Grace Chapel was incorporated as a church in 1956. The congregation began with six families who felt God’s call to begin a non-denominational, Bible-believing, Christ-centered local church. The first Sunday worship service was held on November 25, 1956. There were 39 adults and children present at a home in West Liberty.
The church building was at first a cement block basement at its present location at the end of Linden Street in West Liberty. Some in the community referred to it as “The Groundhog Church.”
The upper level of the church and first sanctuary was completed in 1960, built by members of the church who worked nights and Saturdays for many months. The first sanctuary is now a fellowship space.
Through the years the church building grew and expanded as the congregation grew. A second floor with classrooms was added in the 1970’s and a new sanctuary was completed in 1983.
The most recent addition to the building included a sanctuary expansion, additional classrooms and nursery rooms, as well as a large fellowship room, now called Grace Hall.
Grace Chapel celebrated its 60th anniversary with a return to the “50’s” in dress, food and entertainment; thanking God for His faithfulness and many blessings over 60 years.
After waiting and trusting for the Lord's provision, Grace Chapel called Zach Dudenhofer to be our Senior Pastor. We are excited to welcome Pastor Zach, to learn from his preaching of the Word, and to grow under his leadership.
The Bible, containing the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, is God’s perfect Word. It is completely trustworthy, without error in its original manuscripts, perfectly sufficient, and our only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the VERBAL PLENARY INSPIRED WORD OF GOD, absolutely authoritative and infallible in the original manuscripts, and altogether sufficient in themselves as our only infallible rule of faith and practice.
Jn. 10:35, 17:17; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:21
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-equal.
Matt. 28:19; Jn. 1:11, 4:24, 5:23-26, 10:30
We believe in God the Father; perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power. We rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom. 11:33; I Cor. 8:6; I Tim. 6:15; Titus 3:4-6; I Pet. 1:3,15-16; I Jn. 5:15
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ; in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, and in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood; in His bodily resurrection; and in His ascension to the right hand of the Father; and in His personal, pre-millennial return to power and glory, according to His promise. We believe His present work is that of High Priest, Advocate and Intercessor; in which capacity He appears before the face of God on our behalf.
Isa.53:5-6; Matt. 20:28; Lk. 24:36-43; Jn. 20:25-28; Acts 1:11; Gal.3:13; I Thess. 4:16-17; Titus 2:11-13; Heb. 9:24; I Jn. 2:1
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, Who, having come forth from God, convinces the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; Who also regenerates, sanctifies, comforts, indwells, enlightens, empowers, baptizes, guides and teaches all who become children of God through Christ.
Gen. 1:2; Matt. 28:19; Jn. 16:8-11; Rom. 8:14; I Cor. 3:16, 6:19
We believe in the existence and personality of Satan. Satan is a created angel who incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator, involving numerous angels in his fall. He introduced sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve. He is the prince of this world who was defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and will be eternally condemned to the lake of fire.
Gen. 3:1-15; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Jn. 12:31; Rom. 16:20; Eph. 2:2; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6, Rev. 12:9, 20:10
We believe that God, solely by an act of His sovereign power and grace, and for the manifestation of His glory, brought the universe and everything in it into existence, out of nothing. We believe that Genesis 1-2 is a factual and literal account of God’s creation of the world and humanity; that God directly formed Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from Adam’s side; they were the historical parents of the entire human race; and they belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker.
Gen. 1:1, 1:26-28, 1:31, 2:7, 2:22, 3:20; Isa. 43:7; Psalm 19:1; Jn. 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:22; Heb. 11:3
We believe that man was created in innocence but fell in Adam and is now totally unable to redeem himself. That all men by nature and by choice are sinners; that men became sinners through the fall of Adam; that Adam sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that those descended from Adam are born with a sinful nature and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word and deed.
Gen. 1:26-28, 3:1-24; Jn. 8:42-44; Rom. 3:19, 23, 5:12; Eph. 2:3
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. We believe in salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and therefore, that those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior will rejoice forever in God's presence and those who refuse to accept Christ as Lord and Savior will be forever separated from God.
Matt. 25:46; Jn. 3:16; Acts 13:38-39, 16:31; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:8-9; Jude 13; Rev. 20:11-15, 22:11
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:29; Acts 25:15; I Cor. 15; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-23; I Jn. 3:2; Rev. 21:1-6
We believe that every human being is directly responsible to God alone; and that only those who truly receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born of God. We believe that they are made partakers of the Divine Nature by the incoming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are sealed with the Holy Spirit that these believers are kept by the power of God and that they will be presented faultless before the presence of His glory.
Jn. 1:11-13, 3:3, 5:24, 10:28-29, 14:17,23: Rom. 8:16, 38-39; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30; Phil. 1:16; Col. 3:4; II Thess. 3:3; II Tim. 1:12; I Pet. 1:3-5; II Pet. 1:4; Jude 24; Rev. 3:20
We further believe in righteous living and missionary effort. That good works do not produce salvation in any sense, but that it is proper evidence and fruit of the new birth.
Jn. 15; Acts 1:8; Titus 2:14
We further believe in separation from the world; and that the righteous are called into a life of separation from all worldly and sinful practices.
Rom. 12:2; Eph. 5:3-11; James 4:4; I Jn. 2:15-18
We believe that God created mankind in his image, which distinguishes humanity from any other creature. Therefore, from the moment of conception to natural death, every human person should be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.
Gen. 1:27, 2:18-20; Ps. 139:13; Jer. 1:5; Mark 12:28-31; Lk. 6:31
We believe God created mankind as male and female, two distinct sexes of humanity which complement and complete each other with each reflecting God’s character and glory. The sex of each individual human is ordained by God and cannot be changed or altered by human will. The willful suppression, denial or alteration of one’s sex is sinful and offensive to the Lord.
Gen. 1:27; 1 Cor. 11:11; 1Tim. 2:8-15
We believe that marriage was ordained by God and is not a construct of individual or societal will. God has decreed marriage to be the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. Within the marriage relationship God has ordained that husband and wife assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising leadership and authority in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to and obeying her husband in a way that models the love of the church for the Lord.
Gen. 2:18, 21-24; Matt. 19:5; Eph. 5:22-33
We believe God designed sexual intimacy to be expressed between a man and a woman who are married to each other, both for the purposes of producing offspring as well as for the mutual joy and sexual fulfillment of the married couple. We also believe God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, or pornography is sinful and offensive to God.
Gen. 1:28, 4:1; Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:6-18, 22; Deut. 27:21; Prov. 5:18-19; Matt. 5:28; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Thes. 4:3-4; Heb. 13:4
We believe that the church is the body of which Christ is the Head, and all born again believers are the particular members. We believe in the one true church; a living and spiritual body of which Christ is the head and of which all regenerated people are members. We believe that a visible church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ; baptized on a credible confession of faith, and associated for worship, work, fellowship, prayer, teaching, a united testimony, and the observance of the ordinances of our Lord; and that God has laid on these churches the task of persuading the lost world to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and to enthrone Him as Lord and Master.
Matt. 28:19-20; Lk. 17:20-21; Jn. 20:19-22; Acts 2:42-47
We believe that the Church, composed of all who have been born again through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, is commissioned to teach and preach the Gospel to all nations and to be evangelistic in its work and in its spirit.
Matt. 28:19, 20; Jn. 3:1-8
We believe in the autonomy and independence of the local church; and that we must be kept free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; and that therefore, church and state must be kept separate as having different functions; each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
We believe that Jesus Christ alone is head of the church, and that He governs His church through His elders who are designated by Him as shepherds, overseers and stewards and to whom Christ commands submission. These are endowed by His Spirit with gifts and graces needed to accomplish their work. It is the duty of the church to seek and discover among its members those to whom Christ the Lord has imparted the necessary gifts and qualifications for this ministry and, after congregational selection and Biblical examination by the elders, to set them apart to this ministry by united prayer.
Whereas in new or small congregations only one man may have the gifts necessary to his being recognized as an elder, the evidence of the New Testament points to a plurality of elders in a given local church. These all are the "pastors and teachers" given to the church "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…”. The Scriptural pattern is that pastoral responsibilities and authority be distributed among a "council of shepherds."
Acts 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 5:1-4
We believe that this plurality does not mean that all elders are equal in their work or position in the church. While every elder should be "able to teach", some will be more engaged in formal and public teaching, while others will be more engaged in pastoring (that is, private teaching and admonishing) and governing. Some will occupy the office as a vocation and thus be able to devote their lives to shepherding, while others, because of other employment, will shoulder only some of the shepherding responsibilities in the congregation.
I Tim. 3:2, 5:17
We believe that deacons are called by God to a ministry of "assisting" or "helping" the elders and the congregation. The deacons serve the eldership by assuming responsibility for those tasks assigned it by the elders - tasks that would interfere with the elders' ministry of the Word. They serve the congregation by overseeing the temporal needs of the church and the ministries of mercy and benevolence. It is the duty of the church to seek and discover among its members those to whom Christ the Lord has imparted the necessary gifts and graces for this ministry.
Acts 6:1-6; I Tim. 3:8-13
We believe that Christ instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper to be observed by believers until He comes. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a solemn and beautiful emblem of the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; and consequently shows forth the believers death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life in Christ Jesus. It does not in any way take away sin.
Matt. 26:26-30, 28:19-20
We believe that the Lord's Supper is a provision of the bread and the cup, representing the broken body and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that we as believers partake of them in commemoration of His death, showing forth our faith and participation in the merits of His sacrifice, and our dependence on Him for spiritual life through His resurrection from the dead; and that its observance is to be preceded by faithful self-examination.
This is the answer to the question. Give enough detail to adequately answer the question, but consider using multiple questions so that each answer is concise.
This Declaration of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs and they are not intended to set a limit regarding the doctrines which define us as a congregation. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.