the Poe Mill area of Greenville. Will Broadus planted Reconcile Church in an urban context in West Greenville, South Carolina. Grace is contributing $1250 / month to help these churches.
Retreat month is underway - this month we will have over 2000 students and leaders attend a weekend retreat where they are encouraged and fed spiritually.