Grace Baptist Church
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Grace Baptist Church was started on June 1, 2006 when Sure Foundation Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Greenacres merged together.
Before the merge, First Baptist celebrated its 50th anniversary. The church started as six families on February 23, 1956 and met in several places, including a garage on Holland Street. In 1976, the church purchased land on Rosedale and Jewetta and built a sanctuary in 1983, a classroom and administrative building in 1985, and a social hall in 1988. Throughout the years, First Baptist touched many in our community with God’s love.
Sure Foundation was a church plant about 5 years old that grew from a core group of 25 people to a congregation of 150 people. They were able to purchase 10 acres in Northwest Bakersfield, and on this property, they met in a tent for about 9 months and converted a garage into a worship center in which they worshipped for a little over a year. Many new converts were reached through Sure Foundation, however restrictions would have prevented additional development of the property for over 5 years.
God opened a door in August 2005 and Pastor Rollin Strode of First Baptist and Pastor Andy Prince of Sure Foundation met and discussed the possibility of merging. After much prayer from both churches, not to mention countless meetings with the pastors and leaders of the churches, the churches voted, with over 90% support, to merge and form Grace Baptist in June of 2006.
Once Grace Baptist was established, the sanctuary was remodeled and a new preschool facility was opened in September of 2006. In additon, many other improvements were made to the outside of all the buildings.
In 2007, the church focused on its call to make disciples and defined a disciple at GBC as one who Loves God, Loves Others, and Reaches the World. This process of discipleship has determined the strategy and organization of the ministries we do at Grace. Since the implementation of this vision, Grace Baptist has not only seen dramatic growth numerically, but also spiritually in its people.
In the future, we expect God to do great things through this body of followers of Jesus. We look forward to seeing our history being one of lives changed through the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ.