About Us

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. 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 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.

Ralf Nies

LEAD PASTOR

Ralf and his wife, Jan, met in college on the campus of Wheaton College in the early 70’s. In 1991 after being married for 16 years and with 4 children, Elizabeth, Sarah, Michael, and Andrew; Ralf and Jan decided to move from New York to Maryland. Ralf has faithfully served Grace Fellowship Chapel in full-time ministry ever since. In 2008, Ralf completed his Doctorate of Ministry from Northern Theological Seminary. When they aren’t playing with their 7 wonderful grandchildren (Coleman, Ethan, Harrison, Jane, Margaret, Bridget, Teddy), Ralf and Jan enjoy spending their time reading good books, and simply being together.

Ryan Ridgely

STUDENT MINISTRIES PASTOR

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 two beautiful children, Micah (9) and Lyric (7). 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. Ryan’s passion is to help deliberately lead students toward Jesus Christ; to help disciple students to live a life by faith; and to help equip parents to be the best they can be.

Elaine Thomas

ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY

Although Elaine is a long time member of the church, she is the newest member of our team. 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.

 

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 Christ

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

THE BIBLE

We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative, and applicable to our everyday lives.

THE RECONCILIATION

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.

THE TRINITY

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.

THE SEPERATION

We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives.

THE CHURCH

We believe in the power and significance of the Church and the necessity of believers to meet regularly together.