Grace Community Church is a nondenominational church.
That means, essentially, that there is no religious organization or superstructure above the level of the local assembly. In the Bible, there is no pattern, no instruction, and no revealed order for denominational structures that sit atop local assemblies as authorities over those assemblies. There were apostles in the early foundational stages of the church, and Ephesians 2:20 tells us that the church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Apostleship appears to be the only scripturally ordained office in which there is a calling to exercise authority above the level of the local church. Apostolic authority and order is still present with us in the form of the scriptures that are the foundation of all church order and doctrine.
As an assembly, we are open to and actively engaged in fellowship with other churches, pastors, and teachers with whom we find ourselves in spiritual and doctrinal agreement.
Grace Community Church was incorporated under Missouri law in 1949 as a non-profit religious group. Missouri law requires that a corporate body have a board that has authority to conduct and oversee the business of that corporate body.
The business of Grace Community Church is overseen by the church board. The five members of the church board are currently Joel Franklin, Greg Gravitt Sr., Dan McIntyre, Rod Gravitt, and Scott Sare. Other members of the church become involved in various projects and business matters concerning the assembly as occasion requires, as the Spirit leads, and as they are so inclined, but the board retains oversight.
The pastor does not have legal authority to sign contracts or any other binding paperwork involving the church. He is not an officer or a member of the church board. This is by his choice and request. He feels it is best if it is very clear that church funds are not being allocated and church business is not being conducted by the sole discretion of one man. Just as the church board maintains oversight over church business, the pastor maintains an oversight over all of the various activities of the church. The board’s authority is strictly a legal one as narrowly defined by state law and the by-laws of the church. The pastor’s authority is spiritual. Spiritual authority is less clearly defined, although very real.
Church business meetings are held as necessity dictates. These business meetings are open to any who wish to attend. At business meetings, major issues (and some minor ones) are addressed. Smaller issues, particularly the working details that may arise regarding matters already decided in business meetings, are often discussed and agreed upon in a more informal manner.In broad terms it can be said that we make an effort to keep things a simple as possible, while still maintaining order and accountability.
Formal church membership is not a part of the organizational structure of Grace Community Church. There is not a word in scripture about the need to “join” a church. That concept is one invented without Biblical authority. When the Bible speaks of the church in a way that is not describing a local congregation, it invariably refers to every human being who has accepted Christ as Savior. God recognizes no divisions within this one church, which He calls the body of Christ. When the Bible speaks of the church in a way that takes a narrower view and refers to a local congregation, it invariably includes all of God’s people who are a part of that congregation. In the Bible, there is never a picture of a group of believers who assemble with some being part of the church, and some just attending. That kind of distinction exists because people have created religious organizations and decided upon membership requirements, not because God speaks of it in His word. The local church is constituted of every believer who attends that church. No other definition is scripturally justifiable or supportable.
We at Grace Community Church desire and welcome fellowship with any who have accepted Christ as Savior, who choose to conduct their lives in a godly manner, and who are willing to submit themselves to the teaching of God’s word. There is no need for formally “joining” in order to be a part of Grace Community Church. We are not a club with membership rolls; we are a group of people who gather in Jesus’ name to glorify Him.