10:00-11:15 am 9:00-9:50 am
It was the year 1735 that marks the beginnings of this congregation when a Mennonite settlement east of nearby Soudersurg was made into the Paradise Pequea Gemeinde (a German word for parish or congregation). For the next 71 years, the Paradise Pequea Gemeinde met once a month in homes, like many other Mennonite fellowships, using Martin Luther's translation of the Bible and speaking Pennsylvania Dutch.
Following this period a tiny, 75 person meeting house was built in 1807 which was replaced in 1847 by one that doubled the capacity. Despite stories of evangelistic fervor waning from 1807 until 1885, God was still faithful to this congregation as key leaders kept the gospel message central to the church's purpose.
1885-1910 is known as a period of spiritual awakening in this church. Many things occurred during this time period: the membership doubled, services went from German to English, the idea of missions was growing deeper in the hearts of the membership, a new meeting house was built in 1885, revivals were held and Sunday schools were started.
From 1910-1950 the church experienced both growth and a move toward conservatism. With the advent of the automobile, telephone and radio, the church began to define in more clear and conservative terms what was worldly and what was not.
There were some hard feelings created during this time and some left the church, however, the Lord worked this out for His good and a new ministry which we now know as Calvary Church, Lancaster developed during this time.
The next 25 years of the church, from 1950 to 1975, marked both a flurry of activity and a declining membership. The congregation became more mobile and many moved out of the area; additionally more and more married outside the Mennonite church; and some continued to leave over the conservative stand the church had taken on "worldly" developments like television.
From 1975 to 2002 the church experienced many changes in worship forms, dress patterns, etc. and gradually began to resemble a more mainline evangelical, protestant church. New young couples joined the church and a rising optimism about this church's role in the mission of God began to replace the discouragement of the '50's and '60's.
In 2003 the church began a move to refocus its priorities and energies on being a church that is intentional about the mission of God in this community to live the hope of the gospel in this community and beyond. The values, mission and vision of the church were revisited.
In 2008, we believed it best for the gospel ministry to change the name of the church from Paradise Mennonite Church to Grace Point Church of Paradise.
We now find ourselves at an historic moment in the life of Grace Point Church. We continue to value what has brought us through over 275 years and now we face the road ahead confident that God wants to use His church to bring others to faith in His Son Jesus Christ. We face the road ahead prayerfully, asking God to continue to be our vision and lead us along the path He would like... seeking to be the church in this community and beyond.