Our Church History
Eyes have not seen; ears have not heard what it is that God will accomplish through an obedient servant, a willing congregation and the indisputable power of the Holy Ghost in full operation within the hearts of this group of people!
Grace Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Clinton McFarland, held its first service on November 30, 2014. After pastoring the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Atlanta and a second location in Lithonia for six years, Reverend McFarland received the mandate from God to resign as Pastor, and blaze forward with a new ministry. Pastor McFarland and those willing to support his vision organized and became what is now known as Grace Baptist Church.
The first worship service convened in the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur, Georgia. The atmosphere was jubilant, and the auditorium was filled to capacity. The saints who were in attendance signaled their willingness to remain aligned with a spiritual leader who, under the auspices of God Almighty, had deposited much into their spiritual growth since his arrival in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Grace Baptist Church experienced exponential growth very rapidly. Each Sunday, the membership increased, and "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved," Acts 2:47. On December 7, 2014, Grace Baptist Church moved services to the Mountainside Seventh Day Adventist Church, as Pastor Saunders graciously opened his doors to the ministry. Because of Pastor McFarland's commitment and vision, the Grace congregation gladly welcomed the opportunity to simply worship as a "church without walls".
On December 31, 2014, Grace Baptist Church experienced its first official, "Watch Night Service", that was held in the newly erected theatre of Southwest Dekalb High School. Again, the facility was filled to capacity, and the service was electrifying!
Pastor McFarland declared that each edifice in which they worshipped would be sanctified and become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Utilizing the power and convenience of modern technology, bible study and weekly prayer calls were shared utilizing Facebook, Periscope, Twitter, and teleconference communication. Social media platforms were used to advance Grace Baptist Church as Pastor McFarland continually stayed in touch with the congregation and community. With great enthusiasm, hundreds of individuals availed themselves to these modern-day methods of connection.
Pastor McFarland realized during the very first service that was held at Mountainside that it became necessary to add chairs in every available space in the sanctuary. He wanted everyone to be a part of the "Grace Experience". The worshippers overflowed outside of the sanctuary into the lobby area. Without complaint, the congregation remained encouraged and thanked God for another opportunity to gather together in unity and be used by the Lord.
In his own words, "Grace Baptist Church started with zero dollars," yet God again proved He will always provide. During its first month of existence as a congregation, the faithful and unselfish giving amongst the saints immediately began to generate sufficient funding for the weekly maintenance and operation of the church, its administrative staff, and a team of highly skilled musicians who ministered under a powerful anointing during each worship service. Grace Baptist Church acquired the campus at 2178 Highway 138 East, Stockbridge, Georgia, and held its first official service on May 3, 2015. The Place of Grace includes our main sanctuary, administrative suites, educational rooms, technology center, game lounge, recreational zone, and a family life center that allows our youth a place to worship together. We are nestled in the heartbeat of Henry County. Hence, we serve and are conveniently located within close proximity of Clayton, Dekalb, Fulton, Newton, and Rockdale Counties.
The Place of Grace spans 54.4 beautiful acres of land. Pastor McFarland believes every acre of land should be utilized to bring glory to God.
Pastor Clinton McFarland is truly a Shepherd after Gods own heart. He passionately oversees, preaches, leads by example, guides, protects, teaches, trains, counsels, prays, and spiritually feeds the church weekly with the Word of God. Pastor McFarland reminds the saints that with God, all things are possible. Grace Baptist Church is truly a place where grace and love abound.