Charis Fellowship is the new “doing business as” name for The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC). The announcement was made during a live stream video event on November 7, 2017, from Grace Church, Bath Campus, in Akron, Ohio.
The new brand comes after many months of brainstorming sessions, research, and professional input.
Charis means “grace” and is representative of the congregations and ministries that affiliated with the Grace Brethren movement. Most churches within the fellowship already use the word “Grace” in their title, but it also is found in the names of other congregations not partnered with the FGBC. A word that means “grace” creates an identity for a fellow-ship that shares a common commitment to understanding the word of God (biblical truth), living as the people of God (relationship), and fulfilling the purposes of God (mission). Charis is also a nod to the global movement with which the network of churches is aligned – the Charis Alliance, a network of similarly-focused groups of evangelical believers around the world who seek to share experience and resources, and to partner with one another in ministry.
The word “fellowship” has been retained to be consistent. The FGBC had frequently been referred to as “Fellowship” by its members. Keeping the word in the title allows for continuity with the past and is a freshening of the current name.
“Our Fellowship places a high value on biblical truth, biblical relationship, and biblical mission,” said Tom Avey, fellowship coordinator. “This mission drives us to actively start new churches, develop leaders, and do good in our communities for the sake of the Gospel.
“The name, Charis Fellowship, calls to where we have come from and assures that we are only getting strong in these values and mission,” he added.
A new logo is a part of the rebranding. The graphic C in the logo consists of three sweeping flags that represent the core elements of biblical truth, biblical relationship, and biblical mission. The colors of the logo, steel blue, sage, and sky, correspond with each of the elements.
The Charis Fellowship began in 1939 as the National Fellowship of Brethren Churches, though its roots reach to 1708 when a small group of sincere Christ-followers committed to form a church that would be faithful to the teachings of the New Testament. The name changed to Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in the mid-1970s. The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Inc., will continue to be the legal name of the group. Today the movement is made up of more than 260 autonomous churches in the United States and Canada, more than 30 national and cooperating ministries, and 20 cooperating districts. Outside of North America, more than 20 evangelical groups are part of the Charis Alliance.