As a people of God on the pilgrim journey to the Kingdom, we the people of Grace Community Church benefitting from a rich tradition of Faith are a Christ-centered community blessed by a diversity of talents and gifts.
As a Christian Community, we value the teachings of Jesus Christ and the sacraments of the Church, which call us to justice and love.
As a people of hope led by the Holy Spirit, we continue the mission of building the Kingdom of God.
Through our ministry, outreach and serving, we strive to welcome all into a warm and caring parish family.
Assuredly, we have a great and powerful name, “Grace”. Spiritually speaking, the idea or “seed” of Grace Community Church actually started when “God” called Ralph Hammond into the ministry in the mid-1960″s. Then Ralph saw a need to further his education in general and take the Bible classes to effectively prepare him for the ministry.
In the later 1960’s (about 1969), under spiritual guidance of Brother and Sister Alexander, Good Shepherd Baptist Church of Cleveland, and other support persons, John Frierson, Bernice Robinson, and T. Douglas Grayson, to name a few, the vision to start a church in Lorain, Ohio, materialized.
As best as can be recalled, there were several locations for church services, starting in the Hammond Home. Services were later held at the Charleston School, Harrison School, the Jewish Temple, and back to a small house across the street, which was called “bungalow.” The “bungalow” was used until the decision was made for a building that could be called our (God’s) own. Meanwhile, services were held in the Hammond home until the building was complete enough for worship service.
Because of the location of the church, there was a concern about the outreach to nearby Leavitt Home Projects and the surrounding neighborhoods. It was also expected that members would outreach throughout the city and even the county. Hence, the name, “Grace Community Church.” The members wanted a name that had a “non-denominational effect” and focuses more on the Holy Trinity of God: God the Father; God the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. The Community idea would go along with these ideas and hopefully, attract very spiritually conscious people who wanted to grow closer to and serve the Lord.
A bi-vocational pastor, brother Hammond as he was affectionately called was also a sociology professor at Lorain County Community College. A few of his students became members of the church.
After a time, Pastor Hammond felt called by God to make a change in his life and accepted a new role at Bethel Seminary in Minnesota Being a man of great concern and consideration, he gave the church a year’s notice of his departure time. This certainly was not an easy decision because it involved his wife leaving her teaching position of twenty years. But the move was made, and Grace Community Church was blessed to find a replacement for Pastor Hammond in the person of Reverend Benjamin Bryant.
Grace certainly needed a full-time pastor, but due to finances, the church could not afford to pay a “full-time” salary. It, therefore, was a blessing to have a servant such as Benjamin Bryant to come from Maryland to do what they (he and his wife) could to help the church carry out God’s work. Considering their unfamiliarity with the community, it is felt that Pastor and Sister Bryant did an excellent job serving at Grace Community Church. Moreover, Sister Bryant gave up a childcare service to follow and support her husband in his pastorate at Grace.
Despite Pastor Bryant’s involvement in the community, Prison Ministry, Church Mid-night Basketball and membership contact, he felt it necessary to discontinue his role as Pastor at Grace and return to the South.
Shortly after Pastor Bryant’s resignation, Reverend Allen Gibson agreed to be the interim pastor at Grace Community Church. During Reverend Gibson’s tenure, Grace experienced both spiritual as well as spiritual growth. Pastor Gibson and the trustees oversaw the following church improvements: white vinyl siding replaced the brown wooden boards on the outside of the church to brighten the appearance, one half of the rear grassy area was paved for extra parking and a shed was added for outside storage.
Bible study on Wednesdays has increased in attendance with associate Minister Terry Robinson taking the reins as teacher along with his dutiful wife and bible scholar Cecelia.
After 16 years of dedicated service, our “interim” pastor Gibson announced his retirement. Grace had to look no further than to associate minister J. Terry Robinson to take on the mantle of senior pastor, following a search process that once again was directed by the Mideast Baptist Conference now known as Converge. Upon Bro. Terry’s installation, Grace bestowed the title of Pastor Emeritus on Rev. Gibson. Pastor Terry’s gift from the Lord and to the congregation was his teaching ministry. We were truly blessed. Including his time as associate minister, bro Terry was with us for 6 years.
It was bro. Terry’s resignation in 2018, that caused the congregation to seek the lord’s guidance and begin the successful search which led us to the fifth shepherd of Grace Community Church, the Reverend Duane D. Anderson, Sr. The global Covid-19 pandemic of 2019 and beyond delayed the appointment of Reverend Duane until 2021, at which time Grace Community Church welcomed Reverend Anderson, first lady Belinda, and their family to our fold.
God has showered us with many blessings for which we should be eternally grateful. This gratitude can be exemplified by our dedicated service in attempting to win souls to the Lord. May we prayerfully solicit the request to God that “He will add to His church such as should be saved.” TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
However, lest we forget the mandate as stated in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” For we are to make disciples of everyone. Empty pews indicate that there is much work to be done.
As we build upon the past and look forward to the future, may we continue to love the Lord, His work, His church, and each other in both “word and deed,” working out our soul’s salvation in fear and trembling!
We pray and work that “the Lord” adds “to the church daily such as should be saved.” Pray for us and with us, as we always strive to do GOD’S WILL, HIS WAY, IN HIS TIME, and FOR HIS GLORY!