As Grace Community Church in Minden celebrates its 20th anniversary, everyone talks about the sense of family.
“This church is my life; it is my family,” said founding Pastor Brian Borgman. “I am thankful for authentic Christian community here, and there is no place I would rather be.”
Jean Strachan, a founding member of the church, agrees.
“The body of Christ at Grace is not only my spiritual, local family,” Strachan said. “They are my eternal family whom I love and who love me in return.”
If this sounds unusual, Strachan insists that it shouldn’t be. She says that this kind of love and community is simply what a church is like.
A small group of people had a dream of starting a biblically grounded church in Carson Valley and began meeting and planning. The group eventually had its first service March 6, 1994, at Carson Valley Middle School. Seventy-eight people attended.
“The first year seemed to be filled with numerous challenges, heartaches and strange stories,” Borgman said. “The most vivid memory is probably going Sunday by Sunday, wondering if anyone would return the next week.”
Kary Grabow, another founding member of the church, still counts it as a surprise that a handful of people made it through those early days. He partly attributes their perseverance to having a common goal.
“[Our family] started at the church even before we had official services,” Grabow said. “But from the beginning, it was a close-knit group with a common desire to know, serve and glorify God.”
Since the early years at Carson Valley Middle School, the church spent 10 years at a warehouse on Industrial Way in Gardnerville until moving to its own building on Heybourne Road in Minden in 2006.
The new building allowed it the stability of not setting up and tearing down seats and a sound system every Sunday. It also allowed the church to open Grace Christian Academy, a K-8 school open to the public.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Grace is holding a free conference today and Sunday titled “Growing Into Christ: Yesterday, Today & Forever.” The conference features two scholars from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Tom Schreiner and Bruce Ware.
The conference is open to all. For more information, go to www.gracenevada.com.