At the end of April, Pataskala Grace Church in Central Ohio celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. The church began with a few families meeting for a Bible study in early 1973. As the group grew, Bill Gardner was called as interim pastor and they made plans for constructing their own building. The church was welcomed into the North Central Ohio District of the Charis Fellowship later that same year.
The congregation continued to grow and make an impact in their community. As people began attending Bible studies and Sunday morning services, they saw several early baptisms and proclamations of faith. Soon their building was finished and they were able to expand their ministry, offering kids programming and Christmas outreach events. They also began supporting global workers who were taking the Gospel around the world.
Over the next few decades, the church sought to remain faithful to their mission as they navigated ministry challenges and leadership changes. In 2019 the elders of Pataskala Grace recommended they work with Assist Church Expansion for a revitalization, and the congregation voted and approved the partnership. As part of that process, they brought on Tim Wilmetti to serve as lead pastor.
The church spent the next three years working to refresh their mission, renovate their building, and reconnect with their neighbors. They now host several community events throughout the year including Trunk or Treat, Dog Days of Summer, and the Pataskala Lego Contest.
Pataskala Grace celebrated their anniversary with a special event on Sunday, April 30. The event included displays from ministries, hors d’oeuvres, and a photo slide show, which you can watch here.
The program was organized into three sections: Remembering the Past, Reflecting on the Present, and Envisioning the Future. During the first part, former staff members and pastors Lloyd Markley, Steve Miller, Michael Saldivar, and Brian Stout participated in a panel discussion about their time serving at Pataskala Grace. Following that panel was a group of current member and attenders who reflected on how they got connected to the church and how their lives have been impacted by it. Throughout the evening the worship team led attendees in several songs.
A special highlight of the evening was Nathan Bryant, executive director of Assist Church Expansion, congratulating the church on graduating out of their revitalization process. On behalf of the ministry, Nathan honored the elders who walked through the revitalization process, gifted Pastor Tim and his wife Ashlie with a small token of appreciation, and presented the church with seed money for starting a fund to plant a church.
Following the presentation by Assist, Pastor Tim concluded the evening by sharing hopes and dreams for the future of the church.