Ten folks gathered back in 1972 believing God was calling them to a common task, to start a new church in West Sherman that would be open to all people and share God’s love through Jesus Christ in all ways. This church would be relevant to what was happening in the world, passionate about sharing Christ with that world, and creative in its missional approach. It was obvious to them what the name of such a church should be... Grace!
Grace United Methodist Church, 2800 Canyon Creek Drive, celebrated its 40th anniversary Sunday, May 6th. Five of the ten founding members and other charter members were present during the celebration. Other special guests included the first pastor of Grace UMC, Henry Stevenson and District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Marvin Guier and his wife Kathy. A special program was presented in the Celebration Center 9:45-10:30am, and a Fellowship luncheon was served following the 11:00am worship service.
This was a unique way for a new church start, but is typical of how the church has operated over the years. In contrast with the usual method of initial planning being done at the conference or district level, this church began with a group of lay people who had the dream of a new kind of church and began to work to make that dream come true.
Through the years of building and growing many changes have taken place structurally at Grace UMC, as well with those who attend. Many stories will be shared during the anniversary celebration, regarding the history of the church and its people. All hand-made banners will be hung throughout the church.
One of the strongest characteristics of Grace UMC is the way its members care for each other in times of trouble or tragedy and in times of celebration as well. At crucial times of need, our members have mobilized in unbelievable ways to provide help and care.
Mission and outreach to others in need have been important components of the ministry of Grace church. The Grace Legal Clinic will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September. This is an example of a local mission effort to help those who need free legal assistance. The church, along with co-sponsors, Grayson County Bar Association and North Texas Legal Services serves an average of 30 to 40 people at the monthly clinic which also provides food and childcare. Grace UMC is involved with many local outreach efforts, as well on a national and international level with children, youth, and adult participation. Throughout the history of Grace UMC, our missionaries at home and abroad have had their hearts warmed by the people they served and are continually being motivated to do even more to meet the tremendous needs of this world that God loves so much.