Our Story - Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Mebane
Loving God, one another, and the world through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Baptist, Mebane, Service Times 9:30/11:00/5:30
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Our Story

Grace Reformed Baptist - History Engraving

Grace Reformed Baptist Church’s origin dates to 1963, when a small group of believers purchased land on Buckhorn Road in Mebane, North Carolina. There they built a new church building with seating for approximately 175 people. It opened its doors as Community Baptist Church in October, 1965.

In 1970, the pastor became ill, and requested that Piedmont Bible College send someone to fill the pulpit. The vice-president of the college recommended that one of his students, Gary Hendrix, be sent. Gary’s preaching, especially the message of God’s sovereignty and free grace was warmly received by many of the church’s leaders. When the original pastor of Community Baptist Church resigned in June due to illness, the leadership soon issued a call to Gary in September 1970. The church was soon given a new name—Free Grace Tabernacle—to reflect the emphasis of the preaching. Several years later, the church once again changed its name, this time to Grace Reformed Baptist Church.

The decade of the 1970s witnessed several changes for the church. In January 1974, thirty-six charter members covenanted together to adopt a new Reformed confession of faith and a new church constitution. In 1976, Charles and Carol Fortner came to the church. They soon became members and Charles began an independent literature distribution ministry under the church’s oversight. He was recognized as the church’s second elder in 1979.

Growth and expanded usefulness characterized the 1980s. GRBC was privileged to oversee the planting of a new congregation in Roanoke, VA. By 1984, it was clear that God’s blessing upon the ministry of GRBC had pushed it to the limits of the small building on Buckhorn Road. New land was purchased, and in 1988 the church moved into its current building on South Third Street. In 1986, the church formally adopted the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. And in 1989, the church undertook the new ministry of sponsoring the Southeastern Reformed Baptist Family Conference, now held every other year.

In the 1990s, GRBC oversaw new church plants in Rocky Mount, NC (1991), and Bluefield, WV (1998). The decade also saw the joyful addition of a third elder to GRBC. Stu and Beth Johnston and their family moved to Mebane from New York, and in 1991, Stu was commissioned to begin an outreach work on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1995, Stu was ordained and installed as the church’s third elder. The church was blessed with tremendous growth during this time, including many singles and couples, many of whom were UNC-Chapel Hill graduates.

The 2000s saw sustained growth and included the addition of a fourth elder, Andy Dunkerton, who was ordained and installed in 2001. Also during this decade, the church became more aggressively involved in ministerial training by developing their own program to oversee the theological and practical training of men who desired to become pastors. The church called Robert Fisher, who had recently retired from pastoral ministry in South Florida, to act as full time ministerial mentor and to supervise the training of as many as a dozen men.

Now in its sixth decade, Grace Reformed Baptist Church has renewed its commitment to propagate the gospel in the Mebane community and throughout the world. Three more elders were added: Stephen Byrd, Bob Prentice and Michael Lopes, while two have retired, Charles Fortner and Andy Dunkerton.  Two elders have since gone to glory, Gary Hendrix and Bob Prentice. The church has renewed its efforts to reach out to the community through special events, organized group meetings and ministries to the needy and often-neglected members of the city. GRBC also sponsors several missionaries, many of whom take the gospel to some of the most difficult regions of the world. In all of this, the church acknowledges that all of its work is in vain if God does not bless it. And so it is the church’s constant prayer that the Head of the Church will continue to pour out His blessings on the congregation and on its efforts to bring glory to God.

Mebane, NC Mural