This fall East Side Grace Brethren Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Blacklick, Ohio, celebrated 50 years of serving the east side of Columbus. It started as a local gathering of east side residents who attended the Grace Brethren Church in Worthington, a suburb of northern Columbus, then under the leadership of Pastor Jim Custer (now Grace Polaris Church, Lead Pastor Mike Yoder). East Side Grace established the new congregation as a home church and quickly called Bob Combs as their first pastor.
Beau Stanley has served as their senior pastor for three years, and before that he served on staff at Grace Polaris Church for 11 years. “It is a genuine honor and blessing to serve the congregation,” he said.
Over the past five decades, the area around East Side Grace has become a booming metropolis, and the church itself has grown significantly. Beau commented, “The area we are in is changing and growing rapidly. The next years of our church may look different than some of the previous years.” As they adapt to a changing environment and growing population, they hold true to their mission of meeting people where they are and moving them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
“We are part of a larger family,” Beau said, “not only the Fellowship, but specifically many churches in central Ohio have direct connections through church planting or people and staff that have participated in multiple churches. We feel grateful to be part of this smaller expression of our family in central Ohio and I anticipate that going forward those connections are going to grow and be more fruitful.”
As East Side Grace celebrated this milestone, they hosted a special service that featured previous senior pastors and was “an explicit expression of our conviction that God has a calling for our church in the future. We want people to know we treasure our past but we are absolutely committed to reaching people in the present and the future,” according to Beau. They followed it with an outdoor party that had a live DJ, a catered barbecue meal, and family activities.
“Fifty years is a long time for God’s faithfulness to be manifested, and it’s such a privilege to be part of it.”
Send the folks at East Side Grace an encouraging note here.