Grace Connection Bible Fellowship began forming in April 2018 and had its official public opening on Sept 9, 2018. We are not like many church start ups where the church is formed by splitting off from an existing church because of dissatisfaction or offense of some kind. We believe this church was planted in a God-honoring way. In fact, it was not really even planned, but just began to form.
Pastor Sarah's knowledge of the New Testament and her understanding of the pure gospel of grace had impacted the lives of those studying with Pastor Sarah for over 6 years of bible study in Ridgecrest. She had started this study group upon her arrival in Ridgecrest after moving from North Carolina, and while she was completing her Masters of Theological Studies through Regent University. She was eager to share all that God was showing her.
Some time after Jon and Sarah took the church assignment in Trona, seven people from this group began travelling to the Foursquare Church in Trona on Sunday mornings where Pastor Sarah co-pastored with her husband. It was only after approximately a year later that the decision was made to ask Foursquare International if we could hold a service in Ridgecrest on Sundays with a vision that the church would grow through Sarah's efforts and the efforts of these seven . After that possibility was heard by a few others living in Ridgecrest who attended her bible studies there, they asked Sarah if they could be a part to help launch the new church if approved by Foursquare leadership. These were people that had been studying with Pastor Sarah for several years as well. These total of 15 people formed the support team needed for Pastor Sarah to approach the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, where she holds her licensing and ordination, concerning launching a new service in Ridgecrest.
At this time, Sarah had been co-pastoring with her husband, Jon, for nearly 4 years at the Trona Foursquare Church (New Hope of Searles Valley) at the time she asked to hold another additional Foursquare service with this group in Ridgecrest. Her ministry experience, pastoral experience, however, involved much more. You can read more of her qualifications on the bios on this site of the Grace Connection pastors.
Grace Connection was approved by the International Churches of the Foursquare Gospel to be a second Foursquare Church in Ridgecrest. Grace Connection began it's meetings as a church plant from Trona Foursquare with a total of 15 people whom Sarah believed were eager to grow in grace and a knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jon remains the teaching pastor in Trona for Sunday mornings while Pastor Sarah is in Ridgecrest. Throughout the week, you will see both Sarah and Jon ministering in Ridgecrest. Pastor Jon serves as an Associate Pastor at Grace Connection, holding men's meetings and helping with counseling men. He is an active influence aside from the Sunday worship service. Pastor Jon and Sarah moved to Trona and lived in the parsonage upon accepting the position to pastor the church there with a commitment for four years. Although they still pastor the people and Jon teaches there on Sundays, after four years, they returned their home residence back to Ridgecrest.
That is pretty much our history to date, without sharing the normal challenges and disappointments involved in church planting. We are a young church still forming it's
DNA and leadership. As Pastor, I am committed to study and minister the Truth of Scripture that sets people free and grows them spiritually. We welcome mature believers, young believers, and those seeking who haven't yet come to know Jesus Christ as God. I with the help of Pastor Jon, Chris and Jim Williams, Nolia Wickliff, Molly Abu-Issa are here to help you progress on your journey. We are eager to meet you, grow in relationship with you, and invite you to help us in our God-given mission.
Additional Thoughts Shared:
DO WE NEED ANOTHER FOURSQUARE CHURCH IN RIDGECREST?
A few have asked “Why two Foursquare churches in Ridgecrest?” It is not unusual for there to be more than one church of any denomination in a city. In fact, there are a number of Baptist, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches as well as a number who have branded themselves as non-denominational in Ridgecrest. However, there are still people to be reached for Christ in the 28,000 plus population of Ridgecrest. There are also people who have been reached but who have not found a church home where they feel they fit or where they can go deeper into discipleship that leads to a more intimate relationship with their Creator. We hope to be the perfect fit for them to receive the discipleship they need. We are on mission to connect the lost with Jesus Christ, to disciple those who want to dig deeper into the truths of Scripture, and to help people discover their giftings and release them into the ministries God has called them to.
We are contenders of the faith and hold fast to our beliefs, as we believe what we believe has great affects on how we live out our Christian life. Nonetheless, Grace Connection and Pastors Sarah and Jon look forward to co-laboring with all the local Christian churches in Ridgecrest who lift the name of Jesus to fulfill the Great Commission, united as disciples of Christ by the love and Spirit of Christ. In respect to co-laboring, we have adopted the Foursquare motto regarding salvation "In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; and in all things charity."