God is making changes at GREFC,
YOU can be a part of it!

"Change is happening in our church, not only in the adults but in children, youth and even marriages.  I believe that when God makes these kinds of changes in a local church like ours, that we have the chance to willingly become partners with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven."  ~Sr. Pastor Ken Abramson

The Making Space for Change building campaign is about creating more space so that we can more effectively minister to people's hearts, to families and to our community.

Our vision has always been, "Together in Christ, Making Him Known."  We strive to be a church that has unity and we strive to show the love of Jesus to everyone, everyday.  That vision has brought us far and is amazingly attractive to others.

The growth we have seen creates an OPPORTUNITY for us:

We get to partner with God in the amazing things He is doing in our church!

Ezekiel knew that God was in the business of change, even for entire nations.  God told the nation of Israel, 

"I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you.  I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed." (Ez 36:26)

Likewise, with this group of people called GREFC, God is giving people new hearts and bringing new people to change their hearts.

What's New!

February Building Committee Update

One of the main concerns we heard from some during the campaign was the loss of the large space that is our current worship center.  Many thought we should keep as much of that space for fellowship/coffee as possible. Yet we also knew we needed more space for children and students.  

As we got into the design details it made sense to address those concern. We evaluated the suggestion that relatively inexpensive space could be constructed to the north of the existing stage by simply building three walls and extending the roof line.   

We also discovered that by extending the length of the storage/sprinkler room addition off of the new auditorium from 32’ to 56’ we could gain some more affordable storage space.   

Both of these opportunities will only be possible if done as part of the project because of economies of scale and the fact that they would require a lot of remodeling in the future.  Because of this we’ve decided to design those elements into our plans and assess affordability as we get the costs firmed up. 

Here are two pictures which illustrate the two areas we are talking about.  In this first picture we show the future coffee/fellowship area.  Note the green lines to give you a sense of where things are.
And below is the proposed storage area.  Note the blue lines which show the outside edge of the current Student Ministries room to give you a sense of where things are.
We decided to move forward with this latest design and are using it to solicit bids from contractors.  

Where We Are Now

We’ve received preliminary pricing on the precast concrete wall panels and sprinkler system which came in favorably.  These are two big line items in our budget that are looking better than we had anticipated which is great for the overall budget.  

We’ve also learned that lead time for delivery of precast concrete panels (which are what the auditorium will be built from) shows no problems in meeting our schedule.   We still have a long way to go but so far we can be thankful for the progress and results we’ve gotten. 
Our engineers are working on their designs for the structural, mechanical and electrical systems which we are integrating into the design of the rest of the building.  We had the mechanical, electrical & plumbing engineers/designers and sprinkler contractors walk through the existing building the last two weeks in January.

We are on track and in good shape for construction to begin this spring!  God is Good!   

Changing Hearts

God is changing:  HEARTS

Deb Grooms knows what it means to have God change your heart.  

But first, PRAY!

But first, PRAY!

"Brothers and sisters, it is my joy to lead us in the most important part of this journey we are on.  Honest and earnest prayer must come above and before everything we do.

We must make prayer central to this effort because it is through prayer that our own hearts are brought into alignment with God's heart and we become convinced of the part that He wants us to play.​" ~Scott Bainville, Elder Chair  

The Making Space for Change campaign is
spiritual work with eternal implications.

Prayer got us to where we are now: a passed vote to build and in the final design phase, on the cusp of breaking ground.  You were faithful in prayer and God, as always, was faithful in answering those prayers.

Now is not the time to stop praying.  If anything, we should be praying more than ever:

  • That God would be in the details of the final design so that this is truly His house.
  • That the bids would come in unexpectedly lower than we had forecasted.
  • That God would be putting together a team of contractors, construction workers, and vendors that need the work and that would need a blessing specifically from our church - and that we would be open to richly blessing them in all ways.
  • For more people to join us in the vision and contribute towards the success of this project.
  • That He would continue to give energy and enthusiasm to the Campaign Team and the Building Committee as they continue to put in many volunteer hours towards this endeavor.
  • That God would continue to draw all of us closer to Him.
  • That He would be preparing us to welcome those that will come through our doors, that we would be making space for them in our church family and in close relationships. 
  • That He would be preparing the hearts of those who will soon become a part of the GREFC family.

So I urge you to please keep praying vigilantly to our ever-faithful God.

A History of Faith

We have a rich tradition of
Stepping Out in Faith!

Grand Rapids Evangelical Free Church (GREFC) started as a six-person Bible study in November of 1983.  These six people had to step out in faith and made sacrifices for the vision of the future that they saw.  And God honored that faith and sacrifice.

  • April 1984:  First public worship service held at Harris Town Hall; became a member of the North Central District Association of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).
  • 1993:  Purchased current property on Hwy 63.
  • September 1994:  Broke ground on new building.
  • April 1995:  First worship service held in new building with an average attendance of 92 people.
  • April 2004:  Celebrated our 20th Anniversary with the dedication of a new addition to the building.
  • August 2006:  Added a second service;  Average attendance of 181 people.
  • TODAY:  We are a growing congregation with an average attendance of 240 people, with 60 new families joining us in just the past 5 years.

We believe that God is going to continue to grow us in the coming years and is positioning us to see Him do great things at GREFC!

You might be asking,
Why Now?

GREFC leadership has prayed and discussed the timing of this project numerous times over the past two years, and came to these conclusions:

· We believe we are at or near our capacity in utilizing our facilities and parking.

· We have had numerous times over the last two years of our Sunday morning services being uncomfortably full (75-80% full)

· Christians new to our community, attenders from other churches, and de-churched individuals are finding GREFC a place of health, and deciding to make this their church home

· Our parking is continuing to become an obstacle as second service attenders struggle to find adequate parking

· We believe that God is calling us to expand our ministry toward children with new initiatives like preschool

· We believe that ministry to middle and high school youth is more effective with adequate space for activities that are relationship building (i.e volleyball, dodge ball, floor hockey, etc.)

· We desire to become more intentional to the generation of young adults beyond high school and multipurpose space would greatly benefit that desired ministry

· We’ve seen a convergence of new leaders and people in key roles coming to our church within the last few years that have changed the trajectory of the ministry of our church. God seems to be using this time and these people to help expand the ministry of this church.

"Individuals are finding GREFC a PLACE OF HEALTH and are deciding to make this their church home."

The Plan

A church building is a TOOL for building God's people and future Kingdom growth which includes those who still don't know Jesus.

Tools are necessary to help get the job done; instruments to help us be more effective at what He has called us to be and do.

As we consider moving forward with a building project, may our primary goal be to construct a building using Jesus Christ as our chief cornerstone!

Site Plan

  • 1.  Added Spaces
  • 2.  Expanded Parking
  • 3. Paved parking

To keep costs down, the Building Committee decided to pave only the most populated portion of our parking lot.

Floor Plan

  • 1.  Added Space!
  • 2.  New Offices
  • 3.  Three New spaces
  • 4.  Expanded Kitchen
  • 5. Adult Ed

The current offices will be renovated into a much needed adult classroom/conference room space that will also house our Library.

Just think of all the people who will come through our doors in the future, looking for God and a place to belong...  Let's make space for them!

Will You Join Us In
Making Space For Change?

Our Challenge

The Making Space for Change building campaign represents the most significant financial project in the history of GREFC.  The projected cost of our project is $1.4M.  

We are working toward a Victory Goal of $700,000 in financial commitments from our church family over the next three years.  Our Miracle Goal is $1.4 M, the entire amount of the project.  

Equal Sacrifice - Not Equal Gifts

We are asking everyone to follow the principle of "Not Equal Gifts - Equal Sacrifice."  Seek God and consider what he is asking you to give. God is not concerned about the size of your gift as much as He is the sacrifice of your gift. 

Don't lose the JOY and blessings that sacrificial giving can bring!

Reaching our Challenge Goal will enable us to have a mortgage payment of $4,000/month, the amount that the Elders have determined is a do-able monthly payment.  Going above this amount will limit our ability to provide funds for ministries and staffing in the future.

Any giving above our Challenge Goal amount will reduce our monthly mortgage payment and overall debt load.

Your Contribution Will Play A Vital Role In Reaching Our Goal!

Making Your Commitment

Making Your Commitment

  • PRAY:  The investment you make is an investment in eternity.  Ask God for His leading in your decision-making process.
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    RESPOND: Obey God's prompting in your heart.  Decide on an amount to pledge and complete the commitment card.  Return the card to the church in the pre-paid envelope by November 12, keeping the tear-off portion to remind yourself of your commitment.
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    REJOICE: Celebrate all that God is doing at GREFC!  Rejoice in realizing God's provision for your life.
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    VOTE:  If you are a member of GREFC, we need you to show up and vote on Nov.14!  On the night of the vote we will share the total amount of all pledges so you will be fully informed when you make your decision.!

Finding The Funds

We understand that it can seem like a challenge to come up with extra money.  If you're struggling with how to come up with a pledge amount, consider these options:

  • Cutting Back:  Consider sacrificing one night per month at a restaurant, or foregoing that daily run to the coffee shop.  You'll be surprised how quickly a few sacrifices add up!
  • Assets:  Do you have anything you could sell?  How about that unused exercise equipment or that canoe that you don't use anymore?
  • Future Increases:  If you know you're going to be getting a raise each year or have a college student graduating where you'll no longer have to pay tuition, consider earmarking that money for the campaign.

It All Adds Up!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the building project a done deal?

Will we have input into the floor plan?

When will we have a final cost for the new building and reconstruction?

What's going on with the parking lot?

When will construction be complete?

Once I pledge my commitment, how will I make my pledge payments?

Can I pay my pledge off more quickly than three years?

Does front-end loading my commitments make a difference?

Will the new auditorium be a dedicated worship space?

Why do the plans call for cutting up the current Worship Center - shouldn't we keep that for fellowship space and wedding receptions?