An Imperfect Church
For Imperfect People
We are not the perfect church… because we are made up of imperfect people like me and you! We struggle; we ask questions; we have fears and doubts. At times we even do things that we know we shouldn’t and aren’t the best for us! We are individuals on a journey… not people that think they “have arrived.” We are on a journey from here to eternity with God, and we have come to believe that our only hope of spending eternity in the presence of a perfect God is through individual faith in the person and work of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Collectively as a church, we want to live for Him and allow Him to live through us. In humility and grace-filled dependence upon the Spirit that He has placed within those who trust in Him, we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world that needs the help and hope that only He can offer.
The Bible in Grace Bible — Historic truth for a present time
Probably no one would disagree that our world is changing… and changing fast. “Down” is suddenly “up”… “right” has become “left,” and “out” has become the new “in.” In a world that offers only temporary help and a fading hope, we believe in a God of truth who spoke in time and space, and has preserved that truth for us in His Word – the Bible. We identify as a “Bible Church,” certainly not because we worship the Bible – rather we worship and adore the God who has disclosed Himself in the Bible – His revelation and love-letter to us. We believe the Bible is His “God-breathed” word to us, protected and preserved across the ages. Through the Bible, God speaks into our present culture, guiding and directing people to Himself – the only person and place where we find true love, joy, and peace.
In 1961 a group of 29 individuals who had a passionate belief in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible as God’s Word, personal salvation birthed and sustained by God’s grace, and a collective pursuit to make the Triune God known throughout the world, met together in a Bible study to consider the possibility of starting a church. These core beliefs of the Bible and God’s grace would come to describe this group and was eventually chosen as a name, “Grace Bible Church.” By the fall of 1962 the original group had grown to 75 adults who together became the charter members of Grace Bible Church.
Rev. Bill Male, of Grace Theological Seminary of Winona Lake, IN helped organize and administratively found the church and served as an initial interim pastor. In July, 1962 the church called Rev. Ivan French to serve as the first full-time vocational teaching pastor. That same year the believers purchased a former church building in downtown Berne, where they would hold services until 1980 when they moved to the current meeting location.
The church has grown, expanded, and changed over the years, adding and expanding in missional efforts throughout the world, but GBC has sought to remain true to the commitment to God’s Word and salvation by Grace. Across the years various senior pastors, associate pastors, and interim ministers have helped lead the congregation. As 2011 concluded, a senior pastoral vacancy was realized, and the congregational pulpit committee contacted Dr. Jeff Gaskill to consider serving as Grace’s next senior pastor. Pastor Jeff, along with his wife Becky, were born and raised in Berne and were former members of GBC before moving away from Berne for vocational ministry. Grace was Jeff’s home church where he had grown up since 1963, was ordained through Grace, and served as part of Grace’s missionary team for several years. He and his wife Becky sensed God’s calling to come back to Berne and help lead Grace in God’s next phase for His church. They have been service at Grace since March 2012.