Our Stories

I have been attending Grace since before I can remember. I decided to stay as a young adult because of the church environment that I have grown to love. Grace has been my home for the past 20 years, and I have changed so much spiritually as a result. I have also seen the church body constantly grow based on the faithful study of what God's Word says. In a day and age where so many churches stray from the Bible for what is 'popular,' I'm so grateful to be a part of the work God is doing here at Grace.

Charity |
Member

Looking back over the last twenty years of our life together, we stand amazed at the intricate path that Jesus led us down to join with a small band of believers: sitting on metal chairs in a small, rented office space with others who were intent to begin a new gospel-work on the west side of Spartanburg County. And God has keep us on this path – although often our footing was unsure, the rocks were slippery and sharp, and the journey was wearisome at times – the many vistas have been breathtaking, the friendships unforgettable and the joy of running this race with our Grace family worth it all. 

What does Grace Bible Church mean to us? It is where . . .

The consistent expositional preaching created a love for God and His Word that continues to encourage us to self-examination and striving hard after Christ each week.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ helped us raise our children from newborns to teenagers in the instruction and admonition of the Lord.

We first learned to understand and experience that life is not about us, but about God.

Embracing, encouraging and giving to a handful of gospel-workers as missionaries and church planters taught us that there are souls to reach beyond our local neighborhoods and cities.

The observation in the lives of many of our fellow church members that faithfulness, endurance, and consistent, righteous living are what scripture calls us to and the immense admonition and encouragement that this has been to our family.

Singing at Grace in worship to our great God together with His saints is an absolute slice of heaven.

The scriptures about “iron sharpening iron,” “weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice,” “exhorting one another daily, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,” and “do not grow weary in well doing” jumped right off the pages of scripture and came to life in our lives and those around us.

Finally, understanding the importance of transparency, humility and extending grace to and with one another.

And it’s all been about God and his amazing Son and His work of grace!

Stephanie & David |
Members

On July 13, 2014, Pastor Franseen was giving a sermon on Psalm 34. During the weeks before, I was deeply depressed spiritually because I was struggling with why God does not save me as He did my wife Young who already possessed life in Christ. Since I knew the most important thing that I need in this life is to possess everlasting life in Christ, I was afraid of eternal loss. I knew that God will search the one who wholeheartedly seeks Him, and he will never be despised lightly. I had earnestly prayed for His salvation as I wish and when I need. But He was silent.

I had been vaguely waiting on His coming indefinitely for the last few years. I had dimly expected His arrival someday when I became mature enough spiritually. Since I confessed my faith for Christ, I had thought that was when I was saved, without knowing the reality that I had lived in false faith and held the counterfeit God that I imagined. I remained in the same place in pursuing worldly desire and passion according to the nature of flesh. But even in this condition, I silently kept crying for His coming.

In Andrew’s sermon, my heart was stuck to the following two verses:

Psalm 34:4: This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him

Psalm 34:18:  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

That text that Andrew preached in the sermon touched me inexpressibly.

During the sermon, I felt that I was totally lost and abandoned hope from myself. I could see who I am—never surrendering egocentric self who was tightly gripped by the hands of Satan and was still living in the domain of darkness pursuing self-satisfaction and pleasure. I knew that I can do nothing for myself. I really wanted Christ and cried out, “O Lord, have mercy on me. I come to you as I am. I need you. Help me and save me. Forgive this worst sinner, O Lord.” Then the Holy Spirit came to me, “For this reason, Jesus came and died.”

Now I realized that Christ has done all. I only came at the feet of Jesus and it is all I can do. From the lowest, broken and afflicted soul, I could see the Most High. I realized it was Christ who came to me and saved me from sin and the dead cycle of the law. He came to me in His time and His way. Suddenly He took away the burden that weighed me down throughout my past life, and my heart was filled with joy given from above. How wonderful His love is! Thank you Jesus. 

Young & Jung |
Members

Some time ago my husband, Brock, decided to find a church that we might like to attend. I wasn’t all that receptive but I said okay.  He found this little church sitting off the road and he looked it up online. I didn’t come with him at first but after a time I started coming. That first Sunday we sat near the back, although there were many empty seats up front and you could see the pulpit very clearly. The first time I saw and heard Andrew preach, I was sort of spell bound because it felt like he was speaking to me and just to me. I can’t remember what he said that Sunday but it was relevant to what was going on in my life at that time. Brock asked me what I thought of the service. I mumbled something like it was okay. I didn’t tell him how I had felt during the service.

I came back again and again and each time I felt that Andrew was preaching directly to me. It was a bit unnerving since I hadn’t been in a church in a long time. But it seemed like God’s word was directed right at me. At the same time, people were friendly and introduced themselves to us, like Steve and Libby, David and Stephanie, Robert and Theresa, Brian and many others whose names I can’t remember. Everyone made an effort to make us feel welcome here at Grace. Then one Sunday Brock said, “I think you like my little church.” I said, "Yes I do." Then we began the membership process, and Brock was baptized and joined in Spring of 2012.

But not me, I wasn’t ready. I still wasn’t trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. I still didn’t fully believe the gospel. Many things happened between my first visit and today. God was guiding me and using the people around me to do it. Although I always believed there was a God, I wasn’t following him and I wasn’t following his son Jesus. There were many times in my life that I know God carried me through some really hard things, even though I didn’t see it at the time. In September of 2012, I was told I needed open heart surgery. The Sunday after we were given my diagnosis, Brock sought out Andrew. I sat in the church looking around and my eyes met up with Steve Newton, who came and prayed with me. In my entire life no one had ever done that with me. God used that to give me peace about the surgery.

Then one Sunday morning recently when Andrew was preaching, I finally and fully believed the gospel. I saw that I had no hope apart from Jesus. I recognized that I had done so may wrong things, and I didn’t deserve for God to be kind to me but he was. He had been protecting me and watching over me even when I didn’t love him or follow him. I saw that I deserved only God’s holy judgment and punishment for my sin but Jesus had taken that punishment for me when he died on the cross, and that’s the only hope I have for being saved from my sins. So I now trust in Jesus for salvation and for eternal life. My sins are forgiven because Jesus died for me.

Nilda |
Member