Sunday, February 04, 2007

GC Article

This is an article that recently ran in Memphis' SBC Association (MSBA) newsletter:


“Glorify, treasure,, grow, go.” That’s the two-pronged vision and mission of Grace Church. They strive to “Glorify God by treasuring Jesus Christ and spreading His eternal joy; and to guide people to faith in Jesus Christ, grow in biblical maturity and go to our neighbors and nations with the gospel.”

Grace Church first began meeting together in September, 2006, after three years of praying, seeking God’s direction and planning. Planting pastors Jordan Thomas, Nathan Sawyer and Bryan Smith all grew up in the Memphis Metro area and felt called to plant a church here. They began meeting and praying together with a handful of others in September, 2003. The Lord continued to pull their hearts toward downtown Memphis. Then the Lord provided an opportunity for Jordan to go to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN for a year as their first Treasuring Christ Together (TCT) Church Planting Resident. After returning from Minnesota, Jordan knew God wanted them to plant a church in the downtown area.

First Baptist Church, West Memphis, AR is the primary local partnering church for Grace. Both Jordan and Bryan grew up at FBC, West Memphis, and Jordan served on staff there for three years as Student Pastor. Other churches from the area and from around the country have also provided financial support, prayer support and encouragement for this new ministry.

Grace Church meets at the Bridges facility at 477 N. 5th in downtown Memphis. Bridges is a new state-of-the-art facility just five blocks east of the Pyramid. The church hopes to one day have their own space but wants to remain close to the river.

Even though the church held its first meeting a little over four months ago, members held their first Sunday service on January 7 of this year. They are already averaging around 100* in attendance on Sundays. They offer GraceKids during the worship service and prayer meeting for children four years old and younger. Older children are encouraged to attend the worship services with their families to learn and participate in worship. Small group, in-home Bible studies called Grace Groups will also soon begin meeting weekly on various nights of the week.

The pastors are excited about opportunities for outreach in their neighborhood. Few churches can say that God brings a few thousand people to their back door almost every Friday and Saturday night. They have a desire to reach out to those people who live, work and leisure in the Downtown area. With the annual Memphis in May Festival and many other Downtown events, they expect to have plenty of mission opportunities to share Jesus with their neighbors in a practical way.

Although Grace Church is a fairly new ministry, they have a huge vision that has been bathed in prayer and are seeking the face of the Lord as to the direction He would have them go. Please pray for Grace Church and their planting pastors. If you would like to know more about Grace Church, their ministries or how you can get involved with them, visit their website at

“We long to be a church that loves Christ and gladly embraces anything
that comes with loving Jesus because He is our greatest Treasure."
* Grace is actually averaging around 65 adults in worship and around 20 children in nursery.

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