Early in 2000, two to three families started meeting in a home on Sunday mornings to fellowship, praise the Lord, worship, pray and share communion. As a group of fellow Christians, we shared feelings of disillusionment with the churches we had attended in the past. Having a strong conviction in the importance of sharing God’s grace with each other as well as our friends, neighbors and community we became known, simply, as “Grace”.
When other families joined with us, it was necessary to find a more suitable meeting location. We met at the Copper Crown Motel in Hancock every Sunday for about a year and a half. In December 2002 we moved to “The Bluffs” in Houghton. This move provided space for us to grow and allowed us the opportunity to serve residents of “The Bluffs” who were unable to get out to attend a Sunday service.
During that first year and a half, we discussed whether we should formalize the group or disband and find another church to attend. The consensus was a firm and resounding commitment to move forward, taking the steps necessary to turn Grace into a “real” congregation. We met regularly for several months to determine exactly what it was that made this group of Christians unique and to answer the question, “Why yet another church?”
As a group and as individuals, we prayed for divine guidance to help us answer that question. Through prayer and studying Scripture it became clear to us that there was a reason for our existence. We then developed a mission statement to express the overwhelming feeling of this infant congregation:
To Create a loving environment that leads people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. To Reach out to all who seek comfort, encouragement and healing by sharing God’s grace and His Word.
We further put into words eight statements of faith as the basis of our fellowship, and we took the name, “Grace Christian Fellowship.”
After worshiping together for a time, we felt a call to minister outside our own group, and go with the Gospel into our community. In 2006 we purchased our current building in Calumet and renovated it while we held regular Sunday services and invited friends and community residents to visit with us. Then, in 2007 we approached Village Missions about providing Grace Christian Fellowship with pastoral leadership.
So, we become affiliated with Village Missions, a ministry which places full-time spiritually qualified missionary leaders into small churches, at the invitation of the people. Village Missionaries help grow “a Christ-centered community church program capable of involving the entire population of a local community.” A Village Missions Pastor and wife team has been serving with our assembly since July, 2008.