Becoming a Partner of Grace

Partnering with Us at Grace

Grace Community Church has chosen to refer to its members as ‘Partners’. This term better conveys the fact that Partners are committing to serve and sacrifice for the advancement of this local church rather than act as Members who pay dues and receive benefits.
The New Testament clearly indicates that groups of people who were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body.
In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early churches, Grace Community Church recognizes the need for formal Partnership. Partnership at Grace Community Church is for all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and have visibly demonstrated that commitment through believer’s baptism.
Partnership in a local assembly is good and proper in that it is the expression of fellowship with a group of believers in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Our History & Affiliations

Grace (formerly known as Thousand Islands Baptist Church) was organized on June 17th, 1970 with Rev. John Downs being the first pastor.  Services were held in his home near Tincap and then moved to the Oddfellows Hall in Brockville before moving on to the Moose Hall situated on the corner of Central and Ormond Streets.  In June of 1972 the church became affiliated with the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada, and relocated to Elm Avenue until 1975, when it sold its building and held services in Thousand Islands Secondary School, Brockville Collegiate Institute and Commonwealth School.  On August 14th, 1983, the church held its first service in its present location at 229 Park Street.
Our Affiliations

We are a member of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada.  The Fellowship consists of approximately 500 churches across Canada. See:

 Our church is also a member church of  The Gospel Coalition.
“A fellowship of evangelical churches in the Reformed tradition deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.”

Procedure For Partnership

All who wish to join Grace will need to regularly attend worship services for no less than 6 months in order to get to know the church and for the church to get to know you, the candidate, prior to being brought into partnership.

You will be required to take our discipleship course “Bearing Good Fruit” so you can understand our beliefs and our philosophy of ministry.

You will be required to have been baptized by immersion as a believer in Christ.

At the end of this period you will be interviewed by the elders to determine your genuine conversion and to talk about your baptism experience.

You will also meet with one or more of the elders to go through, understand and agree to the church’s “Statement of Faith” and “Partnership Responsibilities”.
If you are coming from another church, if necessary, the elders will contact your past church(s) regarding baptism, past partnership, transfer of partnership and conduct.

Your name will be brought to the church family who will have 2 weeks to bring any questions or concerns to the elders.

Finally, you will be welcomed into partnership by the church.

Partnership Responsibilities

1. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and died to take the punishment of sin in my place so that I would receive forgiveness of all sins and an eternity in Heaven. This is witnessed in baptism, daily life and conversation.

2. Assemble together. Gathering together in the name of the Lord Jesus is part of what makes a church a church. The author of Hebrews commanded his readers not to forsake assembling together. Every church partner should prioritize, as far as possible, regular attendance to the Sunday morning services and the mid-week gatherings. If a church designates partner’s meetings in any other context, then partners have a responsibility to gather at those meetings as well.

3. Protect the Gospel. Protecting the gospel means that partners should know and understand their church’s statement of faith. Every partner is responsible to ensure that the teaching of their church is in accord with the church’s statement of faith. Partners that embrace this responsibility will view their private Bible study as more than an act of personal devotion and edification. When every partner accepts the responsibility to protect the gospel, the whole church benefits. Together, they mature in the truth and build themselves up in the knowledge of the Son of God.

4. Love one another. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Affection for God’s people defines our new identity in Christ. God’s love is tangible, active, and expressed through service. Every partner is responsible to fulfill the “one another” passages of the New Testament.

5. Submit to the spiritual authorities of the elders. Christians are to obey Jesus by submitting to their leaders because the elders keep watch over their souls as those who will give an account. The elders (of which the pastor is one) are a gift from Christ to his church. They are men of character and gifted in teaching and applying the Scriptures. Partners should not follow their elders blindly, but insofar as the elders are teaching the Scriptures and leading the church biblically, partners should submit to their wisdom, counsel, and instruction.

6. Evangelize the lost. The Great Commission is for every Christian, not just pastors and international missionaries. As a people reconciled to God, we have a responsibility to announce the message of reconciliation to people separated from Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.

7. Look for areas of service where your gifts may be used. Let the elders know how you would like to serve and be willing to serve in ways the elders may suggest.

8. Support the church financially. We are encouraged to worship God by giving Him a portion of what He gives us.

Other Important Things
 to Know About Grace

1.The leadership of the church will consist of men only (elders) and will be equal in authority.  The pastor is simply one of the elders. His role is to be the “teaching elder”, where his focus is using the gifts of teaching and preaching. We believe in the biblical model of an ‘elder run’ church, comprised of qualified men who fulfill the qualifications laid out in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 2. These men are equal in authority with different ministries who maintain biblical teaching, shepherding and spiritual leadership over the church body.

2. Grace affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.

3. We believe that, God can and still does work in miraculous ways today. He works according to His perfect sovereign will to achieve His purpose. At Grace we are a non-charismatic church believing we have everything we need to live a godly life in a knowlege of Him from the scriptures. At Grace we do not teach or practice healings, prophecy, miracles or tongues. We do teach however to walk in holiness, prayer and intimacy with our Saviour. 
(Isa.28:11-12; 1 Cor. 13:8; 1 Cor. 14:1-3, 21-22)