Who We Are
Here’s the deal, Grace Fellowship Chapel cares about one thing more than anything else, Jesus Christ. We are a family of individuals who have found hope in Jesus, and simply want as many people as possible to experience that exact same hope and freedom.
Like many others, our collective stories are full of both highlights and lowlights. For some Jesus has been a part of the story since the beginning, and for others we have only recently learned to recognize his fingerprints. Broken people, loved by Jesus, all of us. We aren’t perfect, and we’ll be the first to admit our shortcomings, but we love Jesus and want to make him famous in Westminster, Carroll County, and the World.
Where We Come From
Grace Fellowship Chapel was started in 1985 by a group of a few families in the Westminster area. These families started to imagine a church that was truly welcoming to everyone – where everyone had a seat at the table regardless of personal history, family background, ethnicity, or gender. Grace Fellowship Chapel had its first public gathering in August of 1985. In December of 1991, Ralf Nies was hired as the first full-time pastor. Serving for nearly 31 years in total before retiring in 2021. And while a lot has changed since that first gathering in 1985, at our core everything has stayed the same! We still love Jesus and we work passionately to make him known within our, house, our city, and our world!
Where We Come From
Grace Fellowship Chapel was started in 1985 by a group of a few families in the Westminster area. These families started to imagine a church that was truly welcoming to everyone – where everyone had a seat at the table regardless of personal history, family background, ethnicity, or gender. Grace Fellowship Chapel had its first public gathering in August of 1985. And while a lot has changed since that first gathering in 1985, at our core everything has stayed the same! We still love Jesus and we work passionately to make him known within our world!
Where We’re Headed
What’s the bottom line? More than ever, Grace Fellowship Chapel is committed to fostering a family built around hope. Hope for the future. Hope for better. Hope for progress. Hope in Jesus. And as we move forward as a church community, inclusion and belonging remain at the center of who we are as followers of Christ.
Jesus is the story in everything that we do at GFC and more than anything else he informs where we are headed as a community. Following after him, learning to be like him, loving like him, and being his hands and feet in this world.
What Does This Mean For You?
Most importantly, it means you’re always welcome at Grace Fellowship Chapel. We’re saving a seat for you. Wherever you’re at in your faith journey, you’ll always be accepted as part of the Grace Fellowship family.
Ryan and his wife, Jess met in 1999 at Franklin High School where they were both involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2004 after 4 years at different universities they were married. In the years following, both Ryan and Jess have finished their Master’s Degrees, and they have welcomed three beautiful children, Micah, Lyric, and Levi. Ryan has attended Grace Fellowship Chapel for nearly all of his life, even participating in the first Sunday School program at the church. Now instead of participating in programs, Ryan is excited to lead them. In 2008, Ryan became our Student Ministries Pastor. And then in 2021, he stepped into the Lead Pastor role. Ryan’s passion is to help deliberately lead people toward Jesus Christ and to disciple and equip them to live a life by faith.
Arielle has been serving as a worship leader in the Westminster area for nearly 10 years and is excited for this new opportunity to join the team at Grace Fellowship Chapel. She and her husband, Kenny, met at McDaniel College in 2014 where she studied music with a focus in cello and vocal performance. From there, she began to invest more of her time into leading worship and learning how to connect with people beyond the Sunday service. Arielle received her Masters Degree in Strategic Communication in 2019, focusing on the ways that churches can use digital media as a way to connect with their congregation. She has a love for all things creative, and in her spare time she enjoys playing music with her husband, crafting, or spending time with friends and family.
Starting in the summer of 2015, Elaine has been a heaven sent blessing to Grace Fellowship Chapel, not only serving as our administrative secretary, but also in many other capacities. Elaine has a servant’s heart willing to step into whatever role is needed to accomplish the task at hand. In addition to her role at the church, she loves working with dogs and playing sports. Elaine professionally trained and showed dogs for twenty-five years before working at the church. Before tearing her ACL, Elaine used to be an avid pickle ball player competing in competitions both locally and regionally.
Student Ministries Intern
Sam has been a part of Grace Fellowship Chapel since 2015. When she arrived she immediately got plugged into the student ministries programs. Shy at first, but eventually coming out of her shell, she realized how amazing the student ministry atmosphere could be. Graduating from UMBC with her undergraduate in 2021, and moving right into a Master’s Program was a bit scary for her. However, she found an amazing community working with the middle school program. When she isn’t looking at cool architecture, Sam loves drinking coffee, playing with her dog, Remington, and spending time with her family and boyfriend.
What We Believe
A.W. Tozer once wrote that “What you believe about God is the most important thing about you.” We don’t think there can be a more true statement. What we believe informs all the whys behind what we do, how we live, the church’s role in the world, and so much more. Here are some of the things that we believe.
Jesus is the Son of God and is at the center of everything. We believe that Jesus is the only one who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life. We believe that Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised.
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative, and applicable to our everyday lives.
We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and a fresh start with God, we must repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and commit to His will for our lives.
We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three distinct Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving, undeniably just, and completely holy.
We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives.
We believe in the power and significance of the Church and the necessity of believers to meet regularly together.