More than 30 years ago, Grace Fellowship Church began with a handful of core commitments: teach the Bible, worship God, and make disciples in a local community. We were delighted when God blessed this simple plan, and we were quite surprised when opportunities arose to start new churches in new communities.
Each new Grace church has been planted with a unique story. Whether it was an already-present community in a neighborhood seeking greater structure, or the restoration of an old cotton mill, or a request to build upon the legacy and resources of older churches hoping to reinvigorate their engagement with the next generation, we have always approached new church plants with great prayer and openness. And while our core commitments to teaching, worship, and discipleship remain the same, each new Grace family has taken on a unique, indigenous character as a local campus pastor preaches and leads a team specifically focused on engaging that neighborhood.
Today, the Grace Family of Churches operates very much as it sounds—as a family. Buddy and Jody Hoffman, the original founders of Grace, have defined the culture developing leaders through long years of investment. The majority of the campus pastors have spent a significant amount of time living in their basement! These leaders creatively carry forward the DNA of the church in new places while remaining connected structurally under the authority of one elder board. A team of central services handles financial and administrative support for each campus, and key staff help coach each new church to be able to reach their neighborhood, the nations, and the next generation in that place. Overall, the entire movement is deeply relational and full of grace toward one another.
On February 12, 2017 Buddy Hoffman died from complications of an aortic dissection he had suffered nearly four years earlier. At the time of his death, he and Jody were several months into planting Grace Marietta, the seventh church in the Family of Churches. In addition, as the founding leader, he continued to contribute apostolic vision and relational connection throughout the movement. Read more about Buddy’s life and legacy.