CHURCH HISTORY


           In January 1984, a group of some 56 members of the First Baptist Church, Toccoa, Georgia, began to meet weekly to share news, fellowship and convictions and beliefs. They had become concerned about the manner in which the business of their church was conducted. The group grew to about 100, and called themselves the New Testament Fellowship. Officers pro temp were elected; Chairman was Charles Whitworth, Clerk was Ethlene Tatham. Names of those attending will appear in a list of 108 who later pledged to join the new church.

           It became evident that their views and sentiments concerning church polity and doctrine were at variance with that of their original church. Eventually an initiative in the direction of church autonomy became evident among members of the of the New Testament Fellowship. Views and spiritual needs of members were discussed. By March 1984, it was the consensus that God's will and intent was that the Fellowship become a church to meet their needs and to advance Christ's kingdom.

           At fellowship meetings in the home of Mary Veal, early in March, 1984, Maurice Thomas gave a devotional in which he proposed a resolution which summarized the sentiments that had been expressed.

This is the Founding Resolution adopted later as expressing the intent of the new church:

           On March 16, 1984, 75 fellowship members met in the borrowed First Alliance Church building on Rothel Road. In this meeting, after worship service, organizing a new church was discussed at length. The Founding Resolution was adopted. At the next meeting, on March the 23rd, a sheet of paper, entitled Irrevocable Commitment, was placed on a table before the pulpit and those present were asked to sign the sheet to signify their willingness to help begin a church. 108 signatures were placed on the sheet as the people marched by the table.

          After discussing names for the new church, Ethlene Tatham suggested the name "Grace Baptist Church" which was adopted unanimously. Officers pro temp were subsequently elected and regular meetings were planned to be held on Sundays and Wednesdays when the Alliance Church was not using the facility. A steering committee secured pulpit speakers, a music director, Sunday school teachers, and other program personnel. Plans for electing various permanent officers and committees were advanced.


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