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Church in Falcon’s good graces for 21 years

In 2002, after moving to Falcon, Pat Jeffrey founded Grace Community Church. The evangelical presbyterian church had humble beginnings: serving the community in Jeffrey’s home.

Eventually, Grace Community moved to a space in the shopping strip at the intersection of Meridian and Woodmen roads, next to Domino’s. In 2009, GCC built its own church on 35 acres in Paint Brush Hills — the land had previously been donated to the church.

Jeffrey served as the lead pastor until 2017; Bill Clark followed as the interim pastor until June 2018 when Michael Anderson filled the permanent position as lead pastor.  

Anderson came to GCC from a small church of the same denomination in South Carolina. Anderson said he and his family are pleased to call Falcon and GCC home.

“We love it here,” he said. “We love our church. We feel like we have a family in our congregation.”

Family is at the core of everything GCC does, Anderson said. Church members support one another through church-based care ministries.

One of the groups, Caring Hearts, is dedicated to ensuring every member is cared for through meal trains and prayers whenever they experience a major life event such as an illness or other unfortunate situation. 

But the GCC family expands much further than just the regular congregation, as it welcomes numerous Falcon groups into their “house” to utilize the property for a common gathering hub. 

“Our facility is one of the only church buildings in the community, so we are able to help out as a meeting place,” Anderson said. “Our facility is open to be used. We don’t want it to just sit idle.”

The idea began with Jeffrey, who had a tender spot in his heart for new church plants in need of a location. Church planting is a term referring to the process that results in the establishment of a new, local Christian congregation.

“Our founding pastor was very open to hosting church plants because he knew how difficult it was to get your feet on the ground here,” Anderson said. “The number of church plants that survive the planting process is low. We felt privileged and blessed because we were able to grow from a church plant to a church that is stable and can support itself.” 

Today, Grace Community hosts City on a Hill Church and many secular community groups such as Falcon Senior Services’ twice-weekly exercise classes for older adults. During the school year, they host bi-monthly meetings of MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) and Moms Next (mothers of elementary aged children and older). The Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce holds their monthly meetings at the church; Classic Homes hosts community meetings there; and High Plains Little League has their annual meetings at GCC.

“We’re hopeful that the community feels welcome at our facility,” Anderson said.“We love people to come and be out there (on the church’s 35 acres). We appreciate people being able to … bring their dogs out there and walk the property … . It’s just a beautiful place to be and we hope people enjoy it and don’t feel like we’re standing at the property line saying, ‘Don’t come in here.” 

In addition to sharing the space, GCC is also committed to giving back to the El Paso County community through various local missions and ministries. 

The church supports Sarah’s Home, a local organization that assists teenage girls who are survivors of sex trafficking. Sarah’s Home is a faith-based, specialized group home that offers services such as counseling, medical care, education and more to empower survivors throughout their healing process. 

Another organization that GCC supports is Fresh Start Center, the local food pantry. “We have several members of our church who volunteer there, but every year we (as a church) help get food for them,” Anderson said. “This holiday season, we are putting together (food) boxes for families.”

GCC has also partnered with El Paso County School District 49 to serve a few families in need. 

Anderson said church members are always asking themselves, “If

Grace Community Church was not here tomorrow, would we be missed?”

“With the groups we host at our church and also the ministries we support through our financial giving, I think we do make an impact,” he said. “We hope that as we grow, our impact in the community will grow, too.”

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