We are a group of people from varying backgrounds but we have one major thing in common; we all have been transformed by the power of God in our lives. The church has had a presence in Grays as far back as 1892, and as those early Christians met together in Grays to worship; today we also worship the Lord together in simple straightforward services with an atmosphere of reverent joy. The focus of the service is always teaching from God’s Word the Bible.
We are aided by the Grace Baptist Partnership and we are of a Reformed Baptist persuasion. For more details about our beliefs click here. A few church members have given their testimonies (explanation of how they came to know the Lord Jesus):
Joanne, a member of our church, recently gave an account of how she became a Christian. Here it is:
“From a young age I always went to Church, whilst my Father was not a believer, my mother was, so every Sunday without fail I would attend Church.
I can remember thinking at the time that Church and God were boring – there was nothing interesting in attending Church and I just went because I had to.
When I reached the age of 15, I no longer went along to Church anymore and it was at that point that I got involved with the wrong crowd, and involved in things that I shouldn’t have. I became rebellious in life. I despised God and the things of God and didn’t want to know anything about God or church.
At around 20 years old I was faced with death due to the rebellious life I had been living, and it was only then whilst in that situation I remember thinking that not only could I die, but also remembering about Hell that I had learnt of as a child. It was only then that I remember praying and asking God to deliver me from this awful situation of which he did.
Reflecting upon what God had done for me I started to wonder what knowing the Lord was all about, and started to attend a Grace Baptist Church in Stratford of where I longed to know more about the Lord. I remember I desired to know the Lord more, and it was at that point where I started to read my Bible and pray.
Shortly after I was invited to attend a Christian Conference in Aberystwyth the (Evangelical Movement of Wales), where Vernon Higham was preaching at the time and can honestly say that it was there that I believe I was saved. I remember hearing the Word of God and was touched by the word, and by Sin and hated the Sinner that I was. My desire was to know the Lord and loved learning about the Lord, and being with Gods people, and as a newly converted believer my strife and aim was to serve the Lord with all my heart, I couldn’t get enough about the Lord.
In 1998 I was Baptised and came into Membership of the Church which I was attending at the time, but unfortunately shortly after I fell away and started drifting back into the world, however I was never truly happy as I knew that how I was living was wrong and each day seemed like I was wrestling with God, but in 2013 through God’s Grace and Mercy God brought me back to himself and to the Grace Baptist Church that I attend now, and can honestly say that whilst I am faced with many difficulties, struggles, etc I thank God every day for what he has done for me, and cannot wait to be with the Lord one day in Glory.”
Here is the testimony of Samuel, another of our members:
“I was raised in a Christian household, taken to church from an early age where I had to sit in the Sunday school class. My earliest memory of this was marked by an uneasiness being surrounded by so many children who also had to remain silent whilst the Sunday school teacher taught.
Even though it may have been explained to some degree why I needed The Lord even in my youth, I didn’t care enough to listen. In simple words, my heart was unable to receive the spiritual truth of the Gospel of Christ, as my state was one of spiritual deadness.
On various occasions I would sense The Lord calling me to surrender to Him, give up my sins and follow him. One of these calls came on a winter night of October 2007, when a preacher from overseas came to minister at the church I was attending. His sermon came from a text in Mark 6:31, entitled ‘come ye apart’. I knew The Lord was speaking to me and telling me to come apart from the world and remain with Him. I was afraid and trembled as I knew this meant I had to lose my sin which I loved too much. Well out of a religious obligation though not met with sincerity as far as I can recall, I sat in my chair that night during the altar call for fear of being identified and prayed the sinners’ prayer. Months went by and I still remained active in the church also serving in the choir. I was busy doing the Lord’s work but I still did not know The Lord, I had not yet surrendered my heart to serve The Lord in truth. Sin was still my idol and I still was not saved.
In the summer of 2010, after moving church for the second time with my family I was in my room, fed up of what I knew to be wrong doctrines being fed from the pulpit and this led to an eagerness for sound biblical teaching. As I was on the laptop browsing I came across a number of preachers within the reformed circle of protestant Christianity and clicked on a sermon entitled ‘the supremacy of Christ’, which after I had listened to it, brought to my recognition how gracious The Lord has been with me in spite of my ‘Christian privileges’. I understood also that Christ made an atonement on the cross for my sins, removing God’s righteous wrath from me that I deserve to be under for my sins. By God’s grace I understood and received the message in my heart that day and over the next 6 to 8 months, that understanding began to develop into a sincere relationship with God through Christ. My prayers became more heartfelt and answers were obvious, I sensed Gods smile on me and forgiveness for my past sins. I began to notice a jealous love and increased understanding for the word of God and a desire to share it with others. On April 6th 2013, I was baptised on profession of my faith in Christ Jesus. What has been apparent to me, is that God had been at work in bringing me to Himself long before I knew Him. He had set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace to reveal Christ in me, when it pleased Him (Gal 1:15-16). Blessed be His name for His Wisdom and Grace in saving me.”
We asked Ann, an attendee of the church for many years, how she became a Christian. This was her response:
“I asked Jesus to come into my heart when a Methodist teenager, without realising the full implication of that invitation.
In retrospect, counselling would have been helpful. Conviction of sin, plus sincere repentance – in the knowledge of the cleansing power of Christ’s redeeming blood, is needful.
He took the punishment of our sinfulness upon the cross to give us free salvation and eternal life with Him.
Being born again (converted/saved) is the start of spiritual growth – even as physical birth must be followed by development.
Several years ago it was impressed upon me that the most important thing in life is to know God, whom one day we shall meet.
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.”
We also asked Ann to tell us her favourite verse from the Bible:
“The Eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms…”
Ann has been a Christian longer than many of us have been alive. She still loves the Lord and maybe the key to her spiritual longevity is found in her favourite aforementioned Bible verse – God is her refuge.