To make disciples of Jesus, who make disciples.
To be a discipling center & sender for the Kingdom of God.
We worship God and delight in his presence.
We follow Jesus and become like him in every area of life.
We submit joyfully to the revelation of God’s Word.
We open ourselves to be filled, gifted, and led by the Holy Spirit.
We join God in laboring to see his Kingdom come on Earth.
We make disciples of all peoples and nations with the Gospel of God.
We love and care for each other as God’s family.
We go together to be the church in a lost and hurting world.
our HiStory & Family
Grace Athens is a member of the Grace Family of Churches that began in 1983. Today there are seven growing churches under a central Elder Board and their own local boards.
We believe God created the cosmos to be good, beautiful, and full of purpose. In the midst of this world, God made a man and a woman—Adam and Eve—to be his unique representatives on the earth, bearing his name and extending his reign while living in dynamic relationship with him.(1)
Adam and Eve, however, chose to sin when they heeded the voice of evil and betrayed God, hurling all humanity and the good world in which they lived into devastating cycles of shame, guilt, and fear—culminating in death.(2)
But God chose not to abandon his rebellious creation. Instead, he graciously called another couple, Abraham and Sarah, to lead a faithful family and promised that through them all the nations of the earth would be blessed.(3)
Throughout history, God has continued to work toward redemption through his people in spite of their habitual inability to live according to his ways.(4)
We believe that in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus Christ, his eternal Word and true Son, into the world as a man to announce and embody the presence of God’s restorative reign—His Kingdom breaking into brokenness.(5) Furthermore, he invited a new group of followers (called “disciples”) to imitate his way of life and learn to love both God and neighbor.(6)
This same Jesus was crucified like a common criminal, surrendering his sinless life as a ransom for many and drawing all evil onto himself in his death.(7)
On the third day, however, God raised Jesus back to life as the victor over evil and the physical firstfruit of God’s future for his cosmos.(8)
We believe Jesus is now at his Father’s right hand, reigning from heaven as the true King. He is inviting all people everywhere to trust him for forgiveness and freedom from shame, guilt, and fear because he is our unique source of life both now and forever. In addition, he has given his Spirit to supply direction and power so that we might live fully in the special identity and destiny he has prepared for each of us.(9)
Today, we live as a community of God’s people on mission together, seeking to love God and follow Jesus by making disciples in the neighborhoods, nations, and next generation around us. By relying upon the unfailing, active grace of his Spirit and upon his entirely trustworthy Scripture, we embrace the often challenging but always hopeful adventure of sacrificial love, selfless generosity, and healing kindness to which he calls us.(10)
We also believe life in God’s Kingdom is joyful, so we like to laugh.(11)
One day in the not-so-distant future, we believe Jesus will return and remake the world, judging and removing every last trace of evil in order to complete the new creation that he began on the first Easter.(12)
For historic and broader expressions of faith with which we align as a community, please see the Apostles’ Creed and the World Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith.
Also, please note that the Scripture references in the footnotes below are not meant to be “proof texts” conveying the entire sweep of the Biblical ideas in a few quick verses, nor do they represent all of the passages about a particular subject. Rather, we hope these references can be a starting place for further exploration of our convictions about the great story of God.
(1.) Genesis 1-2; see also Psalm 8:1-9 (2.) Genesis 3; see also Romans 8:18-25 (3.) Genesis 12, 15, 18; see also Romans 4:1-25, Galatians 3:1-29, and Hebrews 11:8-22 (4.) See, especially, Exodus 32-34, the books of Judges, Amos, Hosea, John 8:31-59, and Romans 3. (5.) These accounts can be found in all four of the Gospels, but Mark 1, John 1, Luke 4 are a good first step. (6.) For one window into the calling and heart of the disciples’ lives, see Luke 5-1 (7.) Further understanding about Jesus’ death as a ransom (the “price of release”) can be found in Isaiah 52-53, Matthew 20:26-28, John 11:45-53, 2 Corinthians 5, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 9-10, 1 Peter 2-3. (8.) For the stories of the resurrection and insight into its meaning, see especially Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20-21, and 1 Corinthians 15. For more about Jesus’ victory over evil, see Psalm 110, Matthew 12:22-29, Ephesians 6, Colossians 2:13-15, Hebrews 2:14-18, 1 John 3:4-10 (9.) See also John 13-17, Acts 1-3, Romans 8, and Ephesians 2-3 (10.) Matthew 28 contains Jesus’ definitive commission to make disciples, and the book of Acts shows a generation of the early church’s efforts to obey that commission. Passages affirming the trustworthiness of Scripture include Matthew 5:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and Hebrews 4:12. Likely the clearest description of a life of love, generosity, and kindness can be found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. (11.) See Deuteronomy 14:26, Isaiah 55:12, Romans 14:17, Philippians 4:4-9, Revelation 5:1-14 (12.) For glimpses into God’s good future for the cosmos, see Isaiah 60-66, 1 Corinthians 15, and Revelation 21-22.