History of Grace ...
OUR FIRST BUILDING ...
Growth was slow but steady and soon there were 50-60 people attending weekly. It was time for Grace to acquire its own facility. The congregation had $1601.18 in its building fund and used that money to purchase lots on Sinclair Street for $1100. The congregation then secured a $10,000 loan and work began on a new building in 1959. Volunteer labor was significant, and in February of 1961 Grace moved into its new facility—a simple building with seating for 120 (the current Community Bible Church at 125 Sinclair Street).
The Lord caused the ministry to grow because our congregation was not concerned about building an institution but in reaching the lost for Christ. In fact, a small prayer group met every Sunday morning in the small furnace room to pray for unsaved people and the ministry of Grace. Soon attendance reached 180 and it was time to build again.
Even though Grace was excited about completing her own building, the church continued to have a mission vision that stretched beyond Bottineau. In 1972 for example, congregational income totaled $26,856.80. Of that amount, $4344.50 (16%) went to mission endeavors of various kinds.
Alvin Strand (1960-1966; 1969-1989) served as Grace’s pastor for 26 years. Evangelism was among his greatest spiritual gifts, and many people were saved as a result of his ministry. His pioneering work helped to lay the foundation for Grace and helped set the spiritual direction of the congregation in the years since.
In 2007 Grace completed its present addition, which doubled the size of the facility to 18,000 square feet (total cost: $805,000).
1953 First Sunday school organized (45 students)
1954 First vacation Bible school held (rented room at Central School)
1955 Women’s ministry group organized (“Mission Workers”)
1956 Youth fellowship group organized with eight young people
1975 Current parsonage built
1979 First youth director called
1996 Radio broadcast began