Who We Are
Who is Grace Redeemer Church? If you visit us for worship, your immediate impression will be a commercial building surrounded by other commercial buildings. Come through our doors, however, and you will encounter something very different.
That external picture of our church is an apt metaphor for describing who we really are. We look very much like our neighbors—like you, maybe. Like those with whom we share this world, we are broken and hurting. Sin is the root of this reality. We can put fresh paint on our outsides, and display attractive signs, but those efforts can’t conceal the reality of our hearts. Our only hope to live authentically is to trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for transformation from the inside.
We seek to be a community defined by Grace—as it has been revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. Only His perfect work on the cross can accomplish our rescue from sin!
This treasure-gift that we’ve been given as a community is not ours to hoard. The Redeemer himself calls us as his followers to proclaim this Good News to the world. That fuels our Mission-focus during our worship services, within our church family, in our communities and—ultimately—to the ends of the earth. Our doors are open to all who seek a genuine and lasting regeneration of the heart.
In 1999, Redeemer Presbyterian Church under the leadership of Rev. Tim Keller, planted its first daughter church across the Hudson River in two locations: Teaneck and Hoboken. This multi-site church model was ahead of its time, and enabled two congregations to be birthed at the same time. Within the first few years, the new church started its own daughter church in Montclair, NJ, continuing the pattern of church planting. In 2004, after a season of uncertainty, Grace Redeemer Church hired Peter Wang to be the new Senior Pastor. At the time, the young church met for worship in rented space at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s campus. During this period, church attendance grew steadily, GRC became self-governing with the ordination of its initial Ruling Elders, and moved to rented space on Galway Place in Teaneck in order to have 24/7 access to our facility. We also expanded to two worship services at this time with a Sunday school hour in between. In 2009, the congregation sent its Assistant Pastor along with a number of families to plant a second daughter church, this time in Nanuet, NY. We were able to purchase our own facility in 2017, and we moved into our current, permanent location at 21 Harristown Road in May 2018. This new facility gives us a solid foundation to continue our gospel witness in our community into the future. From passionate biblical worship and age-appropriate Christian education on Sundays to Growth Group fellowships and compassionate outreach during the week, GRC is a missions-minded church that seeks to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Northern NJ and to the ends of the earth.
Please note: due to the seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic, Grace Redeemer Church is following federal, state, and local guidelines. As such, we are not holding meetings or gatherings at the church building until further notice (beginning March 15, 2020).
Grace Redeemer Church is located at 21 Harristown Road in Glen Rock, NJ.
8:30 am Worship Service
10:00 am Children and Adult Sunday School
11:15 am Worship Service
Parking & Entry
The main parking lot is located in the back of our facility, and the main entrance is on the side of our building near the parking lot. Dedicated spaces for handicapped parking or parents with strollers can be found at the front of the building adjacent to Harristown Road. That entrance also has a ramp to access the building.
Make sure to visit the Welcome Desk in our Fellowship Hall to learn more about the church and receive specific directions and orientation to make the most of our visit.
What to Expect
We understand that your first time at a church can be intimidating: you don’t know what to expect, you may not know anyone, or you simply want to “scope out” the church and get out the door quickly! At Grace Redeemer, we want you to be able to experience the great music, relevant yet challenging messages, friendly people and dynamic atmosphere that are a part of our Sunday worship services. Here are some questions we think you might like answered, even before you try us out! Sunday Worship Service at Grace Redeemer Church is meant to remind us of who we are and what our purpose is in life: we are the beloved children of a Lord Heavenly Father who is merciful and full of grace. We gather to praise Him who sent His only son, that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ might present us holy and sanctified to His Father. We rejoice in this Good News and are sent forth into the world to live as Christ lived and to share His love with the power of the Holy Spirit. What should I wear? — We don’t believe that dress and spirituality are necessarily connected. As such, you’ll see more jeans than suits or even dress shirts, but we encourage you to come as you are. What’s available for my kids? — We’re committed to providing a safe, fun, learning & caring environment for your children to learn about Jesus. You can rest assured that while you’re checking out this new church, your children are being nurtured by dedicated, qualified volunteers who are looking out for the physical, social and spiritual well-being of your child. Please see the GRC Kids page for more details. What kind of music do you sing? — We intentionally don’t label our “style” because our conviction is that the most important criteria for excellent music is that it honors the object of our singing: God. We eagerly mine the historical traditions while scanning new releases from today’s talented artists. We sing old hymns to new arrangements accompanied by keyboard, bass, guitar and drums; we’ll occasionally assemble a string quartet for a classical worship service; or we’ll raise the volume with God-honoring songs you may hear on the airwaves. Our goal is God-honoring excellence, musically and lyrically. Come and hear for yourself!
Grace Kids is our children’s program for infants to 5th graders at Grace Redeemer Church, and is led by a team of staff and volunteers who are passionate about teaching kids the Gospel and showing them Jesus! Our goal is to provide a safe, warm and interactive environment where kids can grow in their relationship with Jesus and in community with other children and their teachers. We aim to walk alongside parents in growing their kids into followers of Jesus.
We hope that you and your kids will come to visit us soon! When you arrive, come visit our Grace Kids check-in desk to register your children and find out about the fun going on that Sunday! We offer engaging programs for your children from birth to 5th grade each Sunday.
Nursery (0 to 3-years-old)
The Grace Kids nursery program serves children birth through three years old. During the service, your child will experience fun learning activities and cooperative play with other children his or her age. Our professional childcare staff and caring volunteers will make sure that your child is nurtured and well-cared for during their time at church. During the Sunday school hour at 10:00am, the two and three-year-olds will have their own Sunday school class full of songs and engaging activities that will teach them more about Jesus!
Pre-School and Elementary (4-years-old to 5th graders)
Our Grace Kids Preschool and Elementary program serves four-year olds to 5th graders. We offer programs during the Sunday service and the Sunday School hour at 10:00am.
Your PreK through 3rd grade children will worship alongside you during the first part of each worship service. Right before the sermon they will be dismissed to Kids Club. In Kids Club they will sing, hear Gospel-centered Bible stories, and play games and do crafts that teach them about Jesus.
During the first service, our 4th and 5th grade students are invited to attend “The Bridge,” our special class designed just for them! The Bridge is designed to build community and an increased love for Jesus among our older elementary kids by engaging ice breakers, focused instruction and lots of time to discuss how to practically live out the Gospel. Bridge Kids also take part in doing service projects together.
At 10:00am we have Sunday school classes for 4-year-olds to 5th graders. Through the Gospel Project curriculum, we teach the Bible in a way that always points to Jesus! In Sunday school the kids watch creative Bible stories, learn Bible verses and engage in games and activities that help them to learn about Jesus at their level. Our 5th grade kids take a more discussion-based approach in Sunday school that helps them to feel safe to ask questions and build community as they grow in the Gospel together.
Adult Christian Education (ACE)
During the Sunday School hour (10:00-10:50), we offer two adult classes: one in a Bible-Theology Track and one in a Christian Living Track. Both tracks seek to offer solid content that is applied to our daily lives.
- The Bible-Theology Track focuses on a book or section of the Bible or a theological topic and seeks to increase our understanding while applying the relevance of this truth to our lives.
- The Christian Living Track focuses on an issue in our contemporary lives (marriage, parenting, spiritual practices, work, discipleship issues, etc.) and explores the Scriptures for biblical perspective on these issues.
Information and directions to current classes can be found in the Fellowship Hall.
Vision & Mission
To see the Gospel of Jesus Christ bring transformation to the people of Northern NJ and everywhere we serve, so that the lost are found, the lonely find family and community, the broken taste healing, and the oppressed find freedom, all through a saving and lasting relationship with God.
GRC aims to make disciples of Jesus Christ, to mature them into the glorious likeness of the Savior, and to send them to engage the Least and the Lost, with the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the following key relational orientations:
- UP: By cultivating God-glorifying and Christ-centered worship
- IN: By enriching relationships within the body of Christ through intentional community, hospitality, assimilation of newcomers, and regular play & celebration, AND by shaping and equipping God’s people so that they increasingly bear the likeness of the Savior.
- OUT: By personally and communally engaging in evangelism and outreach AND by sacrificially investing our personal and church resources to advance God’s Kingdom.
What is Most Important To Us
We believe that no true fulfillment or joy or peace can be attained apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The salvation that Jesus has accomplished for us is the solution to our greatest problem, which is sin. The more we apply Gospel-truth to our lives, the better we fulfill the grand design of the Creator for our lives. (Romans 1:16)
We are a place for people on every part of the spiritual journey, from those skeptical of the existence of God, to those who are committed followers of Christ. We receive Scripture “not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
We long to be a real place for real people with real stresses and life challenges. We firmly believe that the church can fulfill its purpose only by pursuing real community. We want to grow by “doing life together.” Community is about knowing and being known, loving and being loved, celebrating and being celebrated, and serving and being served. Giving to and receiving from the community of Grace Redeemer Church provides an environment in which our spiritual growth can flourish. (Ephesians 1:15-20; 3:16-19, Acts 2:42-47)
Mission and Mercy
We believe the identity of the church of Jesus Christ is shaped by a missional calling. The Scripture says of the Church: “You are a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9). This outward-orientation involves a “Come and See” approach that aims to welcome seekers and skeptics and to show them that the Lord Jesus Christ himself satisfies all of our heart’s deepest longings. Mission also involves a “Go and Tell” motivation to proclaim Christ to the ends of the earth in fulfillment of the Great Commission. We recognize that our understanding and embrace of God’s mercy to us through Jesus Christ is deepened as we extend that same mercy to others around and among us. We want to imitate Jesus in his focus on meeting the needs of the sick, poor, and oppressed of our society. (Isaiah 58:6-7, Matthew 25:34-40)
We believe the Lord has gathered a unique church body that is able to reach people “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9), all represented in our Bergen Co. context! We intentionally seek to pursue and to preserve a multi-ethnic identity in order to maintain our missional focus on reaching our neighbors.
We often develop an impression of a church based on standards of excellent music, persuasive and powerful preaching, pretty and friendly faces, and first-class facilities. But the core beliefs of a church, which are not as easily seen, have a lot to say about the vitality of the congregation. Our core beliefs are not primarily what we believe about God. If that were the case, we’d have lots of crazy and competing ideas about who He is and what He has done! Instead, our core beliefs rest on what God has revealed to us through the Bible about who He is and how He is restoring/renovating His people and His world. And so, we believe that—
- The Bible IS God’s Word and is therefore the primary source of authority in our church.
- This one true God exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Every human being has been created in the image of God to reflect his glory, but that all are separated from God because of our sin. That separation is physical and spiritual; it has relevance now and in eternity.
- God the Son became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life and yet died as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of His believing people. He was then physically raised from the dead on the third day and he will return at the end of history to judge the living and the dead.
- Salvation is received by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Such faith in Jesus’ substitute death brings forgiveness and freedom for the individual believer; it brings access to God’s perfect promises; and it restores the Creator-Creature relationship that was always intended. We affirm ancient historical statements of faith such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. We also affirm the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of the central teachings of the Bible.
Grace Redeemer is a Presbyterian church whose spiritual leadership rests with the Session—a body comprised of Teaching Elders (i.e., pastors and associate pastors) and Ruling Elders. In the Bible, the terms “elder” and “overseer” are used interchangeably to refer to this position of spiritual leadership over a local church. The elders are called to shepherd the flock, to teach the Scriptures to the congregation, to guard the church from false teaching, and to demonstrate Christ-like character. You can contact the Session by emailing email@example.com.
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. —1st Timothy 3:2-4
Learn more about our Elders here.
We are blessed to be supported in ministry by an amazing staff who handle the operations in the office during the week, prepare for each Sunday’s worship, as well as coordinate and plan the many programs year-round. Learn more about our Staff here.
What is the Diaconate? From the earliest days of the New Testament Church, deacons and deaconesses have attended to the temporal needs of the church. Overseeing the extensive mercy ministry, the diaconate serves church members and our neighbors with provision, volunteers and other forms of assistance. In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. —1 Timothy 3:8-13 More specifically, from the Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), our denomination:
They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. The office of deacon is set forth in the Scriptures as ordinary and perpetual in the Church. The office is one of sympathy and service, after the example of the Lord Jesus; it expresses also the communion of saints, especially in their helping one another in time of need. —Chapter 9, Section 2
The Grace Redeemer Church Diaconate extends the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ through care and support to the GRC body and surrounding community. The focus is on physical and felt needs to reflect the Mercy Jesus so freely gives us in hopes that it would foster a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The aim is to organize to enable and leverage the GRC body to administer care and support to one another. The Diaconate is also aimed at filling it’s biblical role in administering the non-teaching/spiritual needs of the church. The Diaconate is not duplicative of Missions. It’s goal is to provide for those in need, inside GRC as well as the surrounding community. To contact the Diaconate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about our Diaconate here.
Grace Redeemer Church
21 Harristown Road
Glen Rock, New Jersey 07452
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