Grace Bible Fellowship (GBF) began as a church planting effort by Grace Gospel Fellowship Regions 9 and 10 in Michigan. A church planting committee was established in 1985, and in July of 1986 a call was extended to Pastor
Steve Hartman. Pastor Steve began extensive research in October of 1986, and by January 25 1987 , the church (formerly called Christ Church ) held its first worship service in the Jenison High School auditorium. Five years later, the church needed to move and began holding services at Bauer Elementary school in Hudsonville.
Within a year of the move, Christ Church purchased its current facility located on Chicago Drive and 12th Avenue in Jenison and remodeled it to adapt it for church use. And shortly after, the name was changed from Christ Church to Grace Bible Fellowship because our people thought it was much more descriptive of who we are.
When it became clear we were running out of room in our facility, a committee was established to find a new location. Eventually, God made it clear that our best option was to add on at our current location. So in the fall of 2003, we embarked on a “Together We Build” stewardship campaign and began construction in 2004. The result was a tripling of our square footage, adding a beautiful auditorium, small gymnasium and kitchen. The original facility was completely remodeled and converted to classrooms, offices, and a beautiful, designated Youth room. God continued to bless financially, and we were able to completely pay off the bank mortgage in 2017. As a
result, we have been able to redirect funds for both church ministry and foreign and local missions. In the fall of 2019, we were able to add two more church staff positions – our first ever full time youth director, and our first ever full time worship director. We are currently waiting on a Religious Visa to bring Alejandro Gonzalez to our church staff as Worship and Spanish Outreach Pastor. The church is led by senior pastor, Caleb Befus, who grew up in Costa Rica as a missionary kid. Pat McGillicuddy is our teaching pastor (a full time Bible teacher at Grace Christian University), and Angie Martin is our communications coordinator. Cindy Carmichael handles our custodial duties.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR MY CHILDREN AND STUDENTS?Our nursery serves children from birth to 36 months during our Sunday service. Check-in begins 15 minutes before the service begins. Children's church serves kids from 3yrs old to 3rd grade during the message portion of our Sunday service. We have student ministries for K-6th grade called CBC (Coach by Christ) that meets on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:45pm, and 7-12th grade (youth group) that meets on Sundays from 6-8pm. These programs are available September-May each year.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?Grace Bible Fellowship is a warm and friendly church community! You can expect people to greet you and assist you with any needs you may have. There is coffee and tea available each week, a bulletin with important information and about a 60 minute service of worship and a message from a pastor each week.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?We are a casual church, so come dressed comfortably. Some people enjoy dressing up, while others prefer shorts and a t-shirts. Come as you are and you'll fit right in.
WHAT STYLE OF MUSIC CAN I EXPECT?Our church community is a blend of all ages, so you can expect a worship service that will try and serve everyone. From a traditional hymn or two, to worship songs brand new on the radio, there is something for everybody. Song lyrics are displayed on the screens and everyone is invited to engage with the music and worship.
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE FOR THE SERVICE?We would suggest that you arrive 10-15 minutes early to grab a hot cup of coffee/tea and find a seat before the service begins. If you have young children (birth to 36 months), you may want to arrive early enough to check them in with the staff in the nursery. The nursery begins checking in kids as early as 15 minutes before the service starts.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE MONEY WHEN I VISIT?You are under no obligation to give money during your visit. Feel free to let the offering plate pass by during the service. As people get more involved, we hope that they will be moved towards being generous and giving with the finances that God has blessed them with. Check out our giving page for more information about ways to give financially.
WHO CAN HELP ME ANSWER MY QUESTIONS AT CHURCH?If you have any questions after arriving, please stop by the welcome table near the east entrance and someone from our greeting team can help!
DO YOU HAVE SUNDAY SCHOOL?Yes! During the school year (September-May) we offer multiple Sunday school classes for all ages. These classes start at 11:15AM (after the service) and end around Noon.