Grace Gathering started as a daughter church in 1959 by a local church from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over the course of the first 10-12 years Grace had 2 different senior leaders, and in 1972 Gordon Smith took on that role. Gordon brought about several internal changes that created overall health to the church body.
By the early 90’s, with the church about a hundred people, the leadership desired a greater impact in reaching more people for Christ. In 1995 Chris Norman came on staff to help give leadership to the church and to be mentored by Gordon Smith. Through their leadership together along with many others, God developed a deeper passion and zeal for outreach, and over the course of the following years the church saw consistent growth through new believers in Christ and transformed lives. By the late 90’s Grace was growing out of its facility and went to multiple services. Foreseeing continued growth, and being landlocked, the church began to look for other property. In 2000 Grace purchased 83 acres of land debt free. For a church of a few hundred it was an incredible miracle of God!
In 2002 the church outgrew its existing building and began meeting at New Haven High School. Over the next couple of years Grace drew up plans for a unique church facility that was multipurpose and intentional for relationship building. Through many miracles and much sacrifice, the first Sunday in the new facility was in June of 2006.
Because of continued numerical growth, the leadership at Grace began to research different models of ministry to help connect people, release people outside the four walls, and empower people to fulfill Jesus’ mission. In 2008 Grace launched several mission communities. That same year Grace became acquainted with 3DM, a resource ministry to churches, and through their investment grew in the development of basing missional activity on the foundation of discipleship. Today, because of this intentional discipleship strategy, many of these mid-size groups are pioneering mission out in the community of Greater Fort Wayne and beyond.
These mission communities, along with corporate gatherings and other small group ministries of the church, contribute to a diverse approach of equipping the body to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations.
The following video is an overview of Chris and Kathy’s journey at Grace.