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Life at Grace

  • We Love Mountain View: "Feel the Love - A Lunch Buddy's Experience"

    I don’t know if there is a phrase that is more overused than “feel the love.” Nor is there a phrase that can be considered more corny, given its overuse. But I have a confession: Yesterday I actually said, “I can feel the love.” I did. I said it...

  • We Love Mountain View: "An Eye-Opening Experience"

    One of the great volunteer opportunities that has drawn my wife and me to GFC is the partnership with Mountain View Elementary School in Johnson City. Mountain View is a ‘Title I’ school with many of the students coming from a challenging home environment...

  • We Love Mountain View: "Showing Up"

    My six-year-old son’s class recently had a field trip to Hands on Museum. For weeks leading up to the trip, we counted down the days and talked about what he would be doing when he got there. The week of the trip finally arrived and he looked at me and said, “Mommy, you’re coming, right?” Here is the part where I am honest...

  • Video: Partnering with Mountain View 2018

     We love Mountain View! Mountain View Elementary School serves one of the most economically and educationally challenged areas of our city. Since 2010, we have sought to be an encouragement to the school and community through tangible expressions of God’s love.

  • Habitat for Humanity Home Build 2018

    This April, GFC participated in a Habitat for Humanity house build, in conjunction with 7 other faith communities in Johnson City. Holston Habitat for Humanity partners with volunteers and families to build affordable housing. Each faith community was designated a specific week to support for this build.

  • The Other Side of a Monthly Give

    Agape’s mission is to walk with women through unplanned pregnancies. God has allowed GFC to come along side of us to help us maintain our facility and purchase medical supplies needed to serve our clients. We are able to serve and love women well, only by the grace of God and the help of partners like GFC...

  • The Pulse - April 18

    Lately, God has been teaching me about the importance of rhythms. Some of you may be aware that prior to being in ministry, I was a full-time drummer (Katie refers to this time as my "rockstar days").

  • Re:generation Helping to Launch a New Ministry in Greeneville

    Over the last several months, GFC’s Director of Care and Recovery, Rich Riesz, has been working with pastors Kris Carlson and Scott Wakefield of First Christian Church in Greeneville on the process of launching their own re:generation ministry. This is the story about how they discovered re:gen and the process of launching this ministry in their own words...

  • The Pulse - April 5

    "The most important thing about you is not the things that you achieve; it is the person that you become." - Dallas Willard

    When we throw clothes into a dryer, the heat and friction create static energy that makes...

  • More Than Just Cookies

    Kairos Prison Ministry, a local outreach partner, reaches out to residents at the Northeast Correctional Complex. Twice a year, we hold a Kairos Inside weekend; four days of teaching, encouragement, worship, and more, in which hundreds of residents participate. This is the setting for the distribution of our homemade “Cookies for Kairos”...

  • The Pulse - March 21

    It's only been a month or so, but Leslie and I are feeling your prayers! We have been through several days of counseling and coaching, and we think God will use it greatly as HE continues to transform us in the years to come...

  • The Pulse - March 21 - Update from Tom

    It's only been a month or so, but Leslie and I are feeling your prayers! We have been through several days of counseling and coaching, and we think God will use it greatly as HE continues to transform us in the years to come...

  • Going Public: March 4th Baptism Service

    During Sunday services March 4th we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. 

  • The Pulse - March 8

    In 1964, the distinctive voice of Bob Dylan turned his gift for lyrics into the anthem for a generation with his song, "The times, they are a changin'..." 

  • Once Upon a Time...

    Once upon a time, I lived with the expectation that I would one day be a mother. Growing up in a large family, expectations of motherhood seeped into me, and I wanted a big family of my own someday. When the years went by and I remained single, hopes of a large family were replaced with hopes of a family of any size...

  • The Pulse - February 22

    It's been a heavy week for our country. If you're like me, the news of the tragic events in Parkland, Florida last week felt all too familiar. Like another devastating story in a cascading series of stories that seem to be happening more and more frequently.

  • Event Highlight: 2018 Parenting Conference

    On February 11th, 2018 GFC hosted the "Expectations Vs Reality: Making Sense of Parenting" Conference featuring speakers Sissy Goff and David Thomas. Check out some highlights, testimonies and pictures of the event! 

  • The Pulse - February 7

    The ALL IN initiative... is a journey of transformational generosity.
    The process was conceived more than two years ago to encourage all of us to give God access to our lives like never before so He could make us more like Him.

  • The Most Challenging Thing I Have Ever Done

    Parenting is definitely the most challenging thing I have ever done.  I feel like I have failed in it more than I have succeeded.  And now that our son is 14, these feelings are only exacerbated!

  • I Found A Place Where I Belong

    “Are you ok?” the text message read. I was running late to a Community Group event. At first, I felt embarrassed that I was running late, but then I recognized the depth in that simple text...

  • Meet Our New GFC Team Member, Eddie Johnson

    GFC has recently hired Eddie Johnson as the Groups & Equipping Pastor. We've asked him to introduce himself so that we can get to know him a little better!

  • My Grace Groups Experience

    If you're looking for connection or a way to deepen your sense of connection and relationship with your church, Grace Groups has a place for you! To give a little sneak peek into what a Connecting Group looks like, Thomas Bier has written this blog inviting us into his group experience.

  • The Pulse - January 4


    It is what we want AND need! Hard to admit how great is our longing for intimacy. And to what lengths we will go to find anything that approximates it?

  • Grace Student Retreats = Countless Memories

    This January Grace Students is hosting the Imago Dei Student Retreat. To give GFC some insight into what a retreat experience is like we asked a few students to submit their thoughts for our blog. Enjoy this post from Grace Student, Sarah Taylor.

    "Without that particular retreat experience, I would without a doubt not be where I am spiritually today. Overall, Grace Student trips have helped me bond to my fellow students, make quality friendships, and grow deeply in my faith."

  • The Pulse - December 27

    It has been one of the most memorable and meaningful seasons in the life of GFC. This past weekend, 2,720 people were present for one of four Christmas Eve services! How wonderful to know that if we invite others to our church, they will have the opportunity to be touched by God through inviting music and worship, and clear and practical exposure to God's Word!

  • There's Nothing Like a Grace Students Retreat!

    This January Grace Students is hosting the Imago Dei Student Retreat at Doe River Gorge. To give GFC some insight into what a retreat experience is like we asked a few students to submit their thoughts for our blog. Enjoy this post from Grace Student, Drew Keith

  • Celebrating The Giving Depot!

    One thing the Giving Depot has shown, is that our church body has grown in generosity over the years. Offering a hand-up at Christmas to the kids at Rise Up! has grown us in our readiness to give generously. And because of this, we are able to expand on the Giving Depot this year.

  • The Giving Depot is Here!

    Giving Depot is This Saturday December 9th! Please join us in prayer over the sweet children and families that will be taking part in this event!

  • What the Giving Depot Means to Rise Up For Kids!

    Rise Up For Kids is a special place, and you can feel it as soon as you walk through the doors. It is a place of love, growth, and learning. It is a home away from home for many of our children that we work with...

  • Generosity - A Story From Grace Kids

    This week I was reading the introduction to a book and the following quote jumped off the page at me... "What captures the wonder of our hearts will control the way we live." 

  • Get to Know Grant Taylor

    Last Sunday Grant Taylor was confirmed as GFC's newest elder. Today on the blog, we've asked Grant to tell us a little bit about himself, so we can get to know him better!

  • Fall Festival Celebration!

    On Friday October 20th we held our 5th annual Fall Festival at Mountain View Elementary! This event has become a highlight of the school year filled with fun for the teachers, students and families. 

  • The Rich Family in Our Church by Eddie Ogan

    I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12 and my older sister Darlene, 16. We lived at home with our mother and the four of use knew what it was to do without many things...

  • Going Public: October 15th, 2017 Baptisms

    During Sunday services October 15th we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch the testimonies from each of the services and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!  

  • Celebrating Joy Prom!

     Check out the celebration video from Joy Prom 2017! This Year's Joy Prom was one for the books! Over 1,000 guests and over 500 volunteers truly made this a night to remember! Thank you to all of our GFC Staff and volunteers who made this event possible.

  • The JOY of Joy Prom

    Joy Prom and my friendship with Savannah have taught me that I should have a Joy Prom mindset each day of my life. I need to seek joy in all the little things, encourage others in the highs and lows of life, and always—always—look beyond perceived “disabilities” and see others as God sees them.

  • Shepherd's Lunch: A Heart for the Hungry

    "I’ve always had a heart for the underdog, the underprivileged and the outcasts of society. Our family has enjoyed serving the poor and homeless through the ministry of Shepherd’s Lunch"...

  • Meet New GFC Staff Member, Thomas Cook

    GFC has recently hired Thomas Cook as the part time College and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator. We've asked him to introduce himself so that we can get to know him a little better!

  • Holding the Mirror

    Oftentimes when I spend time in God’s Word on my own I am only able to see the angle that is in front of me, the one most obvious to me. I need someone to hold the mirror up for me so I can see some of the less obvious angles, ones I tend to avoid.

  • M2O: Refreshing Encouragement for Moms

    Laura Allman shares her experience with M2O and what to expect this year! "We started attending GFC and I joined Mom to Mom Outreach in October 2015. As a stay-at-home mom who had recently moved, I really wanted to meet and connect with other moms in a similar stage of life..."

  • Finding Community: Our Grace Groups Experience

    Today on the blog Annie Howard is sharing what she and her husband Blake have experienced through Grace Groups! 

    "This community has been such a vital part of our GFC story and our Ultimate Journey with Christ. Whether it’s joining, leading, facilitating, or even just faithfully contributing and attending, give yourself the opportunity..."

  • The Pulse - August 2

    ECHO members who worked South Side:

    Oh my goodness! You guys are the most generous and energetic servant leaders I've ever met! Not only did you do exactly what was asked of you with perfection, but you did it with a smile that was genuine!

  • Meet New GFC Staff Member, Blake Tyree

    GFC has recently hired Blake Tyree as the Children’s Ministry Associate Director – Early Childhood and Childcare. We've asked him to introduce himself so that we can get to know him a little better!

  • Your Coffee is Making a Difference!

    Your Coffee is Making a Difference! Beginning this summer, any above and beyond donations for the cafe will be given to outreach partners, in excess of their regular financial support from us.

  • Going Public: June 25, 2017 Baptisms

    During Sunday services June 25th we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways.

  • The Pulse - July 12

    Are you honest enough with yourself... really?                                       Are you humble enough to listen to others... really? 

    These are the two probing questions we faced at the end of the message last week.

  • Celebrating Operation Cooperation!

    As we wrap up Operation Cooperation, it feels like the perfect time to celebrate how God has worked in our ministry at Mountain View over the past year...

  • The Pulse - June 29

    My youngest daughter loves all things furry. Last week I watched her longingly call after a neighborhood cat before dissolving into tears when the cat skittered away.

  • God's Presence in Peru

    People often speak of hearing God or seeing Him, and I never understood what that meant. I always thought it was just an analogy, just another perspective on connecting with Him, but then I went to Peru. I saw God in all of the children and people there...

  • The Peru Ultimate Journey Trip

    On June 10th the Peru Ultimate Journey Team set out on their trip to our sister church in Lima, Peru. We have compiled all their updates and pictures to give you a snapshot of what their trip was like! 

  • The Pulse - June 21

    We exaggerate yesterday. We overestimate tomorrow. We underestimate today.

  • The Pulse - June 15

    This is the summer of FAKE NEWS at GFC. It is worse than we think.Truth matters to be sure. The problem is that we are easily deceived and we are prone to see ourselves as victims, not truth-tellers. Hopefully you will soon...

  • Meet New GFC Staff Member, Amy Fulkerson

    GFC has recently hired Amy Fulkerson as the new part-time Outreach Events Coordinator. We've asked her to introduce herself here so we can get to know her better!

  • The Pulse - June 7

    These words are haunting me. Let's again recall to mind the words of Jesus to one of His churches in Asia Minor found in Revelation 3.

  • A Place of Healing

    GFC has been my church family for over a dozen years now. I have attended many Women’s Ministry events through the years but I did not realize the full beauty of being involved in Women’s Ministry until a few months ago. You see, I have no biological sisters but the Lord has abundantly given me sisters within my church family.In the past six months I have walked a valley like none I had before as my marriage of thirty three years ended.

  • A Place of Healing

    GFC has been my church family for over a dozen years now. I have attended many Women’s Ministry events through the years but I did not realize the full beauty of being involved in Women’s Ministry until a few months ago.

    You see, in the past six months I have walked a valley like none I had before as my marriage of thirty three years ended...

  • Just Like Any Other Day… Until It Wasn’t

    Ashlee White, GFC Staff and church member, shares a personal story of why Memorial Day has such special meaning for herself and her family.

    The morning of June 9, 2010 was completely normal. It was a Wednesday, my husband Mark’s normal day off at that time. I was supposed to work an 11am to 8pm shift at my restaurant management job.

  • The Pulse - May 25

    A holiday weekend like the one before us is often "pushed" as a great time to cook out and have a meal with friends and perhaps family. Eating with someone "says something." To be invited is an honor, and to go is to affirm the value of the relationship.

  • Thank You, Student Small Group Leaders!

    If you are interested in joining our amazing team of SGL’s, we would love to chat! You can contact our Student Ministry Coordinator, Carolee Morrison, at for more details and information about who we are and what we’re about.

  • The Pulse - May 17


    Hard to believe that it is almost June! The summer is just around the corner. Could I suggest a good summer project that will go a long way to making this a summer to remember?

  • Operation Cooperation Stories: "Feel The Love"

    I don’t know if there is a phrase that is more overused than “feel the love.” Nor is there a phrase that can be considered more corny, given its overuse. But I have a confession: Yesterday I actually said, “I can feel the love.” I did. I said it.

  • Operation Cooperation Stories: "More Than Filling Tummies"

    The tummies are full, and the dishes are cleared away from the table. The last staff encouragement luncheon at Mountain View has come to an end. Throughout this year, a group of GFC volunteers have lovingly prepared monthly lunches for the entire school faculty.

  • Meet New Staff: Cheryl Bowers

    GFC has recently hired Cheryl Bowers as the new Women's Ministry Coordinator. We've asked her to introduce herself so we can get to know her a little better!

  • Easter 2017: The One Who Raises The Dead

    This Easter, we celebrated the resurrection of our Savior at four services. Each service ended with some powerful stories and a celebration of God's grace! The video feature highlighted four compelling stories of GFC members whose lives have been transformed by our loving God. Watch the video again to re-live this powerful moment!

  • The Pulse - April 11 that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. -2 Corinthians 1:9
       How is that for focus? Read it again. What a difference does the God who raises the dead have in your life?

  • Our Parent/Child Dedication Experience: Growing Together

    Finding out that we were pregnant with number 3 was a complete shock. We had two kids, Emma (8) and Eli (7), and we had settled into a comfortable way of life being a family of four, in fact, we thought we couldn’t have anymore kids. Baby number 3 wasn't even on the radar.

  • Walk with Jesus During His Last Week

    When my wife Robin and I heard the Grace Kids team was looking for folks to help with the Walk with Jesus family experience, it wasn’t too difficult for us to say we wanted to help. Both Robin and I are involved in a few different ways of serving at GFC...

  • The Pulse - March 29

    LET'S PLAY BALL! It is that time of year and last night was kick-off for KICKBALL at Mountain! Kickball is sponsored at MV in the fall and spring as an opportunity to connect MV families with each other and to GFCers.

  • Pebbles and Stones: Penny's Encouragement Café Experience

    A 78-year-old widow. A homeschooling mom of three. A woman struggling with her mother's failing health in the nursing home. A teenage girl. We were a group that needed encouragement! When GFC offered the Encouragement Cafe event, I immediately made plans to attend, and I asked my in-laws to come with me.

  • Newfound Freedom, Joy, Peace, and Life

    For over 30 years, I struggled poorly with my identity as a man as it pertains to sexuality, and I lived life trapped in the sin of homosexuality. I fought to “fix” myself and gain enough knowledge to do the right things to find the freedom I eagerly desired and knew God wanted for me. 

  • Something Was Missing

    Jesus said, “…as you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40). “When you serve others, you serve Me…” Those were the words that went through my mind one Sunday morning after hearing Tim Bowers talk about the need for volunteers in the children’s ministry. 

  • The Approach of Adolescence and Adulthood

    In an effort to partner with parents, GFC’s Family Life Ministry is dedicated to providing informative and encouraging workshops and seminars called Parent Equip Events. These events are held throughout the year and are based on age and the student’s stage of life.

  • The Pulse - February 14

    It happens to be Valentine's Day. What follows is not related.

    The subject of relationships, gender identity, same sex attraction, as well as marital love, has become front and center in our culture. It is "before" us almost daily.

  • Going Small

    “But Grace Fellowship is such a big church!” I’ve heard that phrase many times. Yes, it is big – and small. As you see people filing in and out of church on Sunday mornings, you may not realize that many of these people belong to a small community group that meets together regularly. 

  • The Pulse - January 20

    "The peaceful transition of power." The United States of America is exceptional in so many ways! Lots of problems, so much potential, needs our prayers! Yet as believers, we have a higher allegiance and authority. We are citizens of heaven and members of the body of Christ on earth!

  • Not the Same-Old Group... or Marriage

    This coming April, we will have been married 12 years. For a number of years, we held onto our friendship to get us through, that part of “us” that made us an “us” without special effort. In the last couple of years in particular, our relationship was barely surviving.

  • The Pulse - January 11

    Sounds like a scandal to me! False teaching? Just thought you would be edified by the consideration from a book I am reading that amazes me on almost every page.

  • The Pulse - December 28

    GFC gets a "D" grade!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Merry Christmas!

    It's Christmas morning! We have a special message for you to watch from Tom below. We hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas:  

  • My Fleeting Life

    This short reflection is about my fleeting life as I conclude 14 years of ministry on staff at Grace Fellowship Church. It also marks the completion of 40 years of pastoral ministry. Not a bad stretch for a former engineer!  

  • The Pulse - November 30

    What if Jesus... HAD NEVER BEEN BORN?!!!!!!!!!
    It is a really good question! It's one you might wonder about, and one I am sure some friends, family, and co-workers would as well.

  • The Pulse - November 22

    Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789.
    By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

  • The Pulse - November 18

    In his book Traveling Light, Eugene Peterson describes Christians as a "people that has at the very heart of its common experience release from sin's guilt into the Spirit's freedom, a people who no longer lives under...

  • The Pulse - November 9

    Facebook postings this morning after the election include these:

    No matter who is president, Jesus is King.
    Rest tonight and go to sleep, I have everything under control tomorrow. - God
    Earle is still awake and its 11:45. Even more proof that the end is near.

  • The Pulse - November 2

    This time next week, the election will be over. Maybe. I am sure we all have a variety of thoughts and feelings about the election.

  • Going Public: October 30, 2016 Baptisms

    During Sunday's services this week, we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch the testimonies from each of the services and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • The Pulse - October 20

    This last weekend, I spent Friday evening and a good part of Saturday with about 55 people who were investigating GRACE MEMBERSHIP. What a time this was! One person trusted in Christ alone for eternal life for the first time.

  • A Glimpse Into Vertical

    Imagine a large room full of 10- and 11-year-old boys playing dodgeball, complete with an emcee (thanks, Dan Pigeon!), referees, upbeat music blaring, laser blaster sound effects, and lights changing. Sounds like the next great kids' indoor activity center in town, right? No, this was the Vertical lock-in that took place at GFC last month.

  • The Pulse - October 12

    Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.                                                                                           - Nehemiah 8:10

    There are lots of reasons to grieve. Many of them legitimate.

  • The Home She Dreamed Of

    Amy Greene and her twin sister grew up the only children in a quiet Michigan household. In spite of being super shy as a child, Amy wished for more buzz and excitement in her house. She envisioned a home with lots of kids coming and going and told herself, "When I grow up, I want it to be crazy!"

  • The Pulse - September 28

    AMEN!!!   AMAZED!!!   ANATHEMA!!!

    Our investigation of the SCANDAL in the life of the early church has begun! Galatians is a letter that is sharp, bold, and magnificent. It had to be. Grace was under attack.

  • Lessons Along the Road

    Over twenty years ago we started this mission journey, packed our trunks, and boarded a plane. Our heads were full of strategy, training and information, and our hearts full of expectation of all we hoped to see God do... through us, for His Kingdom.

  • Worth the Effort

    Kim and I understand it can be hard to make that initial step to join a small group: family conflicts, work priorities, you’re tired after a full day... the excuses go on and on. We joined the group we are currently in about 8 years ago.

  • Dependence Day

    July 4th is a noisy annual extravaganza of fireworks in America. It’s embedded in our national psyche as our birth day – our Independence Day. By contrast September 14th this year came and went quietly, even though it marked an event of equal if not greater import.

  • The Pulse - September 16

    Love, I believe, descends.

    Parents love their children more than children love their parents, so that children can only enter into the fullness of the parent's love by becoming parents themselves.

  • Grace Groups: A Family Tradition

    When Tom recently talked about the need for authenticity with one another, I was reminded of the importance of groups at Grace. Community groups enable us to gather together on a regular basis for prayer, discussion, and fellowship in a small, intimate setting.

  • For Moms Struggling, Lonely, in Need of Support & Growth - Try M2O

    In the spring of 2014, I was still acclimating to my new role as a stay at home mom. I was enrolled in a music class with my oldest son, where I was searching for not only friends for my little one, but for myself, too. In that class, I met two women who invited me to M2O.

  • Begin with the End in Mind

    Right out of college, I became a Student Pastor. Well, first an intern, but that was just a formality. Being a young, single guy with bleach-blond frosted tips in my hair (the envy of boy bands around the world), I was ready to impact the teens of Sarasota, FL for Jesus.

  • A Foundation to Weather the Storms: Steve & Wendy's Story

    On a muggy Alabama night in June of 1982, Steve McAuley walked outside to clear his head. A guest speaker at a men’s retreat had just spoken about the importance of praying for their future wives. He wasn’t quite sure how to do it, though. Slightly hesitant, he looked up at the stars thoughtfully and began.

  • Happy vs. Holy: The Champlin's Re|engage Story

    “How would you rate your marriage?” Sounds so simple, right? As we would soon discover, that question would mark the beginning of one of the most intentional, godly, Christ-centered decisions our family would ever make. That was the first question of re|engage.

  • The Pulse - August 19

    An accusation or accusations that receive wide exposure. A situation that shocks you and makes you angry. Loss or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of propriety - disgrace. We are talking SCANDAL!

  • Feeling the Burn (Out)

    Transitioning from an aerobics instructor to a yoga instructor was enlightening for me. And by enlightening, I don’t mean that sitting on the floor sipping a chai latte with incense burning listening to soft music while contemplating the meaning of life type of enlightenment.

  • Meet Annie: The Impact of Grace Kids

    Meet Annie. Annie and her family began attending GFC when Annie was 2 years old. As Annie grew, she moved through Grace Kids along with those in her age group... In 3rd grade, Annie began to ask more questions after going to summer camp.

  • Hope Heals: Introducing a New Women's Study This Fall

    In the spring of 2008, everything in my life was running smoothly as a busy new mom and nonprofit development manager in a large metro market. My husband Jamie was working in ministry. My little family was happy and healthy.

  • Meet New Staff Amanda Brown and Kim Allison

    GFC has recently hired two new staff members. Amanda Brown is our new Mountain View Coordinator and Kim Allison is our new Access Coordinator. We've asked them both to introduce themselves so that we can get to know them a little better!

  • We Are Home [plus echo pictures]

    God’s timing continues to amaze and humble me. A little more than two years ago, when He told us to put our Georgia house up for sale, it was a challenge to remain obedient. Stepping out in faith, we sold the house, resigned from our jobs, and moved to Johnson City.

  • The Pulse - August 4

    Keeping the ECHO going. Over 600 out sharing with and serving others during the day. An estimated 900 gathering at Founders Park to celebrate our community with great music, food, and fun...

  • Pastor Tom Oyler's ECHO Community Blessing

    This past weekend during our ECHO Celebration, Lead Pastor Tom Oyler lead us in a blessing over our community. His words rang out with power and insight over Founders Park and the hundreds of people gathered beneath the beautiful blue sky. We'd like to share his prayer with you here...

  • The Pulse - July 28

    How do we miss it? This thing called "godliness?" When it does cross our minds, it is usually ignored as silly, stupid, or strange. Given the words above, I wonder who the stupid ones really are? Godliness is profitable for all things...

  • A Sweet Summertime in Grace Kids

    I am the father to four amazing kids and am married to Rachel, an exceptional wife (please ignore the bias, just know that it's true). I work 60 hours per week and have two separate jobs. Those two sentences typically receive the same reaction from multiple colleagues and friends.

  • A Conversation with ECHO Partner, Habitat for Humanity

    ECHO is ten days away, and the excitement is mounting! Hundreds of GFCers have signed up to serve at sites across the Tri Cities region - and we expect to see them along with many community members, friends, family, and first responders at our ECHO Celebration at Founders Park on the evening of July 30.

  • The Pulse - July 14

    Thus says the Lord...They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, 'Peace, peace,' but there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush.

  • Meet New Staff Jordy Whetsell

    GFC has recently hired a new staff member named Jordy Whetsell. Jordy is a Johnson City native and will be serving as our Worship Arts Associate. We've asked him to introduce himself and his family so we can get to know them a little better!

  • The Pulse - July 6

    It sure seemed short to me, but I am grateful that the elders insisted I take some time to refresh, rest, and regroup for the upcoming ministry season. I did my best, but it is hard for me to disconnect and really rest. I read a lot, took naps, meditated on God and His Word.

  • The Pulse - June 30

    "The road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."

    Dag Hammarskjold recorded those words in his personal journal as he invested his life in serving others. Dag's vibrant spiritual life fueled his passion for public service, resulting in his becoming the youngest...

  • Humble Acceptance

    “Hi Joseph, we’ve come to tell you about Jesus, who loves you very much.” Our GFC team introduces ourselves in a home in Hammanskraal, South Africa. Joseph responds, “Mhmm,” with a little smile and curt nod, and resumes fixing the iron perched across his legs.

  • The Pulse - June 22

    Should we stay or should we grow?

    It's a question that haunted me for almost two years. For a season I did my best to ignore it. I buried myself in the labor and joy of ministry.

  • Meet New Staff Katelyn Jorjorian and Jacob Bouvier

    GFC has recently hired two new staff members, Katelyn Jorjorian and Jacob Bouvier. Katelyn is serving as our Adult Ministry Assistant, and Jacob is serving as our new Middle School Director. We've asked them both to introduce themselves so we can get to know them a little better!

  • The Pulse - June 15

    "Don't try to figure out God's will for your life, just concern yourself with God's will for your life."

  • The Pulse - June 9

    We have all-staff meetings twice a month at GFC. We brown bag it, have fun, talk, get up to speed, share important information and get inspired! Lately, we are going through our church values which are modeling grace, living truth, demonstrating love, engaging service, struggling well, and reproducing faith.

  • A Look Back at Grace Students

    Wow. What a year it’s been!It seems as though it was just yesterday we were cooking one hundred pounds of bacon for our Pancake Preview and kicking off such a memorable year.

  • The Pulse - June 1

    From where I sit, IT IS LOUD! That is because CAMP IN THE CITY is here all week with 200 campers from GFC and Mountain View! It may be hard for you to know the significance of these days in the lives of these campers, but it is huge.

  • The Pulse - May 25

    Do you ever struggle with patience? I know I do... I've read two things about my personality type in the last month (based on different assessments I've taken) that say I'm impatient.

  • Going Public: May 15, 2016 Baptisms

    During Sunday's services this week, we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch the testimonies from each of the services and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • The Pulse - May 18

    I have been thinking about the rhythms of life lately. Stages and seasons. Life is not static, linear, or uniform. It moves, oscillates, vibrates, and pulsates. We develop through stages, experience seasons, and live in cycles...

  • When You Want to Serve but You’re Short on Time

    “I heard somewhere that most men if they’re lucky have one person in their life that they can call a true friend - the person that they can talk to about absolutely anything,” Kevin says seriously, and his train of thought is obvious.

  • The Pulse - May 12

    "My name is now Christian, but my name at the first was Graceless." That line is from Bunyan's classic story about a fictional pilgrim on his journey in The Pilgrim's Progress, but it's our story, too.

  • Praying for GFC Parents

    As a small acorn eventually grows into a mighty oak tree, a child can grow into a godly man or woman through biblical teaching and parenting. This task of training and encouraging a child in the way they should go is a privilege in which we can all participate as we support our GFC families.

  • Meet Mary Duke: A Dietitian on Mission

    Mary Duke McCartt is a long-time GFCer - and she also happens to be one of the founders of our Mountain View Backpack Food Program. For years she has headed up this ministry with enthusiasm, diligence, and a bit of classic Southern charm.

  • The Pulse - May 4

    Join the club? Let's not. It is one of easiest and natural things to happen to us... for a variety of reasons. The invitation is always being offered... when a family fractures, a bad habit persists, physical pain pays a long visit...


  • 8 Years of Access: Becca's Story

    Over eight years ago when Becca started college, she was looking for a church to call home like many of her peers. On the very first Sunday she visited, GFC highlighted the volunteer opportunities available in the Access ministry for individuals with special needs.

  • Brush Strokes and Pen Marks

    “It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau // Thoreau's words describe our recent time together in the extraordinarily ordinary experience of the Living the Reflective Life art-based women's group. It's clear God has used this study to confirm and enlighten His presence in each of our daily lives.

  • It's All God's to Begin With

    We can all agree that money can be one of the leading causes of division around the world. Money itself cannot choose whether to bless or curse those who manage it – it is our human responsibility to choose to bless others financially. Created in the image of God, like Christ, we are called to give because God Himself was a giver. He gave His only Son...

  • The Pulse - April 13

    What we live we learn. What we learn we practice. What we practice we become. What we become has consequences.

  • Taking the First Step in Faith

    Clint and I began discussing Parent/Child Dedication after the birth of our third child, Ruby. We had previously participated in dedication services elsewhere for our two older children, Jake and Adelyn, but sensed the importance of making this commitment publicly at GFC.

  • The Pulse - April 6

    Taking the Journey together! One of my favorite activities is leading our Grace Membership Experience three to four times per year. There is one coming up at the end of this month. Yes, we do have membership at GFC!

  • The Contagious Joy of Joy Prom

    The first time I heard about Joy Prom, I instantly felt drawn to be a part of it. I had previously worked at a summer camp for several years that hosted a camp for adults with special needs, and it was always my favorite week of the summer. I learned during those weeks that friends with special needs have much to teach us about life, especially regarding joy and loving others unconditionally.

  • The Pulse - March 30

    Easter is the New Year's Day of the soul! I hope you are becoming more aware of why the reality of the resurrection of Jesus is as relevant on a Wednesday afternoon or a Friday night as it is on a Sunday morning. While the celebration of Easter is "over," our need for the dailiness of His presence never ends.

  • Created for Care

    Over the first weekend of March, I had the blessing of gathering with about 30 other women for the Created for Care Mini Retreat, an event sponsored by GFC's Adoption & Foster Care ministry. We gathered around tables, each of us with unique stories of our families pursuing growth through welcoming a child or children...

  • The Hero Series: A Graduate Student Turned GFCer

    Michelle Bradburn is a 25-year-old graduate student at ETSU. In addition to balancing her studies and her graduate assistantship, she has also served in Grace Kids for nearly 6 years. We consider leaders like Michelle the heroes of our Family Life ministry and want to take a few weeks on the Life at Grace blog to celebrate their service.

  • The Pulse - March 9

    Growing up is hard to do! I think there was a song with that line in it some time ago. It is true.

  • The Hero Series: From Greeter to Group Leader

    Karen McMackin is a Group Fitness Instructor at Tri-Cities Lifestyle Center and the wife of GFC elder, Jim McMackin. Karen serves as a Middle School Girl's Small Group Leader and has been serving in Grace Students for around 2 years.

  • Going Public: February 28, 2016 Baptisms

    During Sunday's services this week, we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch the testimonies from each of the services and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • The Hero Series: From Surviving to Thriving

    Eliza Foxx is an Orthopedic Technician at Watauga Orthopaedics. She's also been a small group leader with Kindergartners in Grace Kids for 8 years. We consider leaders like Eliza the heroes of our Family Life ministry and want to take a few weeks on the Life at Grace blog to celebrate their service.

  • We are Not the Rescuers

    I am often asked, “Why did you choose to adopt?” or “Why did you choose to adopt from China?” The answer is always simple, though not always simple to understand - that God had our daughter in China. God has a heart for adoption. This is our story…

  • The Hero Series: 15 Years of Student Ministry

    Taft Simmons is the Director of Retirement Planning at Mountain States and a huge North Carolina basketball fan. He’s also been a small group leader in Grace Students for 15 years. We consider leaders like Taft the heroes of our Family Life ministry and want to take a few weeks on the Life at Grace blog to celebrate their service.

  • The Pulse - February 18

    For the first time, an 8 year old and a 6 year old gave to GFC this past weekend. The amount doesn't matter, but the heart and the experience does. If you missed last weekend's services, the video below is a good summary.

  • Just Women Night 2016 [pictures]

    No matter where you are in life or what you may be going through, choosing to abide in Christ and live out the Gospel in your home, relationships, and community will give you a hope and purpose here and now. That was speaker and GFCer Ashlee White's message at the 2016 Just Women Night held this year on Friday, February 5.

  • The Pulse - February 11

    I have just returned from a five-day trip to Lima, Peru in order to meet with the leaders of the God is Love Church. This church hosts nearly 300 Compassion children in their facility; the majority of them are sponsored by GFCers! What a good work is going on there!

  • Sharing Our Lives at CIY's Believe Conference

    On January 29th and 30th, I had the privilege of attending Christ In Youth’s Believe Conference in Louisville, KY, with 25 (yes, 25!) 6th-8th grade students and 8 brave leaders. Once we arrived, we had a blast hanging out together, jumping up and down with the worship band, and playing games around the convention center.

  • When It Comes to Raising Kids... What Matters Most?

    Providing for them financially, keeping them safe, choosing the right school, helping them make friends and more come to mind, but the Biblical emphasis to parents is none of these things. That doesn’t mean they’re bad or unworthy pursuits, but the primary Biblical teaching about parenting has to do with leaving a spiritual legacy.

  • Meet New Teaching Pastor Titus O'Bryant

    GFC has recently hired Titus O'Bryant as our newest Teaching Pastor. We've asked him to introduce himself and his family so we can get to know them a little better!

  • Q&A with Matthew & Abby: Connecting Groups

    Matthew and Abby tried a Connecting Group last fall, and the group loved the experience so much that they've decided to stay together as a Community Group. What did they like so much about it? Why did it work when some small groups don't? Check out our Q&A with them here.

  • The Pulse - January 27

    I once heard it said that marriage is like two porcupines in a small box. That line has stuck with me because... it's true!

  • A Starting Point in My Faith

    Have you ever wondered who God was or why bad things happen? If we are honest, at some point in our life, we all have questions just like those. When I came to GFC, I was in the midst of working through what I truly believed.

  • The Pulse - January 21

    I heard the words a lot growing up in Indiana! In most cases it was a welcomed announcement... Noblesville City Schools are closed.

  • In This World You Will Have Trouble

    “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus’ words are recorded in the sixteenth chapter of the book of John. He says that we will have trouble in this fallen world. No kidding.

  • Extending Grace to African Immigrants in Our Neighborhood

    When I landed in Johnson City in May 2009, fleeing different threats in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, I knew that God had opened the door so that I could be safe away for some time. Little did I know that He had a bigger plan beyond what I had thought! After a few months in Johnson City, I learned that over fifteen hundred immigrants...

  • The Pulse - January 6

    Here we are... 2016! The Ultimate Journey continues. It always does. Being changed by Christ and used by Christ. I have felt it last year, and this year. It is the ultimate journey, though not always easy. I know for many of you...

  • Discovering Dynamic Faith in the Book of Acts

    In just one week, a new study will launch that explores the volatile, spiritually invigorated world of the early church as it exploded on the scene in its infancy after the death and resurrection of Christ. This semester-long Grace Equip study is called Dynamic Faith: Exploring the Book of Acts.

  • The Pulse - December 30

    Remember this story from last week? A family celebrated Christmas each year with a birthday party for Jesus. An extra chair at the end of the table represented His presence. There was the cake with candles, and then the song...

  • Candlelight Christmas Eve Service [pictures]

    Check out a few shots from our candlelight Christmas Eve services last week! We hope you had a very blessed Christmas and anticipate the New Year with great joy!

  • The Pulse - December 23

    A family celebrated Christmas each year with a birthday party for Jesus, as we used to do. An extra chair at the end of the table represented His presence. There was the cake with candles, and then the song, "Happy birthday to You...

  • The Pulse - December 16

    Christmas Eve is one week from tomorrow! It's the most ?!!**&^!!#@! time of the year. We hear it sung, but sometimes we cringe a bit! There are some aspects of Christmas the way we do it that are not so wonderful.


  • Giving Depot 2015 [pictures]

    Decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving, opening one present on Christmas Eve, counting down the days until Christmas with a family advent calendar - there are some Christmas traditions that are simply timeless.

  • The Pulse - December 2

    I know I am biased, but one of the best writers I know is one who works at GFC and is my cousin. His name is Larry Nees, and fifteen years ago he wrote the following in a church newsletter. I have kept it in my file, and I share it with you today.

  • Dedicate: To Devote to a Purpose

    When we learned there would be a Parent Child Dedication coming up, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We were excited to take this action step of love for our daughter. The First Steps class, which is specifically for those participating in Parent Child Dedication, was full of resources for parenting...

  • The Pulse - November 25

    When the heart is right, the feet are swift. - Thomas Jefferson

    That is bottom line wisdom from our third President. It applies to most everything, including thanksgiving.

  • Serve and Be Blessed

    It’s Giving Depot time of the year. The Giving Depot means different things to different people. For me it always means an opportunity to serve and share Christ’s love to our Rise Up! students, watching their faces light up with joy as they shop for family members...

  • Monday Memo - November 11

    I know, it's Wednesday, not Monday. In fact, just so you know, we will be changing the name of the Monday Memo to The Pulse - The Heartbeat of GFC. And it will be coming out on Wednesdays rather than Mondays!

  • Students Take in Fall Retreat in Asheville, NC

    October in Asheville is well known for its beautiful landscape and crisp, cool weather. On October 23-25, Grace Students had the opportunity to take in this gorgeous combination at Camp Cedar Cliff for a long-awaited Fall Retreat.

  • Monday Memo - November 3

    Workplace violence is real. Last night I had a nurse who told me that they are constantly dealing with "lateral violence." That is the technical term that is used to describe emotional violence that goes on with co-workers.Then I received the email below, used by permission.

  • International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

    Killing Christians is in the news. No longer just “over there,” students in the USA classroom are confronted by a crazed gunman who calls them out and then ends their life. Praying for the persecuted church is getting pretty close to home now.

  • Going Public: October 25-26, 2015 Baptisms

    During last weekend's services (October 25 & 26), we celebrated several baptisms! It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch the testimonies from each of the services and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - October 26

    So grateful for the gospel this morning. So simple, Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead. It is not only what He did, but why.

  • Compassion Experience Draws Over 2,500 Guests [pictures]

    Last weekend, 2,534 people from all over the Tri-Cities streamed through GFC for a very unique attraction we have been looking forward to for over a year. Compassion International, a child sponsorship organization with whom we partner, brought their Change the Story Compassion Experience to our church over our Compassion Sunday weekend.

  • Monday Memo - October 19

    I have had some concerns as of late. Concerns for others... indeed for myself. We are far more vulnerable to spiritual "failure" than we think.

  • Monday Memo - October 13

    None of us have ever lived in "extreme poverty." Perhaps there is an exception or two. Most of us cannot even imagine what it must be like. The Compassion Experience is coming to GFC this weekend - Friday through Monday.

  • Monday Memo - October 6

    Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be. Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

  • Monday Memo - September 28

    TGIF. Hump Day. I'm livin' for the weekend!

  • Upside-Down & Unexpected

    With her sparkling blue eyes, bubbly, Southern charm, and golden hair, self-described “golf mom” Cathy Botts is the last person you’d think to hear talking about gang life. But after cultivating an abiding passion for GFC’s global emphasis in El Salvador, that’s exactly what she wants to talk about.

  • Tim Hawkins Concert Photos

    Last week, nearly 1,300 people packed into GFC for a sold-out concert with Christian comedian, songwriter, and singer Tim Hawkins. It was a blast! Check out of a few shots of his show below.  

  • Monday Memo - September 14

    Did you know? One-third of the American workforce works on the weekend.

  • Merge: So Much More Than a Pre-Marital Class

    Before we began attending Merge, we had few expectations. We were excited that it was going to be grounded in Biblical teaching but didn’t know much more about what to expect from a pre-marital class. It didn’t take long before we realized God had much more in store for us.

  • God is Pursuing Us All

    As I look back over my life, it’s very clear God has been in pursuit of me. In spite of me! He has used specific people even as early as childhood to draw me to Himself and to serving Him. And now in my role as GFC’s Recovery & Care Director, I see clearly how God has used my journey...

  • Monday Memo - August 24

    Four weeks ago, my friend was playing golf with his wife and very much enjoying himself. In fact, they both played well! Last night I sat with them on their porch talking about his stage four cancer and the hard "realities" they face.

  • The Ultimate Journey in Real Life

    My wife Jeannie and I have moved 40 times. Most of them were across the U.S., but several were overseas. One of the adventures in moving is settling into a new church community - my least favorite thing to do.

  • Monday Memo - August 11

    It was great to have Melissa Stukes, principal of Mountain View School, with us yesterday. Above are emails we exchanged on Monday. Also, early last week, GFC hosted an in-service day for Johnson City Schools.

  • Thank You for Serving!

    Every summer, hundreds of GFCers go out from Grace and echo God's love into our community during our summer serving event, ECHO. Our Local Outreach team may line up all the details, but you're the ones doing all of the hard work!

  • Serving That Goes Beyond the Classroom Walls

    It’s that time of year again - parents grabbing last-minute back-to-school deals, students groaning through the new rhythms of extracurricular activities and homework, and teachers putting the finishing touches on their classrooms. Many GFCers jump into the bustle of a new school year through our We Love Mountain View campaign...

  • Monday Memo - August 5

    I have been "laying low" recently, recovering from minor knee surgery. I hope my limping across the platform is a thing of the past! Walking a little slower is most always a good thing.

  • Monday Memo - July 27

    In his book, Mid-Course Correction, Gordon McDonald tells the story of the day he went to an airport-sized hardware store, found a cheap storage cabinet he needed, and preceded to check out. Then it hit him. No way would that cabinet fit in the back of his Subaru Outback!

  • Reach El Salvador: Elise's Story

    At 18 years old, Elise Delatte was a shy, unassuming high school senior, a regular GFC attender, and a faithful nursery volunteer. She had never traveled abroad; she had never even flown on an airplane. One week over her spring break would change the course of her life forever.

  • Hear from Our ECHO Partners

    Each summer, we set aside a time to come together as a church and echo God’s love into our community through service. During a set time, we cover Johnson City with GFCers engaging in projects at organizations, schools, and in neighborhoods.

  • Monday Memo - July 13

    I found an article today entitled The Inextinguishable Church. Elwood McQuaid, the author, begins, "The global campaign to eliminate Christianity and the followers of Jesus Christ is as diverse as it is unrelenting." In the Middle East and Africa, barbaric tactics are liquidating churches...

  • Time for a Turning Point

    If you’ve ever participated in martial arts – Taekwondo or Brazilian Jiu Jitso, for example – the name Scott Evers may ring a bell. Scott and his wife, Ruthie, moved to Johnson City from Knoxville almost 20 years ago to open Evers Tiger Rock Martial Arts Academy.

  • Monday Memo - July 6

    Yesterday, we talked about the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. We sought an honest, humble, and honorable approach.

  • Meet Our New Student Pastor Preston Davis

    GFC has recently hired Preston Davis as our new Student Pastor. We've asked him to introduce himself and his wife Lindsey so that we can get to know them a little better!

  • Bluegrass Sunday

    Last Sunday, we had a blast worshiping to the tune of bluegrass music. You can watch each set below. Songs include: "I Saw the Light", "I'll Fly Away", "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms", "He Leadeth Me", and "Victory in Jesus" 

  • Monday Memo - June 29

    Many of you ask me regularly about Tim Bowers. Tim has served as the leader of our staff for about 15 years now. Last September, he suffered a stroke.

  • Monday Memo - June 22

    Greatly enjoyed being with you all yesterday! I'm so thankful that God has given us the great privilege of doing life together. Though it's not always easy, life really is better together.

  • A Glimpse Inside Camp in the City

    For Nancy Berry, the most memorable moment of Camp in the City was the Closing Ceremony during the first year GFC brought this summer camp experience to Johnson City.

  • Monday Memo - June 15

    Just as I am starting to write, I see the LUNCH EXPRESS bus pulling up outside to unload after serving meals to people to our south.

  • They Were Listening

    Last week GFC was a little more rowdy than normal. Perhaps it was the nearly 200 kids and 38 counselors that flooded our halls for another great Camp in the City experience! For the past three years, GFC has hosted Pine Cove’s Camp in the City...

  • Monday Memo - June 3


    I have been thinking about the variety of situations and opportunities that we each encounter as we scatter throughout our community in between our weekly gatherings together. WOW. It is both exciting and challenging.

  • Monday Memo - May 25

    We believe in...

  • Going Public: May 17, 2015 Baptisms

    On Sunday, May 17th, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Joy Prom 2015

    Every year, we roll out the red carpet and pull out all the stops for Joy Prom! We believe that every person is made in the image of God and that each life should be valued and celebrated. Joy Prom is our way of spotlighting a community of people who are often overlooked in our society.

  • The Joy of a 2-Year-Old's Hug

    Just a few short years ago, I craved sleep. It was the one thing I couldn’t quite get enough of, and Sunday morning was the one morning I could sleep in. I don’t mean sleeping to 10:00am or 11:00am like my children...

  • A Mentoring Ministry is Born

    Who would have ever thought? In 1979, GFC was a gathering of 45 people meeting in the gym of Towne Acres Elementary School. There were two college students from ETSU among those who attended on a regular basis.

  • Monday Memo - April 27

    Joy Prom! Pure Joy! 1,000 guests and over 400 volunteers. What a night. Few things are so "right." Joy Prom leaves everyone, even God, I am sure, smiling!

  • Let the Joy Begin

    It has started, and this year it is already so much more. More joy. More dresses. More excitement. Joy Prom is now just a few days away. For months, GFC has offered dresses and tuxes at no cost for the honored guests...

  • Monday Memo - April 20

    Since the mid-1950s, the philosopher Antony Flew was the most influential, intellectually sophisticated defender of atheism in Western culture. He exercised a magisterial role in debates about God's existence for half a century. But in 2004, Flew shocked the world by announcing that he had changed sides.

  • Monday Memo - April 13

    Yesterday we sang a song entitled "Great is Thy Faithfulness." Lest we miss where the "chorus" comes from, check out the context in Lamentations 3:1-23.

  • Meet New GFC Staff Drew Smith

    GFC has recently hired Drew Smith as our Hospitality and Assimilation Coordinator. We've asked him to introduce himself and his family so that we can get to know them a little better!

  • Monday Memo - April 6

    Harrison Kilby, Jason Ries, Caroline Garber, Kaitlyn Hill, Walker Powell, Grace Cambron, Jessie Scarbrough, Henry Hall. These students joined the worship team in our four Easter services this weekend to help us celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! It was fantastic! 

  • Monday Memo - March 30

    It was a joy to wrap up our series on the life of David with you yesterday. I hope that it's been as valuable for you as it has been for me! We tend to have a bad habit of moving on quickly, jumping right into what's next. But I want to invite you to pause and reflect on what God has taught you through the life of David.

  • Your Turn to Respond

    We’ve seen David go from being an obscure shepherd in the hills of Bethlehem to the King of Israel, and it’s been a wild ride. But this story is more than just an entertaining tale from long ago. It’s meant to be instructive for our lives today.


  • Monday Memo - March 23

    The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon... It is a classic song with a powerful and personal message. I used it yesterday to introduce the message FROM HERE TO THERE.

  • Monday Memo - March 9

    You may have heard of OPERATION COOPERATION. It is all about funding and serving our local community for the next year. Our goal was $50,000. As of now, the total given and committed is...

  • Get to Know Glenn Rannick

     Glenn met his wife Kim in the 6th grade, began dating in high school, married while attending UT-Knoxville, and have now been married 43 years. They have 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-love, and 3 grandsons. Justin, Kari, Jake, and Joshua live in Atlanta, while Josh, Betsy, and Miles live in Johnson City and attend GFC.

  • Just Women Night 2015

    A little over a month ago, Grace Women hosted their third annual Just Women Night. Over 240 ladies joined us to pack out The Student Center, try their hand at creating art, and hear an encouraging message of redemption - that our stories have stains, bad and good splashes on the canvas of the human experience...

  • Going Public: February 22, 2015 Baptisms

    On Sunday, February 22nd, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - February 23

    Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

  • Monday Memo - February 16

    My family has been here this weekend...including Abbie (my granddaughter) and Ashton, Amanda's new husband. Pure joy. Great to introduce them to some of you on Sunday!

  • Meet New GFC Staff Gabby Provenzano & Rich Riesz

    GFC has recently hired two new staff members. Gabby Provenzano is our new Local Outreach Director and Rich Riesz is our Re:generation & Care Director. We've asked them both to introduce themselves so that we can get to know them a little better!

  • Monday Memo - February 9

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me...

  • Breaking Ground in the GFC Lobby

    We'd like to announce something exciting and strategic that will be coming soon to GFC! For over three years, we have been planning how to utilize our lobby space to better serve people on their Ultimate Journey of being changed by Christ and used by Christ. This week we are "breaking ground" with these changes!

  • A Season of Transition

    35 years ago when Jackie was a student at ETSU we could not have guessed that she would become one of GFC’s first missionaries and serve so effectively through these decades. Gifted in developing other leaders, Jackie has spent the last seven years in South Africa with CRU. While there, she helped launch a growing ministry to fatherless children – Hope of Glory.

  • Monday Memo - January 19

    God is fixin' to fix you.

    But if you try to fix the fix that He has fixed for you,

    He will create another fix to fix you with,

    Until you let the fix He has fixed for you fix you! 

  • Supporting Our Military Through Roots & Boots

    My journey to Roots and Boots really began many years ago. When as I child, we lived out in the country and didn’t attend church. The twenty-four years I spent in the Air Force were more of the same, although I did feel an emptiness that I didn’t understand or know how to fill.

  • The Newness of It All

    Welcome to 2015, ladies! Whatever things went well or did NOT go well in 2014 are officially behind us (over, completed, unchangeable at this point, and yet are NOT determining factors of our future!) You and I are invited into newness of every kind – a new date to remember when we write checks...

  • Monday Memo - January 5

    You may not be aware, but most weeks those who teach in the auditorium provide resources for you to maximize the impact of God's word. One resource is Looking Back and the other is Looking Ahead. One helps us reflect on and apply what we have heard, and the other enables us to prepare for what is coming the next week.

  • Monday Memo - December 29

    We took some time on Christmas to see the movie Unbroken, based upon the book by Laura Hillenbrand. It is the story of Louie Zamperini, a WW2 prisoner of war "survivor." He did not "break" during the war, but most certainly did after the war.

  • 2014 Giving Depot a Success!

    The Christmas season is drawing to a close, and with it, another successful year of The Giving Depot! For many GFCers, participating in our Christmas store for under-resourced children has become an annual tradition. It is an opportunity to share God's love and generosity with our community...

  • Monday Memo - December 22

    Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I am looking forward to sharing this holy night with you and some of your friends and relatives. We always anticipate this to be an ideal time to let the light of Christ shine through us to others.

  • The Greatest Life Ever Lived

    For 11 weeks, a large group of men and women came together on Thursday mornings to take a closer look at the life of Christ. GFC Equipping Pastor Larry Nees wrote and taught the first phase of this study, which examined Jesus’ birth through his first ministry year, along with several guest speakers.

  • If Walls Could Talk...

    In reflecting on our recent experience with Parent-Child Dedication, I immediately thought of Deuteronomy 6, "...Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your strength...

  • Monday Memo - December 1

    December 1??!! You have got to be kidding. Did you know that we only have 3 weekends before Christmas?

  • The Giving Depot is Here!

    You’ve probably noticed the 6 Christmas trees that have been added to the main lobby, the colorful tables, and the dozens of GFCers milling around the West Hallway over the last few weeks. These are telltale signs that the 11th Annual Giving Depot has arrived!

  • Monday Memo - November 17

    I am very excited about the journey that lies before us over the next few months as we get inside the story of David... a story of humanity in pursuit of God, and visa versa. We got off to a great start last Sunday as the reality of Necessary Endings and New Beginnings was before us.

  • Serving in His Court Together

    GFC has been the most influential church in my Christian life since I started attending in 1993. I was a very young Christian when I relocated to East Tennessee in 1991 to attend graduate school and coach tennis at East Tennessee State University. I grew up in a Reform Jewish home...

  • An Evening with C.S. Lewis

    Spend an evening with literary giant C.S. Lewis "in his living room" on November 16 at 6pm! During this compelling one-man performance from David Payne Drama, you will hear about his friendship with J.R.R.

  • Monday Memo - November 3

    It is Monday morning. By reputation, not the best of days. Whether it is Monday morning or Wednesday afternoon, the reality of our soul remains our constant companion.

  • What Did God Unleash This Weekend?

    This past weekend, we unleashed 82 teenagers at GFC for our Grace Students Unleashed Weekend Retreat! This is the first weekend retreat we've hosted for our students in-house, and they had a blast.The theme of the weekend was unleashing God's power in their lives...

  • Tangled Up with the Body of Christ

    Two and a half years ago, our family made the move from Poughkeepsie, NY, to Johnson City, TN. We are often asked why we migrated south. While there are a lot of contributing factors, one of the biggest was that we wanted to be a part of Grace Fellowship Church.

  • Lonely to Lovely Through M2O

    Loneliness, confusion, despair, and frustration all were regular visitors these last few years. Our family had lacked community with believers for far too long. I trusted Christ as my savior in my childhood and truly loved God, but coldness was creeping in…

  • Monday Memo - October 13

    My head is spinning, but my feet are firm. I never would I have expected to be without Tim Bowers giving me, our staff and church family wise and quality leadership. In case you have not heard, Tim has had a stroke and is unable to fulfill his pastoral role here at GFC for now.

  • Men's Breakfast of Champions Features Dr. Stephen Macchia

    Men, as husbands and fathers, are appointed by the Father to be spiritual leaders in their respective families. To this end, God has provided everything we need for spiritual maturity - thus equipping us for leadership in our individual homes.

  • Meet GFC Staff Carolee Morrison & Josh Gomez

    GFC has recently hired two new staff members for the Student Ministry Team. Carolee Morrison is our new Student Ministry Small Group Coordinator and Josh Gomez is our Student Ministry Worship Director. We've asked them both to introduce themselves and their families so that we can get to know them a little better!

  • The Importance of Rooting Our Children in Christ

    My personal involvement with Parent Child Dedication was and will continue to be an extremely positive experience in my life. The information discussed in the Orientation Supper Series impacted me...

  • Monday Memo - October 1

    All right already, I know it is Wednesday, not Monday! Better late than never. This is AN IMPORTANT MONDAY MEMO.

  • Going Public: September 21, 2014 Baptisms

    On Sunday, September 21st, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - September 22

    How sweet it is! Holding and playing with my 5 month old granddaughter Abbie and giving my daughter Amanda away in marriage to Ashton Hayse... it doesn't get any better than that!

  • We Didn't Know Our Marriage Had Stagnated

    We have always looked at our marriage like a machine - if we work to maintain it, it will run smoothly.  We try to attend the typical marriage classes when they are offered to help us do the “required maintenance” on our marriage.  We have done all of the big name studies...

  • Monday Memo - September 15

    How I Know God Loves Me...  

    Dr. H. A. Ironside used to tell of a woman who came to him and said, "I don't have any use for the Bible and for all this Christian superstition. It's enough for me to know that God is love."

  • We Said, "No" to the American Dream

    Having been married for nearly 20 years, I don't remember ever deciding to pursue the American Dream with my wife Carla. It just seemed to gradually happen, and then one day we realized we had the career, big house, a few kids, and even the dog and a cat.

  • Monday Memo - September 8

    Love is spiritual warfare, writes Mike Mason. Yesterday in our short series on love, we reflected on 1 Corinthians 13 where we identified the inner battle against pride and ego that often prevents us from loving well. For many, this is the final frontier of spiritual growth.

  • I Changed My Major 12 Times

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. Rather, in humility consider others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 God used that verse to radically shape my worldview, and through that renewing of my mind (and a few specific experiences), He showed me...

  • Camp Cliffview: The Beginning of a Journey

    I didn’t know where God was leading me when a friend asked if I could volunteer with her at a camp for children with special needs near Chattanooga. I am a pediatric occupational therapist and have a passion for this group of children, so it seemed fitting that I should go!

  • Monday Memo - August 25

    Some of you have asked me for the quote I used yesterday in the message, The World’s Greatest Reality Show. “Isn’t it good to be obedient, dutiful, law-abiding, hardworking, and self-sacrificing? And still it seems that my resentments and complaints are mysteriously tied to such praiseworthy attitudes. This connection often makes me despair...

  • Monday Memo - August 18

    I can see that life is going to require relationships. Those are the words of a cave man in a cartoon. This bedraggled little guy comes out of his cave, blinking his eyes and dragging his club behind him. He is then confronted by a huge dinosaur who is looking him right in the eye.

  • Your Marriage is Worth It

    My husband Terry and I have been married for 26 years. We are the proud parents of seven children, and our oldest son, Will, was just married this past weekend. As I sat on the front row of the ceremony, watching my son and his precious bride make their vows, the gravity of the situation impacted me.

  • Recovery: Who Needs It?

    When I first heard about Christian recovery programs I honestly believed that recovery was for the people with the “bad” problems- drug addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, etc. I never actually thought the problems I had were “recovery worthy”...

  • Laundry at Lakewood Village

    Though I would love to be a little mouse in the corner for every single detail in the deployment of Echo Week, I am very enthusiastic about what I did get to observe God doing in the week I served at Lakewood Village under Lawton’s leadership this past month.

  • Monday Memo - August 11

    With a flourish we concluded our TEXTING series yesterday as Gene Getz riveted our attention on the work of the Holy Spirit in the recording and preserving the Scriptures, so that we hold in our hands the very word of God in our own language! Just try to imagine life without this revelation.

  • Monday Memo - August 4

    I was out of town a good bit of last week, so I could not participate in ECHO until Saturday. I went to Mountain View, where Lawton and the majority of the Janeway family were busy putting together sand and water stations for the kindergarten playground. As soon as I saw all the nuts, bolts, screws and “directions” I knew I was in trouble.

  • Texting Video Compilation

    If you've attended our Texting series this summer, you know that during many of our Sunday morning services, we began the message with a short video highlighting unique stories about the Bible that you probably didn't know.

  • Monday Memo - July 28

    With the departure of Rob Sweet for a new ministry in Nashville, you may be wondering about next steps. Of course, our mission and vision is solid, and in season and out of season, we pursue building a community and reaching a community by being changed by Christ and used by Christ. It is this mission and vision that holds GFC together and to which we all humbly and generously give ourselves.

  • Monday Memo - July 21

    This is one of those “in case you missed it’ moments. Rob Sweet got a phone call back in April and it has changed the trajectory of his ministry. Yesterday, I asked him to share the story with the congregation in both services.

  • 2014 Reach Alaska Recap

    Only a sovereign God can knit together a team with different gifts and talents to serve as one in unity. During our stay, we hosted a day camp at Walker Park for any children who wanted to attend.

  • Monday Memo - July 8

    "A story is not like a road to follow ... it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows.

  • 2014 Reach Peru Recap

    Lima, Peru, may not be the most exotic vacation spot in the world, but it has an incredible beauty that I will always remember. The people of Lima were so welcoming even from the moment we stepped off the plane.

  • Monday Memo - June 30

    I need the big picture to keep going in my life. Sometimes I need a reason just to live when life feels overwhelming or without purpose. Yesterday I began our TEXTING of James 2:14-17 in 1:2-4.

  • Monday Memo - June 23

    Yesterday we learned something in our TEXTING series that most likely was a surprise to many – that the famous evangelistic verse of Revelation 3:20 is not evangelistic at all! 

  • Monday Memo - June 16

    "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."       ~John Lubbock 

  • Riskit's Eternal Impact on Reed

    This year was the first year our son Reed was eligible for Camp in the City. As the week drew closer, my husband and I were excited about opportunities for his spiritual growth, and we knew he’d experience a lot of fun.

  • Monday Memo - June 9

    Did you know that the Bible is not a book? Technically, the phrase, “The Bible says…” is not accurate. It is a collection of ancient manuscripts or texts - 66 to be exact, written by 40+ authors in three different languages over a period of 1500 years, on 3 different continents.

  • Going Public: June 1, 2014 Baptisms

    On Sunday, June 1st, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - June 2

    What other faith has at its heart a writhing body, torn flesh, shameful desertion and disgrace, anguished desolation, and darkness that can be felt? What other faith has a God who so takes evil into himself that the day of the death of all deaths becomes the day that death died.

  • Monday Memo - May 27

    Cancer is so cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith, it cannot eat away peace, it cannot destroy confidence, it cannot kill friendship, it cannot shut out memories, it cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soul, it cannot reduce eternal life, it cannot quench the Spirit, it cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.

  • Set Apart Parenting: The True Meaning of Child Dedication

    March 10th, 2014 was one of the most significant days of our lives. We adopted our son Beckett Isaiah Roark on that day after 1.5 years of being his foster parents. Needless to say, Mother’s Day this year was an extra special occasion.

  • Monday Memo - May 19

    For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment. - Romans 12:3

    Paul’s words loomed large in my mind as I walked away from a house in Colonia San Luis, Guatemala. The visit to this home was sobering. 

  • Compassion Sunday Changed Our Lives

    On the mantle of our home is a brass plaque etched with Joshua 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." My wife Lesa and I, along with our daughters Jessica and Jordan, have always searched for ways we could love the Lord by serving others.

  • I Met Luis in a Peruvian Zoo

    When I left for Peru, I thought God had prepared me for meeting our sponsored child, Luis, but little did I know how much God would use Luis to change my heart. The first time I saw him, he was standing in front of the zoo with a gift for me. At that moment, I was overcome with love.

  • 48 Hours in Atlanta

    After my wife and I read David Platt’s book Radical, we signed up for the Atlanta mission trip, convinced that we were just going through the motions and needed to be more involved in being the hands and feet of Jesus. On a Friday morning, we embarked on our first, but hopefully not our last, mission trip together.

  • Monday Memo - May 5

    I have a friend who does not like the way they look. Don’t we all?! In so many cases we have come to believe, often from very early in our lives, many lies about our body.

  • 2014 Joy Prom Highlights

    About a month ago, over 1,200 hundred people streamed into GFC from all over the region, some traveling hours, for an event that only happens once a year. Joy Prom is an annual spring formal the GFC Grace Kids and Access teams host for individuals with special needs in our community.

  • Going Public: April 13, 2014 Baptisms

    On Sunday, April 13th, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways in all of these individuals' stories!    

  • Passion Week Journey 2014

    This year for Easter, GFC went on a meaningful and intentional Passion Week Journey together as a church body. Our week began on Palm Sunday with a message from Staff Pastor Tim Bowers called, Who is This Jesus?  He explored the characteristics Christ exhibited from His entry into Jerusalem to His death on the cross.

  • Monday Memo - April 21

    G.K. Chesterton was standing on a London street corner when he was approached by a newspaper reporter. “Sir, I understand you have recently become a Christian.

  • No Common Crucifixion

    A centurion was an officer in the Roman army who had approximately one hundred men (a century) under his command. This man would have been a hard man. Calloused. Cruel. Unfeeling. He was used to death. He had participated in it. He had ordered it. He was unmoved by it.

  • Jesus is Mocked

    He was mocked then, and He is today. After he was arrested, the soldiers made fun of who Jesus claimed to be. Their sarcasm and cruelty is almost too painful to read. Yet doesn’t our culture continue to mock Him today?

  • Good Choices vs. Wrong Choices

    The story took place in Jerusalem on Friday before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea. An excited crowd had accused Jesus of blasphemy and they wanted the Governor to pronounce the death sentence. Having found no guilt in Him, Pilate wanted His release but didn’t want to further incite the crowd.

  • There's No Denying It

    The events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ were a life changer for Peter. He was over confident and a bit cocky, full of himself, talked too much, and listened too little. He even fell asleep when he should have been praying. There’s no denying it - sometimes we’re a lot like Peter.

  • Slow Prayer

    Night after night, the prayers flowed as freely as the tears for their sweet little girl. Her soft, tender cheek hiding the illness that rages inside. How could this be? One word from the Healer and she would be fine. Why doesn't He answer?

  • Monday Memo - April 14

    Who is this Jesus? That is the question of the ages. Tim marvelously revealed the answer yesterday by examining the events that began the last week of His earthly life.

  • What Do You Do with Power?

    How do you react when it becomes clear to you that you are the most powerful person in the room? I am prone to leverage it for my benefit. I may start to bark orders, such as… "Take out the trash!" "We will be spending the weekend doing this." "That person needs to be replaced."

  • Atop the Hill

    On a crisp, clear day a few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Buffalo Mountain Park for a quick hike before dinner. My husband had packed sandwiches for us and selected a special spot where we would eat. As the golden light of late afternoon spilled into the valley, we crested a scrubby hill.

  • Orphanology: One Month Later

    Orphan! What comes to mind when you hear that word? Is it a poor child in an institution holding out an empty bowl and asking for more? Is it a little girl with curly red hair named Annie, walking the narrow, dirty streets of New York City with her beloved puppy? Or a wide-eyed child with a distended tummy staring at you from your television screen and pulling at your heartstrings?

  • Inside Kairos Prison Ministry

    It was a Sunday afternoon in October 2011. I was sitting in a prison meeting room at Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) in Mountain City. There were many outside guests and 42 inmates gathered for a time of testimony and singing at the close of a 4-day Kairos Prison Ministry retreat.

  • Monday Memo - March 31

    Well, here goes. I know you all have been waiting, and waiting. Wait no longer. WE ARE GRANDPARENTS!

  • Monday Memo - March 24

    Stunning. Humbling. Overwhelming. Incomprehensible. Riveting. Exhilarating. Motivating.


  • Spring Break in New Orleans

    “How about taking a group of young teens to New Orleans over spring break?” What??

    That was the question my husband asked me in the early fall. My answer? “Well, if you really feel led to do this, I guess I will go.” And, so it was.

  • Monday Memo - March 17

    Our leadership teams have begun to reflect upon what it means to be Gospel centered people and a Gospel centered church. I have started to put some things on paper that I would like to begin sharing with you. It is not settled stuff, but rather the beginning of my collection of thoughts that come from contemplation, reading of others, and the context of our local experience of the Gospel here at GFC.

  • Set Apart & Sent Out

    I have always had great admiration for those who God has called to be missionaries – especially those with the call from God to plant a church. The boldness, courage, and obedience required to do so is something I find awe-inspiring. But whenever the question was posed to me – if I would consider planting a church – I was always dismissive.

  • Joy Prom Volunteer Spotlight: Brett Larimer

    Recently, I got to sit down and chat with Brett Larimer about his experience volunteering for Joy Prom last year. Brett is an easy-going guy with a soft, humble drawl and a heart of gold. Like many of our Joy Prom volunteers and guests, the event changed him, and he was eager to share his story.

  • Faith, Trust, and a little Pixie Dust

    We walk around looking slightly disheveled, double-fisting teas and/or coffees, seemingly without any apparent purpose. Pastor Stephen makes the call: “We’re coming out.”A scramble of chairs, papers, and mental lists result in a tense moment as the lights go out and the music starts. This is Sunday morning.

  • Taking the Next Step in Adoption and Foster Care

    Our emphasis on adoption and fostering may have drawn to a close on the blog last week, but that does not mean God’s work here is done. In the past few months, we’ve sensed God moving the hearts of many in our church body to consider His calling to care for the orphan in need. The GFC community is filled with those who have walked this journey themselves or who are now stepping out in faith.

  • Monday Memo - March 3

    Last Sunday morning, I referenced 1 Timothy 4:12 in relationship to the message from Philippians 3:17-21 entitled The Road Less Best Traveled.    

  • Going Public: February 23, 2014 Baptisms

    On Sunday, February 23rd, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - February 24

    I have known Tom Shearin for over 30 years. Tom and his wife, Ann, were faithful and fruitful believers. They loved GFC and gave themselves to this body and to our community.

  • Meet New GFC Staff Theresa Decker

    GFC has recently hired Theresa Decker as our Communications Director. We've asked her to introduce herself and her husband so that we can get to know them a little better!


  • A Healing Love

    "There is a story happening right now in which you are unknowingly a part of - it's God's plan." Those were the words I scribbled in the back of my Bible, spoken by Pastor Tom Oyler, as unbeknownst to me, a tiny girl lay in a hospital bed fighting for her life. Just 6 weeks later, I received the call that this angel was looking for a foster home...

  • Caleb the Miracle Boy

    Our family has been attending GFC for seven months. We moved to Tennessee from Florida just a year ago. Ray and I have three grown daughters and six granddaughters. Five years ago we began a journey that would forever change our lives.

  • Partnering with God in International Adoption

    Our international adoption journey took nearly two years, but on January 4th, 2014, we brought our son William Xing Hui home from China! Without a doubt the process was long, but we can say with confidence, “It was worth it!”

  • Monday Memo - February 17

    This time last Monday, I was taking a "stress test." Interesting term. In this case, they were looking for things that might be out of whack (my term) with my heart. A week ago Sunday I had to leave church and head to the hospital because my heart was in "AFib." This is not an unusual condition for someone my age.

  • What is Foster Care?

    As you may know, we have a special emphasis on adoption and foster care on the blog this month. We want to take a break from the GFC stories we have been sharing and explain what foster care is more in-depth.

  • Blindsided by God

    “What are we doing?” “…Is this reeeeeeally what the Lord wants us to do?”

    Those were just a few of the questions I asked myself while we were going through the foster parenting classes a little over 4 years ago.

  • God's Better Plan

    Jerry and I had been married a few years when we decided to start a family. God had placed a family in our lives that had adopted from China. He used them to plant the seed in our heart for adoption. We had a plan: we thought it would be great if we had two biological children and adopted two children.

  • Following Christ Into the Uncomfortable

    A few years ago Aaron and I felt God pulling on our hearts. We asked restless questions like, “Is this it? What else can we be doing for people outside of our family? How can we live our lives in a way that brings glory to God? What are we doing that matters?” Sure, being a parent matters.

  • Monday Memo - February 3

    “This is what we are about: we plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold promise. We lay foundations that will need further development...

  • Foster Parents - 16 Years In The Making!

    When Bob and I decided 9 years into our marriage to begin our family through adoption, we were encouraged by friends to become foster-to-adopt parents. However, at that time I had my heart set on adopting a newborn, which is somewhat rare in a foster care situation. After much prayer, we were led to an adoption agency, and were quickly blessed with a healthy newborn son.

  • Surrendering the Secret

    My name is Sandy Tyree (a preacher’s kid) who as a young adult in the mid-1970s had an abortion. I proceeded to bury the memories and feelings associated with that experience so deeply that I never spoke or even thought of it - after all it was a lifetime ago, or so I had convinced myself.

  • Reflecting on a night that was White as Snow!
    No, I’m not typing code. This is a numeric summary of a night that was simply lovely – from the soft glow of wintery white twinkle lights, to the warm buzz of women chatting with each other. Snowflakes were literally cascading over our heads as we found warmth for our souls in spite of the brutal cold temps outside!

  • Monday Memo - January 27

    How appropriate for Rob to talk about what it means to “rejoice in the Lord” in the midst of this weather! Isn’t it amazing how little it takes to move us away from our only source of joy? Recently it seems that I am receiving consistent reminders of this in my own life.

  • Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    GFC believes in the sanctity of life and expresses this conviction through our partnership with Agape Women’s Services. GFCers, Richard and Diana Watson, serve with this ministry and share their experiences.

  • Reaching…Stretching!

    I don’t know about you, but the month of January always has me thinking about how I am going to spend my summer vacation. It was about this time last year I began daydreaming about how I would spend my time off. For some time I had been considering going on a cruise, possibly to Alaska, and I thought this might be the year!

  • Do YOU Need a Lunch Buddy?

    Want to have lunch once a week with someone very interesting, funny, cute and sweet? Why not consider becoming a lunch buddy for a kid at Mountain View School? Grace Fellowship LOVES Mountain View kids and one of the ways we show it is by spending a few minutes each week having lunch and spending time with students in their school cafeteria.

  • Men, Are you All In?

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30.  On Saturday, February 1, GFC will host the 2014 Men’s No Regrets simulcast. The theme is “All In” based on Mark 12:30. The No Regrets Men's Ministry is designed to create an environment for men to be challenged in their relationship with the Lord at home, in the workplace, and...

  • Monday Memo - January 13

    ...Most studies today indicate that at least half of students who participate in church will walk away from their faith after graduation.  That is a PROBLEM!  But in that room last night, solutions, not the problem, was front and center.

  • Monday Memo - January 8

    The words of Charles Arn caught my attention yesterday. Someone once said, “The world is divided into guests and hosts.” You probably know people who are perpetual guests. They never take the responsibility of a host for people’s needs, feelings, concerns, comfort, or hospitality.

  • Christmas Eve Service Pictures

    Enjoy some pictures of our Christmas Eve candlelight services! 

  • White As Snow

    One popular television station recently held a marathon weekend of “Princess movies” to keep viewers watching after Christmas movies ended. It worked in my house, much to Jonathan’s dismay (he thought he had survived “girlie movies” for the season). Many have written about the Creator’s design of a woman’s heart in relationship to our draw to the stories of princesses.

  • Monday Memo - December 30

    Many of us find comfort in the words of Lamentations 3:22-23.    

    The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Yet we may fail to understand the context.

  • The Giving Depot in Pictures

    In less than seven total hours last Saturday, GFCers treated 107 children and their families to a wonderful Christmas celebration at the Giving Depot. 

  • Growing Together

    One of the best ways to grow spiritually is within a group of believers with similar goals. Our community group has added several new couples this fall. We have seen amazing growth both spiritually and relationally in the context of a small group.  

  • Monday Memo - December 16

    What is in a name?  There are many names given to Jesus especially by the great prophet Isaiah, 700 years before He was born -             

    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace and Emmanuel - God with us...

  • Going Public: December 8, 2013 Baptisms

    My experience being baptized can be described in several ways.  It's pretty awesome, I'll have to say.  I feel so much better and I encourage everyone who wants to be baptized to do it.  However, I advise not to get baptized unless you know what it means and understand it.

  • Monday Memo - December 2

    As you know, if there’s one time a year when things might not go as planned…it’s December.

    Crawling into the attic for decorations...             Waiting in line...                Relatives out of a horror flick...             

  • My Community Group Story

    After studying abroad at the University of the South Pacific, and after spending a semester with a friend who dramatically impacted my journey as a believer, I was excited to get involved with a small group. Upon my return home I went to the first informational meeting for college small groups. I felt a little timid but was excited about eating good food and enjoying the fellowship with fellow college students.

  • When Carrie met Kari

    Hear the story about an amazing mentor relationship that started at the Giving Depot just a few years ago. 

  • Monday Memo - November 25

    Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

    By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits...

  • Change – The Breakfast of Champions

    About 135 men filled GFC’s East Auditorium to hear Boyd Bailey, Chief Encouragement Officer for Ministry Ventures, speak on the subject of change in a man’s life. He talked about how to take on change front and center and allow whatever change we face to be used in our lives in such a way that we are being changed by Christ and being used by Christ.

  • Monday Memo - November 18

    All goods look better when they look like gifts.    - G.K. Chesterton

    Have you ever had someone invite you out to eat and tell you before hand that they would be picking up the tab? I’ll bet you looked forward to and enjoyed that meal more than if you knew you were paying for it!

  • 10th Anniversary of the Giving Depot

    Hard to believe that we are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, which at GFC means we are gearing up for the Giving Depot. Grace Fellowship’s 10th Annual Giving Depot event with local ministry partner Rise Up! will take place on Saturday, December 14th.

  • Struggling Well

    In mid-October Ruth Lindberg, one of GFC’s Global Partners, was admitted to the hospital for abdominal pain, and was found to have cancer. Ruth and Doug are both young physicians with two small children. They invested the past four years serving in a remote mission hospital in western Nepal with plans to return. Now, their future is uncertain. Few exemplify one of Grace’s core values – Struggling Well – more than Doug and Ruth.

  • Loving Mountain View

    On Friday October 25, GFC hosted its first ever Fall Festival at Mountain View Elementary. We were told to prepare for 175-200 people, boy were we surprised when over 525 parents and children showed up for inflatables, carnival games, balloon animals, and Chick-fil-A dinner and desserts. The Johnson City Cardinals organization even brought their inflatable baseball tee-ball game...

  • Showing Christian Care through Difficult Times

    Just call Hope Ministers the “after people”: …after you find the pink slip in what’s now your final paycheck; …after the doctors have said there’s nothing more they can do; …after the relationship ends but the wounds are still bleeding; …after family and friends have heard your story one too many times but you still need to talk it out.

  • Monday Memo - November 4

    Fall back. We “gained” an hour by turning the clock back an hour Saturday night. Just a couple of buttons to push, or in some cases, automatically done for us.  I attended church in Dallas yesterday and the pastor referenced this contrived experience of “turning back the clock.”  How many of us would like to redo some decision we made?

  • Africans in Johnson City - Our Neighbors

    Karamoh and Yaema call Johnson City “home” as their minds swirl with fresh memories of the brutal hostilities in their native Sierra Leone from which they fled for safety. More and more Africans are moving into our community. In less than ten years it has grown from 50 persons to over 1,000.

  • Monday Memo - October 29

    My cup overflows this morning. God is moving among us. The Ultimate Journey is catching on.Two things are particularly gratifying.

  • Harvest Festival Yields Family Time

    “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I was a teenager in the 80’s and now a forty-something wife and mom of two teenagers. Where did the time go?

  • Reflections from our Ultimate Journey

    Our current GFC message series is on the Ultimate Journey. As we began the series with the rest of the body we found it important to reflect on the ultimate journey in our own lives. Our hearts cry out that Christ has definitely changed our lives but we reflect upon how he used our lives to further His Kingdom. The Shepherd's Luncheon was one of the first opportunities our family had to serve together.

  • Monday Memo - October 21

    I saw in the Johnson City Press this morning that this week is PEAK SEASON for the leaves to change. Very beautiful!  Enjoy!  I then asked myself this question, "Tom, is it peak season for change in your life these days?"

  • Raising up a tree is somewhat like raising up children

    My “Memom” passed away two years ago this coming February. She was a precious lady almost 90 years old when she went to join her Heavenly Father. She was known for her love of gardening and the yard surrounding her home was a proof, a showplace of flourishing flowers, plants and trees, the “fruits” of her labor visibly abundant and proof of the time and love she had sown in over decades.

  • Knocking on Immigrant Doors in Atlanta

    When I signed up for the Reach Atlanta trip, I was very skeptical. I mean, it's three days long. Who has ever heard of a 3 day trip....especially one that wasn't a camp or a weekend Bible Club? What could I possibly accomplish on a 3 day mission trip?

  • Going Public: October 6, 2013 Baptisms

    Sunday, October 6th, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Monday Memo - October 7

    You therefore, beloved, know this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, BUT GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.                                   

  • Investing in Marriage

    Our marriage has been through more than a few seasons, and we are very excited about this next one. During college, we were both very involved in a campus ministry and had plenty of opportunities to “plug in”. However, when we married soon after graduation, we struggled to connect with other young married couples.

  • Monday Memo - September 30

    The Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it…In the same way also, after supper, He took the cup… As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.    

  • Inside Kairos Prison Ministry

    Several months prior to becoming involved with Kairos Prison Ministry, I began to have a desire to be personally involved with a ministry that went beyond the confines of the local church.

  • Monday Memo - September 23

    Yesterday, someone reminded me of Mark Twain’s words: The two most important days in one’s life are the day he is born and the day he understands why. Interestingly, yesterday was my birthday, and I preached on why - especially why we have been “born again.” 

  • Monday Memo - September 16

    I have noticed that next week, most primetime TV shows begin their new seasons. Got a favorite?  What if the network decided to show reruns at primetime and the entire year?  You would give it up, forget it and move on to something “fresh.”

  • Finding Community Among Singles at GFC

    I found Grace Fellowship while living on campus at ETSU. I wanted a place where I could find solid biblical teaching and also be able to worship with other college students. After visiting several churches in the area, I found myself drawn to Grace because of the way the Bible was explained and practical ways to live a Christ-driven life were presented.

  • Groups Matter in Everyday Life

    The Lyons share their story of how being involved with a group helped them in a unique life event.

  • Monday Memo - September 9

    History is being made everyday, but it seems that the next couple of weeks will be particularly significant. This issue of Syria and the response of the United States will have huge implications, whichever path is taken. We certainly need to be in prayer for our leaders, and for the people of the region. In light of Sunday’s message...

  • Voices from GFC Reaching Trips

    Short term mission trips are powerful ways to share God’s love and good news with our world in need. At Grace we call these “Reaching Trips.” Hundreds of GFCers have served on teams through the years. Here are some of their voices...

  • Monday Memo - September 3

    Every year has its cycles. Right now everything seems to be “starting up” again… school, routines, sports, social opportunities, new job goals, personal goals, volunteerism, etc. Life does “feel” like it is going somewhere. But Where? Why? I believe that without a vision for THE ULTIMATE JOURNEY...

  • Finding a Church to Call Home

    When my husband and I were first married, we would visit with his parents at their church, locally. It was a pleasant experience, and one we both quickly settled for as it kept our family united and warmed the hearts of my mother and father-in-law. Even though it was a positive experience, and we really enjoyed the messages we received, we never felt like that was where we belonged...

  • Inky Johnson: A Powerful Catalyst of Spiritual Encouragement for GFC Men

    Last Saturday, GFC’s Ministry to Men hosted Inky Johnson, a former football player for the UT Volunteers, as the featured speaker of the quarterly Breakfast of Champions event. Inky shared his riveting story to an audience of about 135 men and boys.

  • Monday Memo - August 26

    My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.                    - James 5:19-20                                   

  • Community Group: Helping Us Through Life’s Journey

    My wife and I have been involved in a community group for the past nine years. We became part of a group one year after we got married. Through the years we have added two little ones to our family.

  • Monday Memo - August 19

    Friday night football, race week, public school is rolling, ETSU students returning. It is all happening this week. No matter what the issue, most of us feel a shifting of gears, a changing of pace.

  • It’s Not about the Food!

    Our team knew that that there were students who needed a reliable food source for the ten weeks school was out of session. Our goal was to provide one week’s worth of food for each family using the Mobile Food Pantry from Second Harvest.

  • We Love MV: 2013 Opportunities

    Watch how serving the faculty, families, and kids in the Mountain View community has been a blessing to those who have given of their time in a variety of ways. There are still some great opportunities available for you to serve this school year.  

  • After We Let Go...

    What a weekend! Friday night and Saturday proved to be worth all the hubbub. Over 75 teens enjoyed a night designed just for them, complete with dessert bar, soul-filling live music, and a message that spoke directly to today’s “teen girl”. I personally enjoyed sitting next to my teen mentee who brought a friend from school!

  • Monday Memo - August 12

    Leslie and I have been away a few days to celebrate our 40th anniversary. WOW!  We are grateful for our journey together and what God has taught us about love, perseverance, and grace. Interestingly, 33 of those 40 years have been spent here in Johnson City with many of you...

  • Equipping Students to Live a Gospel-Centered Life

    To say that we are excited to start another ministry year as a Student Ministry would be an understatement! I have both been looking forward to getting things started with the new school year for quite a while and for several reasons.

  • 2012 America’s Got Talent Finalist Comes Home

    The summer of 2012 was a major life moment for Joe Castillo, former Johnson City resident. He successfully auditioned for the hit reality TV show America’s Got Talent, and wowed the judges and crowds all the way to becoming one of the final six contestants using a unique art form called SandStory.

  • Monday Memo - August 5

    I recently heard Chuck Swindoll ask the question, “How do we measure the quality of our day?”  When we lay down on our pillow at do we evaluate our day?

  • Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life Conference

    When I first saw Emily P. Freeman’s book titled, “Grace for the Good Girl” I thought, “I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘good girl’.” I struggle regularly with self-centered living, comparison-thinking, pride, wanting to be seen and admired, and oh, oh so much more. When I think of a “good girl” I imagine an ideal version of myself – a voice in my head who haunts me with her perfection...

  • Monday Memo - July 29

    I want you to know how grateful I am that I can have this current Crucial Conversation on Same Sex Marriage with people like you. You are sharp, thoughtful, and desire most of all to evaluate and ultimately conform your beliefs and attitudes to the Scripture.

  • We Love Our Small Group!

    Our small group experience is summed up in one word - church! Since the pulpit at Grace Fellowship Church is where we are fed, our small group is where a lot of growth takes place.

  • Monday Memo - July 22

    We have only two more Sundays until we begin three services on AUGUST 11!  WOW!  Someone once asked me about the amount of change over the years at GFC. “What are you doing?  Seems like you guys just change for change sake.”  “Exactly,” I said, “why else would you change, if not for change sake?”

  • Community Groups are “Like Family”

    We started in a community group at Grace when our now 11-year-old son Skyler was in a high chair. Since that time the Grace community group gathering that we take part in every Sunday evening throughout the school year, is like a family.

  • Monday Memo - July 15

    Just as I am, thou wilt receive, will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! How wonderful are those words.

  • Summer Outreach Ministry Update

    As the summer rolls on, so does GFC’s outreach ministry meeting physical needs of people in our community. From food support to clothing and school supply drives, our church family has been very generous in shining the light of Christ through serving and giving!

  • Monday Memo - July 8 (You'll want to read this one!)

    I joined what God was doing among a handful of families in Johnson City almost 33 years ago. While the journey has been "trying" as well as "triumphant," I have, to this day, sensed that God is the prime mover of our church.

  • Community Matters

    In life, we cross paths with many people in various arenas, such as school, sports and work. It’s those common activities that typically dominate the conversation, and we often come away with superficial relationships, though many hours may be spent together.

  • Serving our Local Partners through ECHO

    As a church we support 13 faith-based organizations in our community both financially and through volunteers. We count it a blessing to serve alongside these ministry partners as they share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ to those that they serve on a daily basis. During ECHO, we always look forward to serving our ministry partners.

  • Monday Memo - July 1

    I just received an email from Kathi Baty. Kathi volunteers in our cooperation with Mountain View, especially in providing food. In the spring, our congregation gave funds to provide food for people and families in need in the Mountain View neighborhood.

  • Going Public: June 23, 2013 Baptisms

    Sunday, June 23rd, we celebrated several baptisms during our two services. It's encouraging to see how God is at work in unique ways. In the videos below, you can watch both the testimonies and the baptisms of those who took a step of obedience to Go Public!

  • Reaching out in Alaska

    “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”, John Maxwell. That statement set the tone for our week of serving the children and families of Government Hill Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

  • Monday Memo - June 24

    Pressure can make sin look good. When I heard John Ortberg say that this morning, not only could I relate personally, but I immediately thought back to Acts 4 and the message yesterday regarding Smart Prayers Under Pressure.

  • Give me your Eyes

    For some of us that have been before, when we walked through that customs gate into the airport, it was like we were home. Peru, we've missed you so much. For some of us that had never been to Peru before, it was a whole new world that God had graciously opened our eyes to.Although I have been to Peru three times before, I had never been on this trip with GFC partnering with Compassion International.

  • ECHOing God’s Message

    ECHO 2012 was one of the best and most tiring weeks of my life. I chose to participate in ECHO simply because I love to help people and I wanted to connect with others at GFC. Walking into the East Tennessee Christian Home and Academy (ETCHA) on the first night, I was nervous about meeting other GFCers and unsure of what I was about to encounter.

  • ECHO - Looking Ahead

    I love summer because it gives our family a break from our usual routine of life…getting up early, packing lunches, school, homework, bedtime routine, and then starting all over. ECHO does this for our family as well, but in a very unique way. It helps our family to focus on what’s most important...

  • The Week After Camp

    This week is quiet around Grace Fellowship Church, unlike last week. If you were here on Sunday, you heard that Tom had to remove his hearing aids to get work accomplished. Last week, there were 32 college students lining the driveway, waving, dancing and shouting at the top of their lungs, welcoming all 150+ campers for Base Camp!

  • Monday Memo - June 10

    Stephanie Hayes is a Mountain View mom, an employee at Earth Fare, a GFCer, and she is working on her Masters at ETSU. She volunteered to plan and organize the feeding of nearly 200 kids and counselors for 5 days last week at our Base Camp. She is an absolute delight and her smile and laughter filled the place.

  • Who Me?

    If you would have told me just two years ago that I would be gearing up to go on a year-long mission trip to East Asia, I would have laughed at you. I always thought that mission work was not for me; I was too shy, too inexperienced, and too afraid to step out of my comfortable lifestyle and take the gospel to the nations. That all changed two winter breaks ago...

  • Monday Memo - June 3

    June 3, 2013. Today’s date has been on our calendar, in our prayers, and the object of significant financial investment for months.  This morning begins our BASE CAMP.

  • A Good Summer Read

    I love to read! Through reading, I can gain new knowledge, learn someone’s perspective, and feel like I have accomplished something. Reading is something that I really enjoy. Not all people share my enthusiasm for a good book.

  • Becoming a Spiritual Champion

    Research tells us that each child needs five spiritual champions who will commit to playing a significant role in their faith journey. They don’t have to be seminary graduates with all the “right” answers, they just need to show up on purpose in the lives of children and care deeply about how they grow. Spiritual champions invest their time, their conversation, and their prayers into kids as they grow.

  • Trip of a Lifetime

    On Friday May 3, 2013 pilgrims from Grace Fellowship Church joined by others from different states and churches headed for the “Holy Land”. Needless to say a trip of a lifetime. Thousands of pictures were taken by these pilgrims in an attempt to seize a moment that they had seen with their own eyes. It was an incredibly awesome trip which I will attempt to touch on only a few of the places we visited...

  • Monday Memo - May 20

    I have been out of the loop recently due to a trip to Israel with some folks from GFC, Tri-cities, Florida and Ohio. It was a fantastic trip that left all of us with a deeper understanding of the Bible (never to be read the same again!). Indeed, impressions of modern life in Israel - both for Israelis and Palestinians, are also very vivid.

  • Feeding the Hungry in JC

    GFC is part of a weekday joint ministry that prepares and serves meals for the homeless, the elderly, and/or home-bound persons who have no resources to prepare a meal for themselves. Twenty-five area churches have signed up to serve, and GFC serves on the fourth Monday of every month. My name is Sue Doyle, and I am a member of the Shepherd’s Lunch committee that coordinates this effort.

  • Parent Child Dedication

    There is a lot of anxiety that comes with being a new father. How much sleep will I loose? Do I really have to help change diapers? What if the she cries every time I hold her? After a few months, as much of the craziness dies down and the new rhythms of life start to lend some sanity, a new view comes to mind. My wife and I have been charged by God with caring for, providing for, praying for....

  • Kickball and Love

    We really weren’t sure what we were signing up for! Sure, we knew we’d be coaching a kickball team composed of elementary students from Mountain View Elementary School. We knew it was only a 1 month commitment in the month of April, and we knew this was a chance for us to have a real opportunity to join GFC in touching lives in the Mountain View Community.

  • Going Public: May 5, 2013 Baptisms

    What do you love to celebrate? Birthdays? Anniversaries? What we celebrate says a lot about us. On Sunday, we celebrated God’s grace in the lives of 13 individuals who decided to “go public” with their faith through baptism.

  • Monday Memo - May 6

    Just imagine Tom and Tim and a group of 40 (mostly GFCers) are now in ISRAEL walking those same dusty paths that Jesus and His disciples walked!  In fact, today (Monday) they are scheduled to be at the Sea of Galilee and later today some will be baptized by Tom in the Jordan River.  Wow!

  • Grace Giving has Great Impact!

    Great Opportunities - Great Impact! That sentiment expresses Grace Fellowship’s Monthly Give outreach focus that began in the fall of 2011. At that time we wanted to have a regular focused giving opportunity to meet physical needs of people in our local and regional communities.

  • Monday Memo - April 29

    Since I hijacked 10 minutes of our worship service this past Sunday, I am also hijacking the Monday Memo.

  • DTS Honors Tom

    Dallas Theological Seminary awarded Tom Oyler with the first ever Alumni Distinguished Service Award during Sunday's service. To Tom's complete surprise, Greg Hatteberg, Director of Alumni at DTS, flew in to present Tom with the award.

  • Learning God’s Word through Music

    My daughter, Abbie, could not wait to be a part of Music Makers. Even before she was able to be a part, she loved to hear them sing at Christmas and went to their spring musical. So when she started Kindergarten, she was so excited to be a part.

  • Sponsoring Jose

    It has been blessing for Paula and I to sponsor Jose, a young Peruvian boy since 2004. Our Compassion sponsor relationship began when Jose was age 5 (he is now 14). We have traveled to Peru to meet Jose and his family in 2009 and it was a life changing experience.

  • 5K-4Kirah

    Kirah Elliott, 16 year old junior at University High and member of Grace Students, was in a serious car accident on December 10th, 2012. Kirah has a traumatic brain injury and is presently in the PICU at the Children’s hospital in Johnson City. There have been multiple surgeries for Kirah and countless sleepless night for her family.

  • Monday Memo - April 22

    Someone said to me yesterday, “Why didn’t you just have me stand up and tell everyone you were talking about ME today?!”  Well, I wasn’t.  I was talking to me.  In fact, did you catch the title, “It Is All About ME!”?

  • Experiencing Joy

    "JOY PROM!!!" In my Sunday morning routine, that phrase does not mean a simple once a year event. When my class demands "Joy Prom," they are in fact demanding that we practice our red carpet entrances, poses for the paparazzi, and dance moves for the upcoming (be it in 10 months or 10 days) prom.

  • No Matter Our Age

    I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Student Ministry at Grace Fellowship Church! It is such a blessing to watch students grow in their faith over the 6 years of Middle School and High School . Morgan Sell, one of our graduating seniors, took a moment to reminisce on her experience in Grace Students and wrote down some of her thoughts to share with us.

  • From Acorns to Oak Trees

    After a long night at the hospital it was a moment I'll never forget. I gazed through bleary eyes at the little 9-pound bundle in my arms - her eyes still closed and her face crinkled up about to cry. She opened her mouth and I recognized...

  • Monday Memo - April 8

    I didn’t eat it all! He ate some too!  After telling the incredibly timely (and humbling!) “cake story” on Sunday, I discovered it when I got home. My son Rich, who was home for the weekend, had eaten his share also - with a fork, right out of the pan!

  • Double Joy

    Many of us know and love a young couple that has spent many years praying for and mentoring the youth at Grace Fellowship Church. They have poured many hours and much energy into the lives of others. Now it is their turn to have a family of their own. Ryan and Erica Griffin will celebrate their 10th anniversary this July.

  • Monday Memo - April 1

    UNBELIEVABLE!  “What would you do if Jesus Christ were to appear to you and stand behind you right now?” That’s the question G.K. Chesterton was asked not long after he became a believer.

  • Serving Christ Through a 5k

    Spring has arrived, and despite this late season cold snap we’ve all been enjoying, so has the 2013 running season. One of the first races on the calendar every year is RiseUp!’s Run The Gump 5k. It’s a great race to participate in from what I understand, but I’ve never actually run it myself.

  • Someone Invited Me

    “It is finished.” Never would I have imagined that three words could have such a life-changing effect on me. Three simple words. I grew up in a small town in North Carolina and attended the small church (membership about 100) that generations of my family had attended. I could recite Bible verses, tell many Bible stories, and sing many of the standard hymns.

  • Monday Memo - March 25

    This morning I was forwarded a blog from James White, a pastor in North Carolina. It is extremely relevant as Easter week is here. So I am forwarding it on to you!

  • Following Jesus by Feeding the Hungry

    Jesus gave us an example of caring for those in need by feeding the hungry as part of His earthly ministry. At GFC, we’re following His example as part of our ministry at Mountain View School. When we began serving Mountain View Elementary three years ago, the need for ongoing food support emerged as we interfaced with the school administration.

  • My Secret Church Experience

    When I first heard about Secret Church, I was completely confused. My friend showed me a video on Facebook that said “sshhhh…tell everyone.” So am I supposed to keep it a secret, or do you want me to tell everyone?? Well, as I learned, Secret Church isn’t so secret.

  • Monday Memo - March 18

    Did you know that Mountain View Elementary School...

    -sees 750 students in a given year with only 450 kids at any one time?

  • Let's Start a Journey

    Euro bungee, climbing walls, waterslides, obstacle courses, cool counselors and life-changing ministry are all on their way to Grace Fellowship Church the first week in June. It is called BASE CAMP, the start of a journey. As Children’s Director, I could not be more excited about the opportunity Base Camp will provide for not only our GFC kids but also kids in the Mountain View community.

  • Grace Students at Dare2Share

    This past weekend Grace Students shared in an experience that proved to be life transforming for many of our students and one that will have a lasting impact on our Student ministry moving forward! We took nearly 60 students and 20 adults to the Dare 2 Share conference in Chattanooga, TN.

  • Opening our Eyes

    He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus would frequently say. For us it was having eyes to see. Three years ago when we began our We Love Mountain View partnership with the Elementary School, we began our awakening to the realities that swallow up the lives of many of our neighbors.

  • Monday Memo - March 4

    It’s Monday - again! I shared with the staff this a.m. at our prayer time some verses from Lamentations 3.

  • What a blast!

    Last Friday night we had over 80 married couples join us for our first-ever GFC Date Night. There was live music, dancing, teaching content around studying your spouse, and even a little Harlem Shake!

  • Serving Behind the Scenes

    Hello, all you GFCers! I want to tell you about something that fills my heart up big each and every week that I get to do it. Not only that, it makes my toes tap, my hands clap and my brain waves dance with creative energy. [Ok, I was going for another “…ap” word, but ran flat out of vocab.] That is the result of....

  • Monday Memo - February 25

    This past week, Leslie and I went to Nashville for a few days. There were two things that we did that will remain with us for a long time.

  • Christianity is Jewish!

    I know, I know! I’m stating the obvious! Or perhaps that’s a revelation to you! Well, whatever your response to that statement, know that my views about that statement have changed dramatically in my life. At one point it was completely irrelevant. Today, that statement plays a major role in who I am as human being. Let me explain.

  • Monday Memo - February 18

    I gave them all to Him, all the things I valued so,
    until I stood there empty handed, every glittering toy did go.

    I walked earth’s lonely highways, in my rags and poverty, till I heard His voice entreating, ‘lift your empty hand to Me.’

  • National Marriage Week

    According to a website I ran across this afternoon, we are in the closing days of National Marriage Week. This year it ran from February 7th to the 14th, aptly ending on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t know there was a dedicated week to honoring, supporting, and strengthening marriages, but I am glad there is, and that it even gains national media attention.


  • Monday Memo - February 11

    We have been introduced to the “passion of the Christ” in our study through the gospel according to Mark. This Sunday we will watch Him in extreme anguish and torment before anyone lays a hand on Him.  A few a years ago when I preached on a similar theme, someone wrote the following on their bulletin and gave it to me.

  • Monday Memo - February 4

    Today is Monday after Super Bowl Sunday.  Doesn’t seem like that big of deal now does it?  So many comments about “first time in history” or “this will be remembered forever.”  Talk about hype!

  • Sharing in God's work in Peru

    Daniel Palacios, the pastor of our Peruvian partner church, was overjoyed by the recent gift of a $10,000 computer lab from an anonymous GFC donor. Beyond that, he was even more excited at what the future holds for our partnership. Just over one year ago Pastor Daniel retired from his long-standing factory job...

  • Monday Memo - January 28

    Let’s TALK!  That’s right.  The leaders of GFC need to hear what you have to say!

  • Daughters of the King

    The tables are set. One honoring each girl. Tonight is her night. We celebrate and honor her for who she is…A daughter of the King. Yes, a modern day princess. The room shimmers in candlelight. Each young woman has invited those most special to her.

  • Finding my Ministry @ Mountain View

    My name is Kathi Baty. When my husband Rock and I became a part of GFC two years ago, I was searching for a ministry to become involved with that could make a difference in our local community. Being a stay-at-home mom for more than 20 years and an “empty nester” for the last 5 years, I really missed being involved with young children.

  • Monthly Give Making A Difference!

    Over the last 15+ months Grace Fellowship has been tangibly expressing God’s love regularly through our ‘Monthly Give’ ministry.  Your sacrifice and giving are making a huge difference in the community!Last month our focus was a blanket drive.  Our church family donated over 225 blankets that were distributed to various ministries in our community...

  • Monday Memo - January 21

    I heard that the third Monday in January is the saddest day of the year for Americans. In case you are not aware, that would be today. Why?  First, they say, it is Monday, second, it is in the dead of winter, third, the bills from Christmas are due, and fourth, we have already given up on our New Years resolutions!

  • Womens’ Hearts and Bunny Rabbits

    I know. What in the world does a woman’s heart have to do with bunnies? Well, not much really, but it got you to read this far at least! A dear friend of mine is a veterinarian in the community, and when she sat down for lunch the other day, the weight of her morning dropped into the padded booth seat along with her.

  • Reaching Trips are Risky!

    Exhilarating! Demanding! Rewarding! Disruptive! Humbling! A gush of emotionally-charged descriptions erupt from hearts impacted by a short term mission trip. It’s virtually impossible to go, serve and return unscathed from the work of the Holy Spirit. Most frequently team members exclaim, “This is fun!” And it is fun. But not always. And not without cost.

  • Monday Memo - January 14

    Do you wonder what the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons are thinking today?  Maybe something like, “BE STRONG - NEVER GIVE UP!” Are you kidding me?  Those were two dramatic football games! But isn’t life dramatic, too?

  • It's Never Too Late to Start

    GFC wants to be a church that helps people grow in their faith and love for Jesus Christ, wherever they are in their relationship with God, whether they are just checking out Christianity for the first time, if they have been following Jesus for many years, or anywhere in between. One particular ministry that we have for anyone checking out the Christian faith is called Starting Point...

  • Monday Memo - January 7

    Tomorrow at our staff meeting, I will be talking about:  The 9 Things We Simply Must Do. Some of you know my affection for the book by Henry Cloud of that title. A few years ago, I decided it would be good to identify 9 things that are vital to being and becoming a great staff and to keep them before us on a regular basis.

  • The “No Regrets” Journey

    What God is doing in men’s live through the No Regrets Small Group Journey. I often wonder what it would be like to look back from the end to this day and have “no regrets”.For reasons I cannot explain, a coworker took a keen interest in my faith walk and persistently invited me to attend an early morning men’s fellowship group. I remember like it was yesterday...

  • Monday Memo - December 24

    Thought you might want to know that at our “Christmas Eve” services last Sunday, over 2700 people heard the gospel of “relief” and had a wonderful opportunity to worship the new born King!

  • Financial Peace is Coming!

    Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is coming to Grace Fellowship Church this January, and we are thrilled to be a part of this ministry once again. This program has been a real blessing to us over the years as we try to manage our finances during these difficult times.When this course was first offered at GFC, I (Paul) did not really want to go...

  • Monday Memo - December 17

    Tim, Rob and I were meeting today and reflecting on the shootings in the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Devastating. Overwhelming.

  • Celebrating the Greatest Gift

    The Giving Depot is all about celebrating relationships! Our 9th Annual Giving Depot with local ministry partner Rise Up! was a wonderful event where together we served 90 families who attended the December 8 event.

  • Monday Memo - December 10

    Soon I am on the way to the emergency room to visit one of our high school students who has been in an automobile accident and is in critical condition. Please pray for her, her family, and friends during this crucial time. You can check the prayer wall on the website for more information and updates.

  • Monday Memo - December 2

    As I typed the date, I could feel it. December. It evokes a lot of memories and emotions. This will be my 60th Christmas, Lord willing. It is still “early” December!  Some, I don’t remember at all, others are more vivid, a few I will never forget.

  • All I Need From Christmas

    Every year about this time, my mom calls to ask me for my list. For a natural gift-giver like her, this season really is "the most wonderful time of year." Her love language is expressed through boxes and bags with shiny paper and bows that sit anxiously under the tree to be unwrapped and appreciated by family and friends.

  • Monday Memo - November 26

    I received an email last week from someone who now attends GFC. She explained to me why:           

    I was struggling thru some personal valleys of my own when I by chance had opportunity to visit and spend some time in this home located here in Johnson City Tn. I was acquainted with this person and I knew he was a Christian....

  • My Baptism Story

    It was on a student mission trip in Chicago during the summer of 2010 when the subject of baptism hit me unexpectedly. At 6:00 am on the last day everyone was gathered together in the lobby of our hotel. The students were asked to share some of their experiences.

  • Monday Memo - November 12

    For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness...

  • Giving Depot 2012

    Change a life. Change a family. Change a community. That’s a pretty ambitious goal for the Giving Depot, yet it’s exactly what’s behind our effort in this 9th year of reaching out to under-resourced children. We are taking aim squarely at the heart – the hearts of those we serve as well as our own. Through the Giving Depot we all experience Jesus’ words “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

  • Monday Memo - November 5

    As you may know, tomorrow GFC will be a polling place for the election. We are glad we can serve our community in this way.  We can also serve our community and country by voting ourselves and encouraging others to do so.

  • Justice Sunday is November 4

    Injustice comes in multiple guises, but always with the same effect – it dehumanizes, exploits, wounds, and enslaves. Human trafficking, religious persecution, corruption, are devil tools that suck the marrow out of one’s bones. As we pray for justice concerns, including the Persecuted Church, Benjamin Kisoni shares an update to his life story as his family continues to bear up under persecution in the DR Congo.

  • Monday Memo - October 29

    I know. It is not Monday. It is Wednesday. While my schedule has hindered the “Memo” writing this week, it is not totally at fault. It is good that you receive this as close to FRIDAY as possible.

  • A Woman’s Touch

    Once upon a time in a land far far away, there was a man and woman who enjoyed unhindered fellowship with the Holy One of the Universe. One day an evil serpent tempted and deceived the woman to choose for herself what was best for her, even though it wasn’t what the Holy One said was true. She chose for herself what she saw was ‘good’, and the man watched.

  • Monday Memo - October 22

    I did something last Saturday morning that I had never done before. I went out to a “farm” with a barn with 4 other guys, and shot guns at targets! Prior to this, I can only vaguely remember shooting a bb gun like the guy in A Christmas Story.

  • Building Reaching

    We are celebrating buildingreaching, a three year capital campaign that officially ends December 31, 2012. This act of sacrificial  giving, along with a previous campaign called Imagine, has enabled GFC to build our current facilities. We are saying thank you to God and to all who have given so that there is space for the ministry of GFC can grow and thrive as we pursue our mission of Building A Community to...

  • Clarkston, Georgia: How God Changed Our Lives Forever

    Our family had been praying over an opportunity to go on a mission trip for quite some time. Our initial thoughts were to go overseas to some far away land, but restrictions with schedules and finances seemed to make a mission trip difficult, if not impossible for us.

  • Monday Memo - October 15

    After yesterday's message, the second in the I Pledge Allegiance... series, I got some requests for a few of the quotes that I used.

  • Helping the Church BE the Church

    This past Sunday morning Tom talked about two of our major Care ministries: Stephen Ministry and Marriage Mentors. Both of these ministries involve members of our congregation coming alongside and serving those looking for care and support.

  • Monday Memo - October 8

    Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ, For all the benefits that you have given us, For all the pains and insults that you have borne for us. Most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. - Richard of Chichester 1197-1253 

  • A New Local Outreach Partner

    The Hope of Christ in Every Student! That's the vision of First Priority! First Priority's "first priority" is to provide multiple opportunities for every student to hear the gospel and to respond before they graduate high school. First Priority sees our local middle and high school campuses as the greatest mission field in our country and perhaps the world.

  • Monday Memo - October 1

    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man walking into the little booth with a little pencil making a little cross on a little bit of paper. No amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point. (Winston Churchill)

  • See You At The Pole

    Over 100 Grace Students gathered on their Middle School and High School campuses this morning to pray for our nation, their schools, and their lost friends as part of the national prayer event, See You At the Pole. SYATP started 22 years ago and has remained a student-owned and student-led time of prayer at just about every school in the United States. I was humbled and took great pride as the...

  • Monday Memo - September 24

    I turned 60 this weekend, my wife had rotator cuff surgery, and along with other "life related" issues, I have found myself over the last few weeks experiencing a higher level of anxiety than usual.

  • NOLA 2012

    The second highlighted note I marked in my copy of Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, addresses the key reason why our small group decided to move into a closer relationship with Alf and Allison Nelson, their family, and the Crescent City Community Church in New Orleans, LA (NOLA). Author David Platt very straightforwardly says,

  • Monday Memo - September 17

    It has been a strange few weeks for me. Some illness of mind, body, and spirit - who knows the real source? Of course, God does and He is leading me as my Shepherd.

  • Welcome to Our New Site!

    Along with a new ministry year, comes a brand new GFC website. The Worship Arts team has been working for several months on this as a project, and our whole staff is excited about its launch. We started from scratch and built a website with the goals of simplicity, authenticity, and unity.

  • Monday Memo - August 27

    "And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love." (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 The Message).

  • Persecuted but Not Abandoned

    Hear the incredible story of Benjamin Kisoni as he recounts his experience of persecution and what he has learned through it. This video is part of the Persecuted Church week at GFC.

  • Meet the Huddlestons

    The Huddlestons have two special needs children. In this video, they share their story and also share how GFC ministered to their unique needs.

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