Grace Baptist Church offers some history on its 135th Anniversary

Grace Baptist Church will celebrate its 135th Anniversary Sunday, October 22 with a special service beginning at 10 a.m.
Uplifting music is planned; PA House Representative Jerry Stern and Tyrone Borough’s Vice President, Bill Latchford will present “commendations” from the state and local governments. Dr. Milo Thompson, Director of “Christ-Way Ministries” will challenge the congregation to its historical mission of spreading the Gospel of Christ and its “vision” for Tyrone and globally. There is a special Children’s Program planned with Handi The Clown during the 10 a.m. service. The children, 3-years-old through 5th Grade will meet at the Erie Insurance Building which is located across the street from the church. Please arrive early to drop the children off to be in time for the 10 a.m. service. An infant and toddler nursery will also be provided if parents so desire. Dr. Milo Thompson will also speak in the 6:30 p.m. service that evening at Grace Baptist Church. The church is located across from East End Pizza on Columbia Ave. in Tyrone. Please call the church office at 684-5016 for further information.
Grace Baptist Church
Brief History
The Grace Baptist Church was organized on October 26, 1871 beginning with thirteen charter members. In its beginning the congregation was in affiliation with the American Baptist Convention. The congregation immediately began to build a house of worship which was dedicated on February 12, 1872. The church facility’s original location was on North Logan Avenue. In 1890, an adjoining plot was purchased and a parsonage was built to provide housing for its ministers. In 1898 the church building was remodeled and rededicated to the mission of making committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1952, the Tyrone Area Joint School District desired to purchase the church and parsonage to construct a new elementary school on Logan Avenue. The congregation voted to accept the school’s offer and Logan Elementary School was built. The local Sheetz convenience store in recent history purchased the Logan Elementary School and that was where the congregation of Grace Baptist originally met.
In the same year, 1952, the congregation of Grace purchased its present location at 1553 Columbia Avenue, in Tyrone from the Presbyterian Church as they had a small building that served as an afternoon Sunday School for the immediate surrounding Columbia Avenue, 15th and 16th Street children.
In 1968 Grace Baptist Church decided to withdraw from the American Baptist Convention due to the “theological disagreement” concerning the congregation’s belief of “inerrancy” of Scripture. Because its properties were in the name of the Convention, the congregation was faced with re-buying the church facility and parsonage. This was accomplished in 1972.
During the years of 1971-1973 several renovations were made, greatest of which was the digging out, by hand, a basement for the church. In 1986, due to church growth, the church built an addition that doubled the facility to seat 180 worshippers in its sanctuary and add a fellowship room in the basement. Once again, due to the numerical growth of the congregation, and being land locked in its current location, in 2002, the congregation purchased 3.5 acres of land located at Adams Avenue and 23rd Street. Currently the church is in the architectural planning and fund raising phase to “relocate”, building a new facility to accommodate its growing ministry for worship, educational, youth and fellowship needs.
Grace Baptist’s Congregation voted September 24, 2006 to become affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention of Churches of North America. Though affiliating with the S.B.C for “like-Biblical beliefs” and “like-gospel mission focus”, Grace Baptist remains “Bible, congregational self governing”, as well as owning its properties as it has in the past.
Today, Grace’s Congregation is made up of over 140 church members and a weekly Sunday AM attendance that averages almost 200 worshippers in two services. It offers the following services and times:
8:15 a.m. – Early Worship Service (traditional music)
9:30 a.m. – Sunday Bible Study Classes for all ages
10:30 a.m. – Worship Service (Blend of contemporary & traditional music)
6:15 p.m. – Junior & Senior High Youth Groups
6:30 p.m. – Evening Service at the church on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays of each month;
“Life Groups” (small group studies) in homes on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.
6:30 p.m. – AWANA Clubs: Children 3-years-old through 5th grades.
7 p.m. – Adult Bible Study & Prayer.