In the summer of 1987, after several years of searching for a place to worship in good conscience and peace, a core group of 18 adults representing 9 households formed Grace Community Church of Rock Valley. Joe Terrell was called to be the church's first pastor. The Lord has been pleased to add some who were not part of the original group, and we have been blessed to see the Lord save some who were only children when the church began – and even some of their children have believed.
A building was purchased in the summer of 1988 and the church has met there since that time. At the present time, there are about 18 households who regularly attend. Our attendance ranges from 30 to 50 on any given Sunday.
During all the time of our existence as a church, we have had only one purpose - to worship God through Jesus Christ in spirit and truth. Our method has been to meet weekly to hear His word, sing His praises, seek His blessing, and be taught from His book, the Bible. (John 4.24;1 Peter 2.9)
We have only one mission in this world - to make Christ known to as many as we can. We believe that this is the single task that Christ gave to His church. As a church, we do not engage in any of the political or social movements of the day. Our only message to the world is, "Christ and Him crucified." In addition to our weekly meetings, we have a radio broadcast, a You Tube channel, a Facebook page and this website. We also support missionaries who take this same message to other parts of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 2:2)
We are not what is often called a "confessional church," for there is no confession of faith to which we submit ourselves. But we do recognize that, over the centuries, several solid confessions and creeds have been written. Among those is one that is often called "The Five Solas." The doctrines that we believe at Grace Community Church fit well within these five statements.
The Scriptures Alone
The Holy Scriptures (Bible) is not a collection of the thoughts and opinions of men but is the product of the Spirit of God as He inspired its various writers to record God's truth. We believe it is true on every point it addresses and is complete, providing all that is needed to teach people the way of salvation in Christ and instruct God's saints. Therefore, the Bible is our only authoritative source of truth. While we appreciate and benefit from the wisdom of the many faithful preachers and writers of the past and present, we submit to no authority other than the Scriptures for all matters of faith and conduct. (2 Peter 1:20; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 21; Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11)
To the Glory of God Alone
All that happens is for the purpose of glorifying God. But this is especially true in the salvation of sinners. The very fact that sinners are saved and the way in which God saves them are for the express purpose of bringing glory to the God of our salvation. (Isaiah 42:8; Ephesians 1:6,12)
The salvation of sinners is prompted and accomplished by God's grace alone. There is nothing that man can do to merit or earn God's blessings or to qualify himself to receive them. Every aspect of salvation is, therefore, a gift from God so that no person may make any prideful boast that he has received it. (Ephesians 2:8,9; John 1:16; Romans 3:24)
Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father's house. All the work required to establish righteousness and atone for sin was accomplished by Jesus Christ in His life and death. His declaration from the cross, "It is finished," shows that there is nothing more to be added to His work. In fact, to attempt to add anything to His work makes His work useless to the sinner. (Daniel 9.24; John 14:6, Galatians 5:2)
Salvation is received by faith and nothing more. The primary distinction in salvation by faith alone is that it stands in contrast to salvation that involves any meritorious works done by men. Faith and grace go together, for if salvation is to be by grace, then faith must be the only means to procure it. The faith that lays hold of God's salvation in Christ is not something that the natural man can create within himself, therefore, saving faith is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:4,5; Romans 11:6; John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14)