By Sarah Kraus
A church excited about “genuine relationships … with God, with each other, and with those who feel far from God,” Grace Fellowship, a Grace Brethren congregation in Pickerington, Ohio (Keith Minier, pastor) has been going through major changes. They recently sold their building and are now meeting at Pickerington Central High School. The new location, 300 Opportunity Way, is a little more than six miles away from the previous site. (Check out the video, above, to see how God has worked in this congregation during the last year.)
The church moved because much of its previous property was unbuildable, making it hard for expansion. They have been meeting at the high school since June 10 and will continue doing so until a new building is constructed – which is underway. They are “getting ready to start moving some dirt,” Minier said.
In reference to the nontraditional meeting place, Minier complimented the volunteers, staff, and everyone else with a wonderful job of “making the place feel like home…It’s been going great,” he said. The church meets in the school’s performing arts center, but also uses various classrooms for their children’s programs.
Holding church services in a high school has definitely had different effects on the church family, as well as the community. It is a constant reminder that church is not simply a building, but rather the family of God, according to Minier. He is excited about how the environment has fostered a “collective energy God uses to bind people together.” In addition, he noted that it is creating a healthy “culture of sacrifice” in the church. A few ministry opportunities have been added, such as hospitality and a set up and tear down crew.
Minier has seen growth in the church since its move. Because of the buzz in the community created by the church’s new location, a few new people have “checked us out,” Minier said. He hopes Grace Fellowship will continue to impact the community positively, wherever they go.
Sarah Kraus was a Fall semester intern with the Brethren Missionary Herald Company. A graduating senior at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., she is from Eldersburg, Md.