It was in the late Fall of 2003 that the first rumblings of starting a church were surfaced among a few men at an area coffee shop. Then, during the funeral of a dear friend, Kurt Oakley, some of those same men were challenged to make a difference in our community because people matter to God and time is precious for all of us.
The theme that ran through discussions can best be described as a “what if” mentality. “What if” God would start a church in which making disciples was the priority? “What if” people were accepted where they are and not where others wanted them to be?” “What if” we had a church where Biblical theology was not frowned upon? “What if” questions that people had were answered from the Bible and non-essential differences were O.K.? “What if” we created a safe place for dangerous questions in the context of a loving community of people? “What if…” Soon after, Ken and Carla Rutherford invited six families to join them for a time of worship at their house. What was born that day was the seeds of what is now Grace Fellowship.
The “What If” Becomes A Reality
It was clear that Biblical truth must precede spiritual health. After several weeks, we began to formally meet as a church. Soon the name, Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth was adopted. The name reflected the Biblical emphasis on God’s incredible grace toward His church as well as our desire to make disciples of Jesus in the South Forsyth area.
God has moved in an incredible way to bless His church through a spirit of common passion and a clear understanding of biblical health and priorities.
As we sought options for a meeting place, we were lead to Covenant Christian Academy. The principle of CCA, Jonathan Arnold, offered the use of the school’s facilities — free of charge! From February to August 2004, Covenant Christian Academy graciously provided us a home on Sunday mornings.
In April 2004, Grace Fellowship invited Dan Miller (who was leading that coffee shop Bible study a few months earlier as well as helping to craft the founding documents) to provide leadership as our first vocational pastor. Dan began serving with the responsibilities of providing the Sunday morning teaching as well as guiding the existing Elders in implementing a Biblical philosophy of ministry as well as giving direction to the organizational aspects of the church.
Grace Fellowship Finds A Home
In August 2004, Grace Fellowship moved into its former facilities in Cumming, Georgia, through another series of dramatic events that could only have been orchestrated by God’s hand. Over time, our church would come to occupy three different buildings.
In May of 2011, we embarked on yet another adventure in spreading the fame of God, the purchase of land and the building of a new building. The “Build the Church” campaign was part of a three-year plan aimed at purchasing land, constructing a building, and moving from our present location(s) to a new location just two miles away. The plan also focused on raising an additional 10% to fund/expand our present ministries.
The Next Chapter
On November 9, 2014, we moved into our new facility. We expanded our auditorium size to nearly 575 with the balcony expansion (next phase) enabling further expansion of 250 in which our auditorium will hold approximately 800 people. We now have a dedicated student room and a children’s wing that offer us many more opportunities to serve our community. In all, we believe that our new facilities will further enable our original vision for Grace Fellowship: To spread the fame of God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us in this incredible adventure.