Grace Church Kogarah is an independent evangelical church in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The church is located at the corner of Kensington and Premier Streets, near the St George Bank headquarters. The English service is one of several services run at Grace, at 9am every Sunday. Grace Church is also known as Grace Chinese Christian Church or GCCC.
Grace Church believes that the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and that it gives true answers to peoples’ deepest questions and needs. This church preaches the gospel, namely Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and that only through him can people experience forgiveness of sins and receive an eternal life and hope. Its vision is to be a Christ-centred church showing forth the living faith in Jesus, the desire for loving fellowship and the passion for reaching out into the world for God’s glory.
History of Grace Church (focusing on the English Congregation)
A small group of Chinese Christians who had been meeting in the Kogarah area, organised the Chinese Christian Fellowship (1978) on Sunday afternoons and was led by Rev. John Lu. In 1981 the Rev. Abel Chung commenced a long and fruitful full-time ministry. The church was renamed Grace Chinese Christian Church (1984) and started an English service. In 1987 Grace Church Kogarah purchased the property at the present address in Kogarah for further church development. The service was served by visiting preachers each week, and by the late 80s the attendance had reached approximately 40.
Rev. Keith Noldt served as the full-time pastor for the English congregation in 1995-2007, and the English congregation grew significantly over those years. Rev. Bob McSwan (ex-Kingsgrove Uniting Church pastor) served in the September 2008 to June 2009 period, and attendance did not fall during that time.
Albert Garlando is the current full-time pastor for the English congregation, starting in July 2009.
The English congregation has 120-140 people meeting weekly to worship God, and people of all ages and nationalities are invited to share in service.
Congregations at Grace Church Kogarah
The English Congregation has the gospel preached in an environment that mixes the traditional and contemporary elements. Overall values of Grace Church are God's word as authority, dependence on God, close personal relationships, unity in diversity, everyone serving with joy, and mission.
The English Congregation meets at the corner of Kensington & Premier Streets at 9am each Sunday, with plans to trial a monthly night service in addition in 2010. Bi-yearly combined services at St George Girls' break the pattern, while Good Friday / Christmas Eve night services add to the pattern. It also has various bible discussion groups and is involved in various ways with the local community, such as the Annual Kogarah Bed Race.
There are six other congregations at Grace Church. Two of these meet at the Acton Street Sutherland church plant and a Cantonese congregation meets at the Princes Highway Banksia church plant next to an Islamic centre. A new Cantonese night service commenced at the main Kogarah site on 22 February 2009, which runs weekly at 6pm. Foreign language night services are believed to be a rarity in Australia.
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