A History of Grace
Grace-Monroe came out of the overflow of Grace-Fellowship Church’s vision to make disciples in the neighborhoods, the nations, and the next generation. What started as a few couples with a heart for reaching Walton County and revitalizing Monroe, has grown into a movement, as more and more individuals and families join together with a common vision to bring the Kingdom to our community. Transformed people transform the city, and we’ve seen many from all walks of life become true disciples of Jesus.
Grace Fellowship started in 1983, when a handful of families gathered for the first time in a tiny daycare center in Tucker, GA. That Sunday, they planted Grace. Buddy Hoffman – younger and with slightly more hair – outlined the plan: Teach the Bible. Worship God. Make disciples. Each week they came together to pursue that goal in a worship area decorated with the daycare’s weekly “art” projects and perfumed with the sweet scent of overstuffed diaper pails.
A few months later, the small church was desperate for more space. During the search, Buddy connected with an older pastor who had more building than congregation. After a few minutes of conversation, the two men realized that this pastor had organized the tent revival where Buddy had come to faith as an 11-year old child. This pastor was glad to pass his building on to the young congregation and their commitment to share the Gospel with more 11-year-olds. And so the fledgling church was transplanted – to the lovable and rickety old building on the corner of Lilburn Stone Mountain Road and Old Tucker Road.
There, the church began to sink its roots into the community, developing its children and student programs and vibrant missions focus. When the congregation again outgrew its space, the Lord provided the current Grace Snellville campus in the heart of Gwinnett, within eight miles of eight of the biggest high schools in the county.
In August 2005, with a vision to bring the Kingdom of God to the city, Grace launched a second campus in the heart of Atlanta about two blocks from Georgia Tech. From a fledgling congregation of a couple dozen college students and gray-haired saints, God faithfully grew Grace-Midtown to the point that in September 2010 the church moved their evening gatherings from State Street into the 1100-seat Center Stage concert venue on W. Peachtree. In 2012, Grace-Midtown acquired property that is its current location, 642 Northside Drive and is impacting the city of Atlanta for the Kingdom of God.
In January 2010, a third campus was launched in Monroe in a renovated Mill in the heart of historic downtown, with the hopes of seeing God expand what He had been doing in Gwinnett County and downtown Atlanta into Walton County. Since then, two more campuses have been launched: Grace Athens and Grace New Hope.
Two millennia have passed since Jesus told his small band of followers, “As you are going, make disciples.” Three decades have passed since Grace Fellowship’s first gathering. And while much at Grace has obviously changed, the vision clearly hasn’t: Make disciples in our neighborhoods, in the nations, and in the next generation.