Grace Church (formerly Wyoming Community Church) was founded in 1996 as a church plant from Lakes Free (Lindstrom) and Kost Free (North Branch). We began in the basement of Lakes Free, moved to the Wyoming Elementary School and then to the old sanctuary of the Wyoming Methodist Church. In 2005, Wyoming Community Church changed its name to Grace Church and began renting its current building on Faxton Avenue (at the southwest crossroads of Viking Blvd and Highway 61 in the City of Wyoming, MN). The people of the church worked together and transformed a dollar store and print shop into a church building with a sanctuary, nurseries, kitchen, classrooms and offices.
Grace Church includes believers from Wyoming, Forest Lake, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Stacy, North Branch, Linwood, East Bethel, Hugo, Centerville and North Branch. It has a unique dynamic for a small church—a diversity of age that including many families with young children. Grace Church is a part of the Evangelical Free Church of America and its theology and philosophy of ministry are closely (but not exclusively) aligned to ministries such as the Gospel Coalition, Desiring God Ministries, and 9 Marks Ministry. Grace Church is led by a team of elders including one full-time pastor—David VanAcker (since 2007). Grace Church is a local congregation full of forgiven sinners who have been saved by God’s grace and desire to glorify God by following Jesus in the power of the Spirit.
Pastors, Elders, and Associate Staff
ELDER IN TRAINING
Grace Church is a member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, an association of churches that believe the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, given to us by God so that we may know Him and understand what He requires of us.
The Evangelical Free church is built around two credos. First, "Where stands it written?" We seek to ground all that we do and believe in the Word of God. Thus we ask in regard to everything, "Where stands it written" in the Word of God?
Second, "Believers only, but all believers." When it comes to fellowship, we rejoice to join together in worship with anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savoir and puts his or her hope for eternal life only on Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
Grace Church’s Statement of Faith
1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
The Human Condition
3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus-Israel’s promised Messiah-was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
The Work of Christ
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
The Holy Spirit
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
9. We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
Response and Eternal Destiny
10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.
We at Grace Church earnestly desire and prayerfully strive to be a…
We value the centrality of God in everything. We exist by Him, through Him and for Him. The chief purpose of every decision, event, meeting or ministry exists to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (How is God glorified?)
We value Jesus as the One who reveals God to us, and it is our goal to not only trust and obey Him but to treasure and savor Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. (How is the Lord Jesus exalted?)
We value faith in Christ as both a gift from God and the vital and fundamental response of the Christian to God. Without faith it is impossible to please God, and therefore we make it our goal to build each up in the faith. Helping each other to live daily upon the promises of God must be a high priority. (How is our faith in God strengthened?)
We value prayer because we are dependent people. We believe that we must make prayer the visible engine of all our efforts in ministry and worship. (Have we dependently asked God’s help through prayer?)
We value being saturated with the Word of God, the Bible, which is God’s reliable, authoritative and sufficient revelation. We desire to grow a love for the Word, as well as a deepening understanding of it, in each person within the church. (What does the Word say or infer? Is the Bible front and center?)
We value growth in “Christ-likeness” in every believer, as all of us become the disciples God intends us to be. We value an intentionality to make and reproduce disciples according to God’s Word. (How are we growing closer to Jesus [and into the image of God]?)
We value building up strong marriages and families, where God’s Word is taught and lived out, where husbands love their wives (as Christ), where wives respect their husbands, where hearts of parents are turned towards their children, and children towards their parents. (How does this positively and negatively effect families?)
We value the Spirit-led expression of love within the body of Christ and towards unbelievers. We desire to grow as a true family grows or as a healthy body functions. We believe this love comes by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ. (How does this demonstrate the love of Christ?)
We value the intentional pursuit of authentic, healthy relationships. God created us for community and in a world where so many miss the mark, the church must strive to get it right by actively pursuing the “one another” commands of Scripture. (How does this build and strength biblically healthy relationships?)
We value missions and evangelism as the privilege God has given us as His ambassadors, accomplishing His goal of spreading the knowledge of His glory to all the nations. We desire to pursue Christ’s guidance and empowerment in the building of His Kingdom among all the peoples of the world, because we treasure Him above all things. (Does this advance the cause of the Gospel to our community and world?)