On April 25, 1961, eight believers met in a home to seek God’s will regarding the formation of a new evangelical church in the Newhall area of the Santa Clarita Valley. After meeting in homes for a time, the first
Sunday School and Morning Worship Service were held on July 9th. There were 35 people in attendance at a hall rented from the Moose Lodge. Rev Harry Gay served the church as its first pastor.
The First Move
Moving from one rented building to another, the church continued to minister to the community. In 1963, Grace purchased its first land including a small building. Rev. Robert Spence came to serve as Pastor in 1964. Attendance grew to the point where Sunday School classes were forced to meet outside and soon the small building was outgrown.
As God Blesses, Grace Grows
In 1970, a 2-story Education building was completed and James Rentz became Pastor. By its 10th anniversary, church membership had grown to 423. The people of Grace built the Multi-Purpose Building in 1975 which provided additional space for worship and soon after called Donald Coddington as Associate Pastor. John Swanson was called as Senior Pastor in September of 1977. With more growth, a Children’s Building was constructed and completed in 1984. Tom Givens was called as Senior Pastor in 1984, and served faithfully through 2006. In 1990 and 1991, the people of Grace spent a great deal of time in prayer regarding the direction for the church in light of the overcrowding and attendance. It was believed that God was leading to another, larger campus.
The Big Move
In 1991, the church voted to purchase a 24-acre parcel of land in Saugus, with plans for a large complex including numerous buildings to be built over the next 10 years. In 1996 an 1800-seat outdoor Amphitheater was constructed on the new property with the majority of construction being done by volunteers. Worship services, concerts, weddings and many special events are held in the Amphitheater each year. Still in construction at the new campus, two Sunday services ultimately grew to three and Saturday services were added. By 1994, there were six weekly Worship services and over 1500 people worshiped weekly at Grace. Construction on the new buildings began at the end of April of 1997. The first buildings including a 1000-seat Conference Center, numerous Nursery and Children’s education classrooms, offices, a full-size kitchen and other features that have been in use since July 4, 1998. Construction on the 2,000+ seat worship center was completed in the fall of 2003.
As rooms and buildings were filled up each weekend it became very clear that more parking was needed. In 2012, Grace completed a project that added nearly 400 parking spaces on our campus.
A Useful Patio
From the day we moved to this new campus in 1998 there was a strong desire to make the patio more useful throughout the entire year. The patio area was large, over 10,000 square feet, but the concrete and bright sun kept it from being a comfortable place to hangout and chat. In 2013 the patio project was completed, providing a pleasant shaded space with a large playground for kids and water feature to help cool off the warm days. The patio is also home to the Grace Cafe, a great place to grab a drink and scone while enjoying fellowship on the patio.
As God continues to bless Grace with growth and a responsibility to minister to the community here as well as all around the world, Grace will continue to actively seek His will for His church in this valley.