OUR STORY

 

Everybody loves a good story.

We've got one of our own we like to tell. It's a story about a broken world spiraling out of control, and about the God who broke into history itself to rescue his people from certain demise. It's full of intrigue, mystery, murder, sex, lies, and betrayal. But mostly, it's just a love story. It tells us that even though we feel lost and abandoned in this broken world, we can experience love and acceptance beyond our wildest dreams, through God's own son. In fact, it's more than just a story. It's a message of hope that shapes our lives and forms our community. It's this message that inspires our vision, drives our mission, and is at the core of our values.

When Stories Collide

In December of 2001, a former art student and his wife moved back to the great state of Ohio with their two-year-old son and a ninety-pound German Shepherd, after spending four years in St. Louis doing graduate work in theology.  Their dream was to begin a new church in the center of the city of Columbus, which would seek to connect with people who were outside of the mainstream church-going population. Rather than resorting to tricks, gimmicks, or the latest fads, they had the conviction that the ancient beliefs and practices of their Christian faith, communicated sincerely through the context of genuine friendship, and in the language of their own slightly left-of-center cultural sensibilities would be the most faithful and authentic approach to take.

After moving to a neighborhood near the center of the city, into an old house filled mostly with asbestos and lead paint, the former art student and his wife began filling the house with groups of people to talk and pray and dream. They talked to lots of people about their dream of a new church. They asked lots of people to join them. To help them. To pray for them. To give them money.

A lot of those people said "no."

But some of them said "yes." And so a group started to form. No, not a group... a team. A team of people committed to seeing a new work in the city of Columbus came together and gave of their time, their talents, and their resources. And most importantly, they prayed. They prayed a lot. The team prayed because they were excited and because they really believed God would do something new through this church.  The former art student prayed too, but mostly because he had no idea what he was doing and was pretty sure people were beginning to suspect that to be the case.

But the funniest thing happened. People started to show up. People started to listen and ask questions. People started looking into the Bible and reconsidering a faith they'd long since forgotten. Some came for a while and left. Others stayed. Some even noticed that they were starting to be changed. (That's still kind of the dynamic around Grace Central). And on February 29th, 2004, Grace Central held our first public worship service.

That was over twelve years ago. 

And all through the details of the journey (most of which we don't have room to describe here), we found that God had been weaving our individual stories together with one another's. And we found that God was weaving our story together with his own ancient story of grace. It seems to fit pretty well with what we suspected all along. He still loves to do amazing things through unlikely people just so they'll tell others what happened and that his grace changes everything.

That's what happened. His grace changes everything.