GBC seeks to embody the missional call of Jesus as revealed in God’s word, in our town, region and the world. We are passionate about God and people! We believe that together we can grow in the likeness of Jesus, as we experience God’s grace, are renewed by the Spirit and as we share life together.
GBC is a non-denominational, evangelical church. Instead of attempting to align with a particular denomination, we prefer to see ourselves as a community of Jesus’ followers. In an intentional effort to remain connected and accountable to the larger “body of Christ, ” GBC is a member of, or is associated with recognized and established Christian organizations including Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Small Church Connections and Vision Ministries Canada. While none of these organizations dictate our policies or make decisions on our behalf, they provide accountability, valuable guidance, support, as well as resources (plus we just love to partner with others in the expansion of God’s kingdom).
Our Elders are a group of men and women who meet the spiritual qualifications outlined in 1st Timothy and Titus, who alongside the pastor, oversee all spiritual matters of the church’s function. Their main priorities include the spiritual direction and needs of the church, while overseeing ministries, teaching/guidance and supporting the body through spiritual and pastoral care. The Board of Directors (Leadership Board) is a recognized group of “directors” who also meet the spiritual qualifications of elders. They serve our church by overseeing all areas including financial and business matters, human resources, facilities and ensuring compliance with bylaws and regulations. The Board of Directors (Leadership Board) carries the legal responsibility for all matters of the church. The Pastor/Pastoral Team provides spiritual leadership, vision and direction to and in conjunction with the Elders and Leadership Board.
In the early 1960s, God was working in the lives of the Martin and Fuller families. These two families met at the former Martin Clay Products tile yard. As they gathered in small groups, they noticed common interests, shared spirituality and a deep desire to be faithful in their community. Their regular and frequent visits developed into more intentional worship gatherings and outreach activities. Folks around the area took notice as they gathered for worship in local parks.
Eventually, the Martin and Fuller families developed a vision to start a new church. They began holding church services in the basement of the Martin home and soon were joined by folks from Parkhill and surrounding area. As the church grew in numbers, so did the need to have a building in which to meet.
While plans were being made, the ministry continued. Clarence Martin was appointed youth leader and eventually became the first pastor. Through much prayer and planning, in the fall and winter of 1967-68, a site at the corner of Emily and Main Street Parkhill was purchased for $3000. In April 1968, the sod was broken and construction began. Through the construction phase, the excitement continued and more and more families became involved. The Chapel was finished on the first weekend of October and on the day of dedication, it was filled to capacity
We want to embody the missional call of Jesus in our town, region and world. We desire to love God deeper and share His love for others more widely. We want to be a people who seek, participate and point to God’s redemptive story in our context. We want to reclaim the importance of community and foster authentic and grace-filled relationships. We see ourselves spending more time together as intentional small communities. With God’s help, we see small groups becoming not just programs of our church, but contextual and rooted expressions of the Body of Christ–the Church in neighbourhoods all around us. As we share life together, we pray we will continue to grow in the likeness of Jesus, experience His grace and renewal, and participate in the wellbeing of our community.
Instead of GOING to church, we want to live and function as the church. Instead of inviting folks to COME to us, we pray we can GO to them. Instead of pushing our ways on others, we seek to freely and widely SHARE the life-giving, all-transforming grace and truth of Jesus with everyone we meet.
GBC’s Key Motivators
Belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is a process that ultimately provides the biblical bedrock for your faith. Our desire is to reveal the nature of God and who He created you to be in order to strengthen your faith and surrender to His grace.
Relationships play an essential role in your spiritual life and in your walk with God, and they’re rooted in belonging to a greater community. In fact, Jesus commanded us to love God and love one another. We all have a need to belong, and it’s through loving, helping and protecting one another that we have opportunity to live out these greatest of commandments.
To be Christ-like is to move away from a self-centered existence to a Christ-centered life of doing and loving as He does. But this transformation isn’t done on our own – it’s begun and completed through God’s generous grace and power. Through practical steps in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and relationship with God and others, our emphasis is to help you become more like Christ in your own personal spiritual growth and development.
Discover how God is calling you to give to others what the Lord has already given to you. Acting as his hands and feet by using your gifts and talents you can help build the kingdom by the giving of yourself in making disciples and helping others move toward spiritual maturity.
GBC’s Core Values
Although there are many things that Grace Bible Chapel values (as other churches do), there are certain things that we give priority to that we believe contribute to our mission here in Parkhill (our core values).
Mission Over Tradition
Traditions in churches can play a vital role in maintaining a churches’ ministry. Many traditions were originally put in place because they enhanced the ministry and the mission of the church. Over time, however, traditions can be practiced simply because they have become comfortable or expected and can even begin to hinder us from fulfilling our God given mission. At GBC we recognize that tradition can be important, but that our mission as a church is even more important. We therefore continually examine the way we do things to determine if they help or hinder us in fulfilling our mission. (Matt 15:1-7)
Community of Jesus Followers
GBC is a community of people from all walks of life united in our quest to follow Jesus. Some of us have families with young children, some are single, others have children that have long since left the nest. We value everyone who calls GBC their church home and hope that we are effective at helping you in your walk with the Lord regardless of your background and previous history. One thing that makes GBC unique is our focus on ministry to families with children. Many of our ministries and activities are designed with families in mind. If your children are all grown up or have no children – no worries, you still belong at GBC. In fact, you are perfectly placed and uniquely gifted to help us in our mission to share the good news with the next generation. (Luke 18:16)
Grace is for Everyone
At GBC, people are allowed to be imperfect–because in fact, none of us are perfect. Although our goal is to help people become mature disciples of Jesus Christ, we realize that everyone who has come in our door struggles with all sorts of challenges, failures and sin. We believe that one role of the church is to be a hospital for souls. We therefore make it a point to welcome people whose lifestyles may not yet reflect an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ in the hope that we can help them experience the grace of God, the forgiveness available in Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 2:15-17)
Freedom in Christ
At GBC, we value the inner of transformation of the Holy Spirit. We are convinced that the motivation to live a godly life comes not be external coercion but rather from our hearts as they have been changed by God. We therefore understand that there are certain matters that should be left to a Christian’s individual conscience. We value the belief that righteousness does not come from following rules and law keeping (Rom 14).