Ministries Programs All #GraceAppliedatGBC
Germantown Baptist Church gathered Sunday night, January 29, 2012, for a worship service unlike any other. #GraceAppliedatGBC was a service designed to apply grace to a past identified by lost trust, broken relationships, and division. The grace of God that was dispensed during this service gives powerful testimony of the love of God at work among the church family at Germantown Baptist and throughout our community.
Germantown Baptist Church senior pastor, Dr. Charles A. Fowler was joined by former pastors Dr. Ken Story, Dr. Sam Shaw, and Dr. Hal Kitchings, as well as a large number of current and former ministerial staff and current and former GBC members, in a show of unprecedented unity to represent our desire to apply grace to the past, to forgive, and to tangibly demonstrate unity by taking Communion together as the Body of Christ.
The entire congregation joined Dr. Fowler in declaring we would no longer be known for a past that was marked by division. Instead, we choose to be characterized by our love for one another and for the community who needs the Gospel-focused ministry of a healthy, grace-filled church serving Christ together joyfully.
In his VISION Sunday Message to the church on January 8, 2012, Dr. Fowler said, “Love should be the characterizing trait of the people of God. How can a church proclaim the glories of the love of God to others when their reputation is such that they cannot get along with one another?” John 13:35 reads, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” The #GraceAppliedatGBC service was announced in his VISION Sunday message and the journey toward applying grace and granting forgiveness began.
Those on hand for the #GraceAppliedatGBC service publicly confessed their repentance for the corporate sins of disunity and unforgiveness that have, at times, caused divisions. These divisions have damaged GBC’s witness for Christ in this region. The sorrow that was expressed for not consistently demonstrating the love of God was tangible.
In an amazing movement of the Spirit of God, members corporately declared “Grace Applied” to a painful past. In so doing, GBC has now crossed an important threshold by extending the same forgiveness to each other that God offers to us through Christ. The GBC family corporately desires that the entire region recognize their sorrow over past divisions while giving glory to God for His forgiveness and reconciliation. What occurred corporately on Sunday night is a picture of the very Gospel that brings peace to hearts of anyone who comes to Christ.
Dr. Fowler expressed confidence that the #GraceAppliedatGBC service, “will allow Germantown Baptist Church to move unencumbered into the future God has laid before us. A future marked by intentional disciple-making and characterized by Christ-honoring excellence and grace!”
Germantown Baptist Church is moving forward with unity and purpose through the implementation of GBC 2016, a five year strategic plan to help it become a more intentional disciple-making church intent on giving greater expression of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20.
The Declaration of Grace Applied which was corporately read in the #GraceAppliedatGBC service is available below.
Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters reports on the Grace Applied Service at Germantown Baptist here.