We Are One As shown in services this past Sunday, we are still celebrating that Grace Church Lititz and Grace Church Lancaster, Pa., are now officially one! The first community outreach event is next Sunday afternoon, February 28, at 2:15 p.m. to place door hangers on the doors of homes around the Lancaster campus.
Posted on Facebook by Grace Church on Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Grace Church, Lititz, Pa., has come alongside the Grace Brethren Church in nearby Lancaster, Pa. As of the end of January, the two congregations have formally joined as one congregation in two locations. Assets from the Lancaster congregation have been transferred to the Lititz church, which will also be providing administrative and spiritual oversight of the campus.
Scott Becker, who previously served in Ireland with Encompass World Partners, is leading the group in Lancaster, now known as Grace Church Lancaster.
The merge has been a matter of discussion for several years between the pastors of both locations, including Galen Wiley, who led the Lancaster congregation for 11 years.
“This is a most unique situation in that the leadership of the church in Lancaster pursued us in Lititz with open hands and entrusted to us not only their material assets but most importantly, their people,” said Ivanildo Trindade, pastor of Grace Church Lititz. “They did this because they believe that God is not quite done with using their church for the sake of the Gospel.”
“As leaders, we have done our due diligence but we have never lost sight of this question: Is this something that God would have us do at this time? After praying a lot about this and doing a lot of research, we unanimously came to the decision that this is something that God wants us to pursue now,” he added.
The decision to merge the churches came as the Lancaster church looked for new leadership. They had also seen attendance decline and wanted to breathe new life into the ministries of the church.
The commitment of the Lancaster group to reach their community for Christ has long been deep in their DNA. The church was the impetus behind the beginning of the Lititz congregation in the mid-1970’s by families who lived in Lititz but worshipped in Lancaster. “They wanted to reach their neighbors for Christ,” noted Pastor Ivanildo. “Now history is repeating itself in the reversed order. We believe this is from God and we also believe this will be only the first of several other campus to be developed under Grace Church’s leadership in the future.”
Wiley continues to be involved at Lancaster as Pastor Emeritus. “He has been a phenomenal help to Pastor Scott during this transition,” says Pastor Ivanildo.
“In terms of my future ministries, I’m just excited to know that the Lord has that all under control. He just hasn’t told me yet. I’m just committed to serving Him as long as I live however He directs,” Pastor Galen said.
Their first combined community outreach event is Sunday afternoon, February 28, to place door hangers on the doors of homes around the Lancaster campus. The revisioned campus will officially kick off on Easter Sunday, March 27.
The Lancaster congregation is poised to better serve the people of their community.
“We believe that when we step out in faith to intentionally engage the harvest, God will bless us beyond what we can imagine now,” said Trindade.
Melissa Sorensen contributed to this story.