Who we are, where we come from, and where we're headed as a church family
Grace Community Church cares about one thing more than anything else: Helping People Know and Follow Jesus. Grace Community is a family of individuals that want to be a growing body of believers that adapts to a changing world while steadfastly upholding the inerrant word of God.
1. Biblical truth in preaching and teaching
2. Compassion for one another and the broken world
3. Passion for evangelism and discipleship
4. Grace in our relationships inside and outside of the church
5.Authenticity in worship and ministry
Grace Community Church of Willow Street began as a church planting project of the Evangelical Congregational Church in August 1995, with the purpose of providing a setting of openness and acceptance in which people could develop significant relationships with God, through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. We are a community of believers who are committed to exalting the name of Jesus in worship, growing deeply in our relationship with him, and providing encouragement to others through Christian fellowship. At the present time, we have an average of about 1150 in attendance at three Sunday morning services and one Saturday night service. For a more detailed history, read below.
Grace Community Church is the daughter of Grace Evangelical Congregational Church of Lancaster. As the Lancaster Grace Church sought ways to address the future of the aging population of the congregation, following an extensive evaluation of the congregation’s health and mission by Church Growth Center, one of their many recommendations was to plant a church in one of the surrounding suburbs.
A “Task Force” was appointed in January 1995 to study the feasibility and location of a suburban church planting project. By June of 1995, the town of Willow Street was selected as the “home base” for the new church plant. The first worship service was held at the former Thomas Antique Car Museum (current site of the Willow Valley Medical Center) on Sunday, August 13, 1995 with 51 people in attendance, including several visitors.
By God’s grace, the congregation outgrew the former car museum and, in 2000, moved to the Lancaster Christian School gymnasium on Lampeter Road. In the same year, the property at 212 Peach Bottom Road was purchased with a vision of relocating the congregation back to Willow Street. That vision was realized in February 2006 when the first phase of our current church building was dedicated. The second phase, which included more parking, an education wing, and offices, was dedicated in March of 2019.
But that’s just the “locational” history of our church. The history of Grace Community Church is also a “relational” history – a history of how an ever-growing group of Christians have deepened their relationship with Jesus Christ and their relationships with one another. Our church’s history is a chronicle of God’s faithfulness and His sovereignty and it is a testimony to God’s willingness and desire to bless His church if we are willing to follow His leading and give Him the glory for all things! It is a story of what can happen when grace is practiced, when people are more important than programs and when God’s Word is our guide for living. And by adhering to those principles, this beautiful family of God known as Grace Community has been formed and we celebrate the lives of our people.
Grace Community Church is a member congregation of the Evangelical Congregational Church, a denomination headquartered in Myerstown, PA. Our denomination is comprised of people – people just like you – committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that men, women, and children may experience saving faith in Christ. The people of the E.C. Church seek to help new believers discover their place in a family where they can know support on their faith journey, a journey that leads to personal growth in Christlikeness. Learn more about the Evangelical Congregational Church here.
More than ever, Grace Community Church remains committed to its mission. We want to help people know and follow Jesus. As a church family, we value community as we worship, serve, and do life together in the Body of Christ. We currently envision a third phase of construction which will include a new sanctuary and the renovation of our current sanctuary into a family life center. We also envision the multiplication of church in and around Lancaster County. To learn more about our future ministries, attend an Eat and Meet or Tell Me More class. Information about when these classes will be offered next is available in our discipleship leaflet.
What does this mean for you? It means you are welcome at Grace Community Church. We're saving a seat for you. There is something for you no matter where you are in your faith story. We would love to walk with you on your journey to know and follow Jesus.
Beyond that, if you're ready to plan your first visit, click here. If you want to learn more about our beliefs as a church, click here. Or if you'd simply like to get in touch with a person on our lead team directly, click the button below.