The Seabreeze Beacon

Grace Church Celebrates First Year

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By Gloria Way

  During the last couple of years, it has been impossible to not notice the schism being created among the congregation at the United Methodist Church in Winnie. It was happening within the church worldwide and it was only a matter of time when changes being advocated by the United Methodist Church would become permanent and require all United Methodist churches around the world to adhere to its “evolving message”.

  Several members of the Winnie church asked for a discussion among the congregation about the movement within the church and for a vote to be taken among its members as to whether the congregation should remain as is with the United Methodist Church or join forces with the Global Methodist Congregation whose doctrine was more traditional and in keeping with the Scriptures as presented in the Bible. Two thirds of the membership vote was needed to either stay as is or split away and become part of the Global Methodist Congregation. The vote was two thirds of the membership to remain with the United Methodist Church. The remainder of the congregation felt strongly against the vote and formed an alliance to separate from United Methodist and join with the Global Methodist Congregation. They formed a new church, named Grace Church, and it started its mission with less than 60 members. An agreement was reached with ECISD where the new church could hold its Sunday services in the high school auditorium until a new location was available.

  This past Sunday, Grace Church celebrated its first-year anniversary. With a current membership of 130 members, Grace Church has had phenomenal success. The parish council hired a dynamic young pastor, Kyle Abshier. Pastor Abshier has brought youth and enthusiasm to a congregation that felt stagnant and ignored. The parish council announced that Grace Church is in the process of buying five acres of land on FM 1406, just north of I-10 to build its church. They proudly stated that the purchase will be a cash acquisition. A building committee has been formed as well as a capital development committee.

  The members of Grace Church invite everyone to attend Sunday services at the EC High School auditorium which are held every Sunday at 10am. To be transparent, my husband and I are new members of Grace Church. We joined after attending services for several weeks. And we were not members of any church in Winnie/Stowell before we joined.

  Congratulations, Grace Church! Thank you for providing our community with another option to worship.

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