A SHORT HISTORY OF GRACE BAPTIST

On December 26, 1965, five Christian families covenanted with God and each other to form a church then called Grace Tabernacle Baptist Church. Shortly thereafter, they called Dr. John Byrd to be the pastor and rented the upstairs half of the Alice Miller Building on the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Peralta Avenue as their meeting place. The first sermon was preached by Rev. Richard Cavoretto on Matt. 28:16-20, who urged the small group to 'go into all the world and preach the Gospel'.

In 1966 Richard and Donna joined the church and when Dr. Byrd resigned the church asked Rev. Cavoretto to accept an interim call to serve the church. He did--and faithfully shepherded the Lord's People for fifteen years! The dear man is now senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Oakhurst, California.

On two occasions the eldership was shared with other men: Richard Cavoretto and Lee Carpenter. In 1973, and with the help of Pastor Cavoretto's father-in-law, the late Warren Scott, the church bought the building we still use on the corner of Second and E Streets. The purchase price was $30,000.

When Rev. Cavoretto stepped down from the pastorate for a time in 1982, the church was well provided for by the teaching and caring ministries of Richard Cavoretto, Mr. Kevin Ledbetter and Mr. Warren Leonard.

In November of 1983 a young man named Michael Phillips became pastor and remains in that office. Pastor Phillips has labored in the study of Scripture, Theology, and Church History, and in preaching the Word and lecturing on matters theological. Through the wonders of the Internet, pastor Phillips is now heard all over the world, and often receives thank you notes from places far and wide.

Grace Baptist Church has been used by God, all out of proportion to its human resources. Two men trained in the church have become pastors in other parts of the country, John Costa and Stephen Raines, and a third, Roger Meunier, has pastored and taught in Japan. It has also played a blessed part in helping establish the Berkeys in Saipan, and supported some other missionaries. Grace Baptist Church has also established a rest home ministry.

Grace to Russia is our major missions concern. Since the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union, we have translated, published and mailed over 150,000 Christian books to the pastors and other leaders in the Russian speaking world--and all free of charge to our brethren in that part of the world. This work, pioneered by Bill Patton, is now under the steady hand of Bryan Rood.

We also support missionaries in Saipan, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Spain, and Brazil. As the Lord provides, we hope to up our mission spending, to see 'the glory of God cover the earth as the waters cover the sea'.

Much has been said about the pastors--maybe too much--but they are not the only ones committed to ministry. Our three deacons, John Phillips, Henry Wiley, and Elisha Riedlinger, oversee the church's property and money, and serve alongside the pastor in caring for the people. All members are encouraged to put their gifts to work in the church, and we thank God that so many are doing so much.


Grace Baptist Church - 37112 2nd Street, Fremont, California 94536