Grace Fellowship exists to make and teach disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit; who worship the one true God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the neighborhood and the nations.
We believe that glorifying God is the ultimate reason for human existence, and therefore strive to follow His voice in every aspect of our lives. Because we believe that all scripture is God-breathed, we respect bible-centered preaching and teaching as the foundation for all that we do.
Sundays - 10:30 AM - Worship
Traditional Reverence With A Modern Touch
Wednesdays - 7:00 PM - Union In Christ
A Study In Ephesians (Beginning August 24th)
Special Events in August
August 12th - 7:00 PM - Ordination & Night of Worship August 20th - 5:00 PM - Free Cookout
Grace Fellowship exists to make and teach disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit; who worship the one true God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the neighborhood and the nations.
We believe that glorifying God is the ultimate reason for human existence, and therefore strive to follow His voice in every aspect of our lives. Because we believe that all Scripture is God-breathed, we use bible-centered preaching and teaching as the foundation for all that we do.
Where we: Teach truth, Exalt Christ, Love the Lord and Lead in the Spirit.
We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God.
We believe the Bible is the final authority in all issues regarding the Christian faith and practice.
We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory at the end of this present age.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling power and fullness the Christian is enabled to live a godly life in the present evil world.
We believe in the Spiritual unity of all believers in Christ. We believe in the resurrection of the dead to either eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, or eternal damnation for the unbelieving.
Acknowledging Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, God as our Father, the Holy Spirit as our Guide, and the Holy Scriptures as our rule of faith and practice, and recognizing the privilege and duty of uniting ourselves for Christian fellowship, we do now in the sight of God solemnly covenant and agree with each other to associate ourselves together in this church of the Lord Jesus Christ for the worship of God and service to mankind. Ever mindful of our fellow members we promise, to walk with them in faithfulness and Christian love. And we promise, insofar as we are able, we will attend the services of this church, observe its sacraments, share in its work and obligations, support its benevolence, promote its peace, purity and prosperity.
The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC)
The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) is a voluntary association of churches committed to fellowship with each other. It is designed to allow local congregations to consult and advise together as churches upon matters of common concern to them, both temporal and spiritual, without infringing on their self-government.
The NACCC also maintains cordial relationships with a number of autonomous state and regional Congregational associations. Congregational Christian Churches are not required to belong to either the NACCC or a state or regional association. However, many choose to belong to both in order to strengthen their church ministries through the blessings of essential services and collaboration.
Once a year, normally in June, representatives of NACCC member churches gather for a four-day Annual Meeting held in a different city each year. Attendees experience the joy of fellowship, take part in valuable seminars, hear dynamic and inspiring speakers, and make the major decisions of the Association during business sessions.
The activities of the NACCC are conducted and supported by its Executive Committee and a number of other committees, divisions and commissions, as well as professional staff. The Association's national office is in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Hallmarks of Congregationalism
Congregational Churches are sometimes known as the “Church of the Pilgrims” after the small congregations of the early 1600’s. The people of these congregations moved from England, some by way of Holland, and then to the new world in pursuit of religious freedom. From them, we inherited a wonderful spiritual heritage ‐ one that is uniquely suited to our contemporary world.
This is a tradition that has deep convictions based upon the Word of God as each person interprets that Word according to the dictates of conscience, under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This naturally attracts men and women of genuine conviction, of adventurous faith, and of gracious regard for each other’s sincerity to the Congregational Christian fellowship.
Since every Congregationalist possesses full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel, we are a diverse group of people united under Christ. We believe there is strength in diversity and by it there are unending opportunities to learn from each other and to grow in faith.
Christ alone is the head of the church.
All church members are spiritually equal and called to the work of ministry.
Every local church is autonomous and complete.
Each local church is called into wider associations of fellowship.
Believers are bound one to another in voluntary covenant.
Every Christian possesses full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel.
The Bible is fully sufficient as our guide in matters of faith and practice and will inspire individuals and direct the church with fresh light and truth for every generation.
The Congregational Way
is a way of following Christ. People of a Congregational Church do not seek to be led by a creed, but by the Spirit. Ours is the tradition of a free church, gathered under the headship of Christ and bound to others by love, not law.
When King Henry VIII of England broke with Rome and made the Church of England subservient to the English crown, many of his subjects thought he had not gone far enough in reforming the church. These people, sometimes called Puritans, wanted a church that was thoroughly reformed in its worship, governance, and outlook.
Some of them tried to purify the English Church from within. Others, known as Separatists, left the state church and formed local groups of believers bound together by mutual covenants. They found warrant for these gathered churches in Matthew 18:20, which says, "for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
One of these churches was gathered by covenant in the village of Scrooby in 1606. They met on Sundays in the home of the postmaster, William Brewster, for Bible study and prayer. Such gatherings were banned by British law, which demanded that all subjects of the king belong to the Church of England and no other. When the threat of persecution by English authorities became severe, the little church of Scrooby, led by its pastor John Robinson, fled to Holland.
After a few peaceful and prosperous years in Leiden, the Scrooby congregation made plans to establish a Separatist colony in America. Sailing on the Mayflower from the port of Plymouth, England, in 1620, the 102 voyagers arrived off Cape Cod in late autumn and landed in a harbor they named Plymouth. Before stepping ashore, they drafted an agreement as the basis for the civil government of their colony. This Mayflower Compact was the first written expression in history of a social contract, in which the people agree among themselves to form the state. It can be seen as a civil counterpart to the covenant by which they had formed their church in Scrooby.
These people have been called Pilgrims by later generations of Americans. Their first winter on American soil was very hard, claiming the lives of half the group. But under the leadership of able governors such as William Bradford, the colony at Plymouth soon prospered.
In 1629 and 1630, the Pilgrims of Plymouth were joined by a much larger migration of Puritans from England, who founded the city of Boston and other towns and villages which together made up the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These newcomers, led by Governor John Winthrop, were better financed and more numerous than the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and they soon dominated the civil and religious life of Massachusetts and the other New England colonies.
Unlike the settlers of Plymouth, most of the Massachusetts Bay party were non-Separatists. They were Puritans who did not necessarily want to separate from the Church of England. Nevertheless, persecution at home had driven them to a physical, if not a spiritual, separation.
Most importantly, the non-Separating Puritans who came to Massachusetts formed their churches in the same way the Scrooby Separatists had formed theirs: by covenanting together, without the aid of king, bishop, or synod. Thus, in the decades that followed, New England became filled with Congregational churches.
Boston eventually had several such churches, but each frontier settlement of any size had its own church. Each church hired its own pastor and ran its own affairs. Periodically, lay and clergy representatives of these churches would meet to discuss matters of common concern -- but any conclusions reached were advisory, not mandatory upon the churches. Only the congregation could decide matters for the local church.
The original Congregationalists were strict Calvinists, who espoused a covenantal theology. Ensuing generations began to fall away from the particular tenets of this belief, until, in the early 1700s, New England was ripe for the first religious revival movement on American soil. This Great Awakening was led primarily by Jonathan Edwards of Northampton, Massachusetts, who worked with spiritual and intellectual distinction over the course of a long life to support the tenets of the original New England theology.
Also in the eighteenth century, the tradition of freedom and self-government started by the Congregationalists of New England fostered the spirit of independence which informed the American revolutionaries. Many small New England churches participated actively in the War of Independence. By the 1800s, as the effects of the Great Awakening began to recede, many were turning to more liberal theologies. A great controversy arose in which many of the old First Churches of New England became Unitarian.
Nevertheless, the Congregational churches went on, joining with the Presbyterians in a Plan of Union for the purpose of joint missionary endeavors on the western frontiers. The Congregationalists pulled out of this Plan of Union later, when fifty years' experience showed its effect had been the building of a large number of Presbyterian, not Congregational, churches in the western states.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many of the Congregational churches in the United States, which had resisted the Unitarian impulse, nevertheless became more liberal in their theological outlook. No Congregational church could impose a particular creed on its members. But the members, in general, came to see Christianity in a different light: They interpreted the Bible less literally than their ancestors did, and they began to re-adopt some previously discarded worship practices of the more liturgical churches.
At the same time, Congregationalists often led in Christian social activism. They championed the abolition of slavery, the elevation of women's status -- a Congregationalist, Antoinette Brown, was the first woman ordained to the Christian ministry in America-- and the new "social Gospel" movement of the later years. The Social Gospel, championed by the Congregational minister Washington Gladden and the Baptist Walter Rauschenbusch, attempted to get Christians to embrace the struggles and relieve the difficulties of impoverished urban laborers.
The early twentieth century was a time of mergers. The Congregational churches had formed a national body, the National Council of Congregational Churches. In 1931, this National Council merged with the General Convention of the Christian Church to form the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches. (The Christians were a group of churches operating on principles almost identical to those of the Congregationalists, but laying more importance on the use of the name Christian to identify followers of Christ.) This merger was accomplished smoothly and with little dissent.
A few years later, another merger was proposed: Churches of the General Council would merge with the Evangelical and Reformed Church, a group of mainly German heritage which had theological affinities with many Congregationalists, though with a more presbyterial polity. This merger was eventually completed, to form the United Church of Christ. But about 200 Congregational Christian churches chose not to join the merger, mainly on the issue of congregational polity. The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches was formed in 1955 to give those congregations a national fellowship which would not threaten the autonomy of each congregation.
Since that time, the National Association has doubled in size and has remained true to its guiding vision. New churches are added to our number each year, and the future growth and vitality of our fellowship is grounded in the mission statement of the NACCC:
Bringing together Congregational Christian Churches for mutual care and outreach to our world in the name of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Tim - What I Believe I affirm the historic Christian Faith that is expressed in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments comprising our complete biblical canon and declared in creeds of our fathers, specifically the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. I believe in one triune God, co-existing in three equal persons as Father, Son and Spirit.
I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching and correction in all matters of life and faith. God’s Word is our authority of all matters of life and practice and the only specific revelation of God from God. I believe that the Bible should be translated from the original languages into every tongue of every nation with careful prayer and precise consideration. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope of man and the world, and salvation belongs to all who repent of sin and the system of this world to believe in Jesus as the only way to this salvation. I believe the gospel that is declared throughout the entire Bible, and it should be taught as such.
This gospel and these Scriptures are never to be added to or taken away from. This gospel is one initiated, accomplished and preserved by the omnipotent, omniscient, infallible Creator and Sustainer of all things. Out of His perfect nature and character, the triune God created the earth untainted as a glorious reflection of Himself. He also created mankind to reflect His image and bring Him glory. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, walked in perfect humanity and fellowship with each other and God in the garden He prepared for them. In this garden was a fallen angel who rebelled against God and took the form of a serpent. This angel, Satan wanted man to join in his rebellion and he deceived Adam and Eve by introducing doubt to the commands of God and their obedience to Him. God commanded them to eat of any fruit in the garden but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve following the serpent and Adam following Eve, they ate and sinned against God. With this sin, the perfect fellowship with God, one another, and creation was broken and their eyes were opened to their nakedness and their guilt. Through this sin, all mankind sinned with them and shares in their fate of living on a cursed earth and in slavery to sin. God did not leave man in this state and promised that a seed of the woman would put an end to the curse initiated by the serpent.
This promise was prophesied and anticipated throughout the Law, Prophets and Poets of the Hebrew Scriptures in our Old Testament. Man’s only hope to reconcile with a perfect and holy God was to offer a perfect and complete sacrifice for sin. God declares that every sin is an offense to Him and that every sin must be accounted for because He is perfectly just and cannot let any offense go unpunished. By nature every man and woman are lawbreakers and are unable to obey the law perfectly and deserve the wrath of God. But God, being rich in mercy condescended His heavenly throne by coming to earth as man incarnate. The second person of the trinity, the eternal Son, was born as a baby, walked in earth for 33 years, lived a sinless life. He came to earth to save His children from their sins and declare a message of forgiveness of sins, citizenship in His eternal kingdom and reconciliation with God for those who believe in Him.
This reconciliation was accomplished through the shedding of blood from the spotless Lamb, the perfect sacrifice. Only a man could bear mans’ burden and only God could bear His own wrath. So this sacrifice of this spotless Lamb, the blameless Son, was the only hope for the salvation of man. Jesus the Messiah, on whom our faith is founded, endured the torment of man and the wrath of God on the cross for the sins of those who believe in Him. On that cross His physical body endured death, and with Him death and sin died to those who are eternally secured in Him. On the third day He rose again, and also those united with Him arise to new life, as new creatures, freed from sin and death. After His resurrection, He appeared to His followers to bear witness to the world and then ascended again into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven, on the seat of authority and power. The Son remains seated, reigning over all His creation waiting until the last day where He will come to judge the living and the dead. When He comes in judgment, He will come in glory, appointing His faithful followers and adopted brothers to eternal life and those who reject Him to suffer eternal punishment. After the judgment of man is completed, all things will be made new, including heaven and earth. God will build a holy city for Himself and those appointed to eternal life will live with glorified bodies, as perfect humanity with their God as His people forever on the new earth in peace and joy. This is the Christian hope and the gospel to which we are saved and the gospel I will proclaim.
I believe the church is visible as a local assembly that meets to bring praises the Lord, bless His name, tell of His salvation by teaching Holy Scriptures, and participate in His sacraments, that of baptism and holy communion. This visible representation with will be filled with those born again to eternal life and those who will fall away and never believe. Since we cannot discern the heart of man, we preach the gospel faithfully and trust in the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of His people, and continue the work of discipling those entrusted to us.
I believe the church invisible and is made up of all those throughout all ages who are saved by faith in God and the redemptive accomplishments of the Messiah, His Son, Jesus Christ. This invisible church, the true body and bride of Christ, will one day be united in a glorious wedding ceremony and feast celebrating our Bridegroom, Christ, who has ushered into His kingdom. I believe the purpose of the church is gather in holy fellowship to the glory of God by proclaiming His name and preparing His saints for ministry. The role of the pastor is that of shepherd and overseer (elder) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, faithfully feeding, tending and loving those placed in His care, for the love and glory of Christ. Disciples of Christ are to love one another, keep His commandments and to declare to all nations the authority given Him. Therefore continuing to make disciples, baptizing, and teaching them all that Christ commands them.
On May 16th, 2016 we voted unanimously to call Tim Iamaio as our next pastor. Pastor Tim faithfully preached through Galatians for several months before the call and we were impressed and encouraged by his knowledge of Scripture and passion for the gospel. We are encouraged for our new direction and support Tim in his vision for this church in reaching the neighborhood and the nations with the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Here is a little about Pastor Tim:
“Who I am is a sinner saved by grace, and what I believe and what I will do in ministry is a result of who I am. I could not be saved without a Savior. Without the saving blood of Jesus Christ, the providential call of the Father and the transformative work of the Holy Spirit I would still be dead in my sin. I once was lost but now I’m found, I once was blind but now I see, I once was dead in my sins, but now I am alive in Christ.
I grew up in a Christian home to godly parents but rejected the gospel and squandered the blessings of the Lord until the age of 27. Not only was I a sinner, but loved sinning and sinned boldly. My life was a testament to my flesh. I was a club DJ and party promoter and I was an activist for secularism and self-worship. Far from home and far from God, the Lord saw fit to crumble the temple to my flesh that I built around myself. In October 2007 all the things I trusted in and looked to for validation and security were stripped from me and I was bare and broken before God. For the first time in my life I truly cried out for help, desiring to surrender all I held dear, repenting of my old ways, and committing my life before the feet of my Savior. The Lord had drawn me to Himself and redeemed me from the pit, and it was no longer I who lived but Christ who lived in me.
For the next several years I grew in knowledge and conviction, praying daily and earnestly for wisdom. I was becoming more confident of who I was in Christ and this was recognized by different people in different stages of my life, most notably my wife. Sherri was with me through this transition and growth and was the first to declare that I would be used by the Lord in a mighty way. I was asked to lead studies, classes, mission trips, and ministries and began to have increased opportunities for discipleship and leadership. As this trend continued I was reluctant and did not imagine myself worthy of leading God’s people, especially in a pastoral capacity. However, more and more people spoke this into my life and confirmed my calling. I prayed that the Lord would guide me and make my calling abundantly clear. I began attending Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, FL to further deepen my biblical foundation in preparation for ministry. Every door I tried to create for myself was closed, but yet God opened wide the opportunity to step into a small church and preach. Over several months, the Holy Spirit softened my heart to the people of Grace Fellowship and the city of Sanford, and the heart of my wife as well. All of my growth and failures were in preparation to lead the people of this congregation. Looking back I can see that God’s plan was perfect and still greater than I ever could have imagined. I accepted the call of Grace Fellowship Congregational Church on May 16th, 2016 to lead and grow the congregation, with a focus on Christ-centered expository teaching and intentional discipleship. I will stay and serve as long as it is the Lord’s will and I will feed and tend His sheep to the best of my ability. After my family, this is now my first priority, however I will also continue pursuing my Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at RTS with an expected graduation of spring 2018.
If you want to hear more about my story, would like to talk about yours or have any questions I would love to hear from you.
Pastor Tim Iamaio
“This gospel is one initiated, accomplished and preserved by the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Out of His perfect holy nature and character, God created the earth untainted as a glorious reflection of Himself. He also created mankind to reflect His image and bring Him glory. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, walked in perfect humanity and fellowship with each other and God in the garden He prepared for them. In this garden was a fallen angel who rebelled against God and took the form of a serpent. This angel, Satan wanted man to join in his rebellion and he deceived Adam and Eve by introducing doubt to the commands of God and questioning their obedience to Him. God commanded them to eat of any fruit in the garden but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve following the serpent, and Adam following Eve, they ate and sinned against God. With this sin, the perfect fellowship with God, one another, and creation was broken and their eyes were opened to their nakedness and their guilt. Through this sin, all mankind sinned with them and now shares in their fate of living on a cursed earth and in slavery to sin. Thankfully God did not leave man in this state and promised that a Seed of the woman would put an end to the curse.
This promise was prophesied and anticipated throughout the Law, Prophets and Poets of the Hebrew Scriptures that we call the Old Testament. Every sin is an offense to God and every sin must be accounted for because the Lord is perfectly just and cannot let any offense go unpunished. Man’s only hope to reconcile with a perfect and holy God is to offer a perfect and complete sacrifice for sin. By nature every man and woman are lawbreakers and are unable to obey the law perfectly and therefore deserve the wrath of God. But God, being rich in mercy condescended His heavenly throne and came to earth as a divine Man. The second person of the trinity, the eternal Son, was born as a baby, walked in earth for 33 years, and lived a sinless life. The Anointed One, Messiah, came to earth to declare a message of forgiveness of sins, citizenship in His eternal kingdom and reconciliation with God for those who repent and believe in Him.
This reconciliation was accomplished through the shedding of blood from the spotless Lamb, the perfect sacrifice. Only a man could bear mans’ burden and only God could bear His own wrath. So the sacrifice of this spotless Lamb, the blameless Son, was the only hope for the salvation of man. Jesus the Messiah, on whom our faith is founded, endured the torment of man and the wrath of God on a cross for the sins of those who believe in Him. On that cross His physical body endured death, and with Him death and sin died to eternally secure salvation in Him. On the third day He rose again, and those united with Him arise to new life, as new creatures, to live by faith. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers to bear witness to the world and then ascended again to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven, on the seat of authority and power. The Son remains seated, reigning over all His creation waiting until the last day where He will come to judge the living and the dead. When He comes in judgment, He will come in glory, appointing His faithful followers and adopted brothers to eternal life and those who reject Him to suffer eternal punishment. After the judgment of man is completed, all things will be made new, including heaven and earth. God will build a holy city for Himself. Those appointed to eternal life will live with glorified bodies, as perfect humanity, in holy inheritance with their God, as His people forever on the new earth in peace and joy. This is the Christian hope and the gospel to which we are saved and the gospel we will proclaim.
Have questions about the gospel or where to find these references in the Bible? Please contact us.”