We love getting together on Sunday mornings! We believe that church is Family and getting together weekly is important. Our conviction is that we are called to follow Jesus Together. Many come early to connect with friends over a coffee or snack from the café. Most people dress casually, while some like put on their “Sunday best”. You may even see a biker jacket or football jersey or two. At 10:00 we turn the lights down, crank up the music and spend time worshipping God together. At about 10:35 the kids are released to their classes in Kidz Connection (preschool through Jr. High) while younger kids can be checked into the nursery or toddler room. We often enjoy a video or special presentation before hearing an encouraging and relevant message from the scriptures. At the conclusion of the service there is always an opportunity for prayer or prophetic ministry.
Luke joined the GCF staff in December 2005, at the age of 27 as an associate pastor. He and his wife, Amanda, served in this role for eight years and in 2014 transitioned to the Lead Pastor position at Grace. Luke & Amanda met at Michigan State University where they both graduated in 2002. They felt called to make Sturgis their home and plugged in at GCF, volunteering at Youth Group and serving on missions trips. They joined the leadership team and took over the youth ministry in 2004 prior to joining the pastoral staff the following year. They have four daughters, Elaina, Riley, Kenzie and Mya. They enjoy doing ministry together and being intentional as a family to enjoy life together.
Ross and Jennifer Gerber, and their three children, came to Sturgis in 1987 from the metropolitan area of Toronto, Canada. Ross joined the staff of GCF as Associate Pastor in 1991 and became the Senior Pastor in 1998. He served in that capacity until he "passed the baton" to Luke and Amanda Eicher in 2014. Ross continues to serve as a staff pastor and Jennifer teaches "Forward to Freedom," a course she developed to help people find freedom from past hurts and disappointments. Both Ross and Jennifer travel to the mission field regularly and have developed an organization called Strategic Ministry Partnerships International (SMPI) to share their vision for world missions.
Justin was ordained as an elder in the church in 2012. In 2016 he was hired on staff full-time as an Associate Pastor and the Children & Family Life Director. Justin and Becca love people and want to see them grow closer to God. Not through just words but "...with a demonstration of the Spirit's power" (1 Co. 2:4).
Part of the Grace family since 1995, Joe and Diane Markus enjoy the emphasis on the working of the Holy Spirit, the encouragement to grow in our gifts and serving each other, and the focus on worship that characterizes the Grace family.
Jon and Carissa love Jesus and are so happy that He led them to Grace Christian Fellowship! When they walked into their first service in 2007, they felt they had found a home. They love serving, worshiping and experiencing the Holy Spirit, as well as leading the Life Group ministry at GCF.
Our purpose can be stated in our motto: "Worshipping God, Loving People". We desire to know, worship and obey God according to the scriptures, and to make God known to the world.
Our vision is to raise up people who know God, passionately worship Him, faithfully obey His Word, and make him known to the world.
Our mission is to be relevant to the culture through life-giving Sunday services, free market small groups, and practical training in order to promote healthy relationships that empower and release people into ministry.
In Essential Beliefs - We Have Unity
"There is one Body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..."
In Non-Essential Beliefs - We Have Unity
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters... Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls... So then each of us will give an account of himself to God... So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God."
Rom. 14:1, 4, 12, 22
In All Our Beliefs - We Show Charity
"...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains - but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.""
1 Cor. 13:3 (Ph)
There is one, and only one, God. God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is eternally existent in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are on God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matt 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Mark 12:29-30
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, was conceived by The Father through the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary's womb. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, performed miracles on earth, and offered HImself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross and shedding his blood to atone for our sins. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power of sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kinds, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-5; 14:10-3-; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Matthew 1:18, 23-25, 4:23-25; Colossians 1:20; Revelation 5:9; 1 John 1:7
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a seperate experience from salvation, is available to all, and something to be desired.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 8:16 ; Acts 19:2-6; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
About The Bible
The Holy Bible, and only Bible, is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the authoritative Word of God and is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13;Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by disobedience toward God called "sin". This separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23;
Salvation is God's free gift to us but we must accept it. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; His death, burial and resurrection. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. Every person who is born again is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 2:16, 3:26; Romans 5:1, 10:9-10; Acts 16:21
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9
In 1985, a small group of people in Sturgis, Michigan began meeting to talk and pray about the possibility of beginning a new church in the Sturgis area. In the hearts of these people was the desire to form a fellowship where they could worship more freely and learn more about a deeper relationship with God through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This group invited Vic Hildebrand, a pastor and church planter from Goshen, Indiana to meet with them. When ten families were committed to this group and its vision, Vic, Ruth Ann and their children moved to Sturgis to begin building a new church. Under Vic's leadership, the group grew to a church of approximately two hundred people.
Spirit-led, inspiring worship became a hallmark of Grace Christian Fellowship right from the beginning. A strong outward looking youth group emerged, drawing many kids from the local high schools. The warm inviting atmosphere provided by the strong families at Grace ministered to others who were lonely or in need. Vic's connections to the world- wide church gave Grace a vision for participating in missions - a strength still present today.
In 1987, shortly after the church began, Ross and Jennifer Gerber and their three kids moved to Sturgis from Ontario, Canada, with the purpose of joining with the vision of Grace Christian Fellowship. Their hearts for short-term missions propelled the church into many mission's trips over the ensuing years. They served the church as Children's Ministry Directors and Ross became the Associate Pastor in 1991.
In 1998, Ross took over the Senior Pastor role at Grace. Since becoming the lead pastor, Ross has built a strong unified team of leaders who lead the congregation with wisdom and grace. By placing key leaders in significant roles, Grace has seen the birth of many strong leader teams in the various ministries of the church. "Grace" is not only a name, but a key element in our approach to leading and serving in the Body of Christ.
Ross' belief that we should enjoy life as we serve God has permeated our outlook and ministry style. We greatly enjoy our times of gathering together, often laughing as we explore how God would have us live and serve Him.
In the year 2000, Grace Christian Fellowship joined Life Links, an international organization of churches, as our overseeing body. We have had relationships with some of the leaders of Life Links for over twenty years. We govern ourselves autonomously through our Elder Board, but look to the apostolic team of the Life Links Council to provide accountability and an outside voice.
Presently, at Grace, we have a membership of around 350, with lots of young families and children. We have one service on Sunday mornings in two locations. The addition of Cafe Service in 2018 provides a second location where you can gather with other Jesus followers in a "Living Room" environment - worship is live, the coffee is fresh, and the sermon comes via "live stream" on the screen. At Grace we are intentional to maintain a "family feel" through our growing Life Group Ministry. Our Youth Ministry for Jr. High through High School continues to grow through dynamic Sunday evening meetings. Worship is a highlight of our services and continues to challenge us into a deeper walk with God.
Grace continues to build on the foundation laid when the church began of "worshipping God and loving people." Our mission is to Follow Jesus Together to Transform Cities and Nations, starting right here where we live, work and play. We believe God brings revival to a city one life at a time. Join us as we pursue God and all that he has for us! "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)