Grace Bible Church is Not Perfect, But It Might Be Perfect for You
Jun 26, 2017 03:44PM ● Published by Marlene G-C
If you are looking for the perfect church, then keep on searching. That’s the first line you will see on the Grace Bible Church website. However, read further and you will see that their church is not about perfection, but direction.
According to Pastor Jon Fry, Grace Bible Church in Dracut is a non-denominational church where the Bible is preached as an absolute authority, and Christ is exalted as the ultimate goal. “We are a committed, vibrant, growing church, desiring to help all to come to know the joy and hope of a relationship with Jesus Christ and then serve Him faithfully,” he said.
Grace Bible Church was founded in 1976 with 35 men, women and children gathered together to worship. It was a church plant from Fellowship Bible Church (currently located in Methuen, MA). They began meeting at the Dracut Middle School on Lakeview Avenue (now the Brookside School). The church bought the current property on Methuen Street and the first building was completed in the fall of 1979. The church has grown to a gathering of about 140 people in worship on a Sunday morning.
Cassie Van Der Hyde is a long-time member of Grace. “I grew up there, actually; but now, as an adult with my own children, I have stayed at Grace because it is very much a family atmosphere,” she said. “The leadership is made up of humble people who make it a point to be personally involved in our lives and know our joys and our hardships and be part of those and help in the ways they can.”
If you walked into worship service for the first time, you would be greeted at the door and directed to the appropriate places in the building. There you would find a mixture of young and old people with differing backgrounds in casual attire or “Sunday dress clothes,” music comprised of traditional and modern hymns, and sermons based on scriptures (the sacred writings of Christianity contained in the Bible). The service lasts approximately 75 minutes, communion is observed every four weeks, and coffee is served following most Sunday morning worship services.
Children attend the nursery (3 years and under) or junior church service (4-6 years old). Outside of worship time, Grace offers their Kids4Truth program – a weekly night of games and activities to help the children (ages K-6) learn the major doctrines from the Bible. Students in grades 7-12 attend a weekly youth group meeting where they hear about the Gospel and build strong and healthy relationships. Grace considers their teens to be a vital part of ministry, and ensures they are active in church services, mission trips, and outreach ministries.
“As Christ commissioned the leaders of the new church to make disciples of all nations, we are privileged to be used by God to obey this command,” explained Fry. “We believe that every follower of Christ will find joy in carrying the Gospel to their neighbor and to the ends of the earth.”
As the name of the church implies, there are plenty of Bible study and classes, both during the week and on Sunday. Because the church desires to be intentional about training disciples of Jesus Christ, there is a ladies’ Bible study, a men’s Bible study, after-school Bible clubs, homeless shelter Bible study, and even Bible study groups for college students studying at UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College. All are welcome to participate.
“The congregation is very welcoming, and not afraid to have people with real problems and real lives be a part of growing as Christians together,” said Van Der Hyde. “They take a very hands-on approach to loving and caring for one another in all of life's ups and downs.”
“Our church is filled with imperfect people and led by imperfect leaders,” reads the website. “However, we are focused on following and imitating Jesus Christ, who is perfect…. We exist to build each other up in our faith by meeting together for fellowship and for the study of the Bible. All of our interaction as a church is designed to help and encourage each other to be the kind of people God wants us to be.”