"AN ENGAGING COMMUNITY
GROWING IN CHRIST"
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 (Taylor Achterhoff), and our first ever full time worship director (Adam Wolf). 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 Andrea Clark is our communications coordinator. Autumn Olson handles our custodial duties.
We believe the Bible is verbally inspired by God and is without error.
We believe there is One God eternally existing in three distinct Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each is inseparable, coequal, unlimited and unchanging in power, presence, and knowledge.
Therefore, all are worthy of the same worship and obedience.
Therefore, we believe He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, became the substitutionary death for sinful humanity, was bodily resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father and will return with power and glory.
We believe that all people were created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, people are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through their own efforts.
Therefore, we believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. This complete salvation is given as a free gift of God to those who place their faith in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. As a result, all believers should live for Christ and not for themselves. By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Holy Spirit, every believer should mature and be conforming to the image of Christ.
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head. We believe that the Holy Spirit places all believers into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation by one spiritual baptism. Through this work of the Holy Spirit, we are identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
Therefore, our purpose as part of the Body of Christ is to glorify God by loving him, by equipping the members for good works and by making Him known to the lost world.
We believe in the physical resurrection of the dead. The believer of this dispensation passes directly into the presence of Christ in Heaven. All of the unsaved dead enter a state of conscious eternal suffering without any hope of salvation. Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily, and therefore everyone will have a bodily resurrection. The saved will be raised to eternal glory and the unsaved to eternal punishment.
Therefore, Jesus Christ will personally come to take His Church to heaven. All members of the Body of Christ, both living and dead, will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air (commonly referred to as “the Rapture of the Church”). This event is imminent and will take place prior to the Tribulation that will come upon the earth.
We believe our mission is to bring glory to God as we proclaim the message of reconciliation to all the unsaved; as we equip and train the saved for the spiritual and physical growth of the Body of Christ; and as we serve all people through acts of grace and compassion. In this way we make plain to everyone the unsearchable riches of Christ according to the dispensation of the mystery.
Therefore, we believe that the Holy Scriptures are best understood through the framework of Dispensational Theology. The Bible is clear that God deals in different ways, at different times with different people. These changes in the outworking of God’s plan are referred to as “dispensations.” We recognize several distinct dispensations, or administrations, in Scripture. Each is marked by revelation from God specific only to that dispensation. The current dispensation, God’s plan for the Church, the Body of Christ, “the mystery” revealed to the Apostle Paul, is distinct from God’s plan for the nation of Israel. We find in Paul’s writings alone the revelation, position and destiny of the Church.