Who We Are
When Grace Bible Church was started in 1939, it was a small group of believers who had been captivated by the life-changing message of Jesus and were committed to bringing that hope to the great city of Ann Arbor. The idea of a healthy church family that could gather and grow followers of Jesus in the midst of a culturally and educationally vibrant city like Ann Arbor fueled those early GBC members. They met together and studied, and began reaching out to their neighbors. As Ann Arbor grew, so too did GBC. Eventually, the church moved locations a number of times to accommodate their swelling numbers, ultimately landing them at 1300 S. Maple in the early 70’s.
While the names and faces have changed over the years, the heartbeat has not. GBC is still a group of people captivated by the grace-filled message and work of Jesus and sharing that with others.
Each Sunday as we gather, because we want others to understand how awesome Jesus is, we try to take into consideration the skeptical Ann Arborite who is trying out church for the first time. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a big enough idea to try to get your mind around; we don’t want to add the additional burden of insider language, tasteless music or impenetrable rituals. Thus, we try to explain what we’re about to do throughout the service and to always bring what we say and do back to Jesus. After all, unless you have come to accept that Jesus is who He says He is — God Himself come to restore and reclaim His broken people — then why should you care about Christian opinions about this or that secondary issue?
Each week we gather as a family: committed to understanding His word, and passionate about His ways. The community that God is gathering and growing in Ann Arbor at 1300 S. Maple is a beautiful thing. As we have grown, we have been slowly rolling out the idea of eventually planting other like-minded churches. Rather than becoming a megachurch, based wholly on the preaching and teaching of one pastor, we are beginning to think through how we can begin more congregations in and around Ann Arbor. While these “church plants” are probably a few years down the road, we are praying about this even now.