Grace Community United Methodist Church is celebrating its 10-year anniversary on Sunday, May 6. New Pastor, Reverend Matt Wallis has invited the community to come and participate in the family-friendly event . The church is located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., in Lithia.

By Rhonda Davis

Grace Community United Methodist Church (UMC) has come a long way in 10 years. The church started as a Bible study group in the home of the founding pastor, Dr. Rob Harding, and today has a congregation of more than 250 people joining in fellowship each week in the heart of FishHawk.

In the beginning, a small group of people met once a week. In order to become a church that held church services on Sundays, the group took a leap of faith and never looked back.

Starting the new church provided many obstacles and challenges. Despite the difficulties, the congregation held true to its founding vision: to make disciples for Christ and help them grow in their faith. That spirit continues at Grace Community today.

From 2000-2002, worship services were held in Lithia Springs and Bevis Elementary schools. In May 2002 Grace received their official charter as Grace Community UMC. As the church’s heart for ministry grew, so did its size. The congregation quickly outgrew the space at the elementary schools and moved to Newsome High School in 2003. By 2005, Grace Community UMC moved into the current facility at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., in Lithia.

In the last five years the church has been dedicated to serving the community through avenues such as: Habitat for Humanity, Feed the Bay, Relay for Life, Adopt a Family, Life Care of Brandon, Volunteers of America, A Kid’s Place and ECHO.  Grace’s members are amazed at all God has done in a decade.

Current Pastor, Reverend Matt Wallis, hopes that in the next ten years, the church will have even more opportunities to serve the community. “Currently we have approximately 250 people that we reach through our services every week,” Wallis said. “Grace is honored to be a part of the FishHawk area, and we consider it a true blessing to be placed amidst this young and thriving community. We are committed to being an active part of our community.”

Grace Community UMC is excited to celebrate a decade of service and welcomes others to come celebrate with them. 

An Anniversary Celebration Service will be held on Sunday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m. A family-friendly celebration festival immediately following the service. This will include games, food, fun and fellowship. For more information, call 661-8858 or visit

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