Grace Church of Dumfries, Virginia, is the seventh-fastest-growing congregation in the United States, according to Outreach magazine's annual list of the 100 fastest-growing churches in America.
The top 10 spot on Outreach's list is praiseworthy recognition of the phenomenal growth under way at the community church in suburban Washington, D.C. Grace Church started out in a high school building in 1998 with 12 members, and as recently as 2007 had fewer than 35 people attending services.
Last year, 865 people joined Grace Church, a membership gain of 72 percent, Outreach magazine says in its annual list. The most astonishing fact about this growth is the number of truly changed lives that are reported.
More than 4,000 worshippers call Grace Church their spiritual home. They are drawn by the compassionate, direct and uncompromising leadership of its pastor, Bishop Derek Grier.
"The best advertisement is a changed life," Grier tells Outreach magazine. "We're not out to build a big church, but big people."
"God is not going to ask, 'How big was your church?'" Grier adds. "He's going to ask me, 'Did you teach what I wanted you to teach?'"
The church is drawing real attention in an area traditionally driven by the national political scene. Built on a foundation of strong biblical teaching, vibrant worship, and community service, Grace Church serves members who experience real change in their lives. Many of these parishioners participate in the more than 60 ministries for men and women, married couples, children and community members. The church through its Helping Hands of Grace outreach ministry donated school supplies to more than 200 local children in August, operates the Dumfries Youth Center as a safe alternative for at-risk young people, and provides rent and utility assistance to needy families throughout the year.
Grier is a nationally recognized clergyman and the church's founding pastor. He is a mentor to Christian leaders and business owners and a prominent radio and television presence, broadcasting locally in the Washington, D.C. market; nationwide weekly on the Word network and The Church Channel and internationally on stations in South Africa, Ethiopia and parts of Kenya.
Grier is currently working on a new multimedia campaign, "Growth on the Go," a series of teachings and mentorship sessions geared for individuals looking to take their lives to the next level.
You can follow Bishop Derek Grier's ministry and learn more about the upcoming "Growth on the Go" campaign at derekgrier.com; on Twitter at twitter.com/BishopGrierVA; and on Facebook at facebook.com/drderekgrierva.
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