Home Features Spiritual Elgin church with countywide appeal finds new home at Union County Senior Center in La Grande
Elgin church with countywide appeal finds new home at Union County Senior Center in La Grande
Grace Bible Church is moving from Elgin to La Grande.
No one will be jacking up a building off its foundation, putting on axles and wheels and transporting a church 18 miles down Highway 82 to La Grande.
Only the congregation of Grace Bible, with about 80 people regularly attending, will be moving to La Grande.
Services will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Union County Senior Center, 1504 Albany St., across from The Rock Bowling and Fun Center.
The congregation has been meeting at the Elgin Community Center since 1991, but Pastor Scott Brazil said there were two reasons why the church decided to move to La Grande.
"We lost classroom space at the community center," he said. "The kids had to meet in the hallway."
The children will once again have their own meeting space at the senior center's conference room, he explained.
Older youth and adults will hold their class in the center's main meeting room.
Another reason why the church is moving to La Grande is that members have been coming to Elgin from various places in the Grande Ronde Valley.
"Our congregation is spread out," said Brazil, who has been pastor of Grace Bible for three years.
"One third is from Elgin, one-third is from Cove and the other third is from La Grande," he said.
Brazil said many Grace Bible members already are familiar with the Union County Senior Center.
The congregation for some time has served meals to seniors on the second Monday of the month. Various organizations select a day of the month to volunteer to serve meals.
Grace Bible also has sponsored special meals at the center on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"We've had good ties with the senior center and it worked out that we could rent their facility."
Brazil said he is hoping some of the seniors who are familiar with the Grace Bible volunteers will feel free to attend services at the center.
The pastor said what's tied many of the people at Grace Bible together has been home-schooling.
"Most of our people home-school," Brazil said.
He and his wife, Elaine, are no exception.
The couple, who live in Cove, have six children ranging in age from one to 11 and are schooling their children at home.
Brazil said Grace Bible has two services on Sundays. A family prayer time and Bible study classes start at 9 a.m. The worship service begins at 11 a.m.
Brazil said the children's class is for ages up to about 10.
"This is a class where scripture is read to the children, rather than them reading it for themselves."
The other class is for children in late elementary school on to adults.
Brazil said Grace Bible attempts to keep family members together as much as possible.
The Sunday morning worship service features an expository or verse-by-verse approach to preaching the Bible. Currently Brazil is preaching from the book of Matthew.
"We're coming to the story of the rich young ruler in January," he said.
Brazil became Grace Bible's pastor when the church's founder, the Rev. Terry Tollefson, moved from Elgin to Wallowa and started Christ Covenant Church in Enterprise.
Christ Covenant meets at Enterprise's Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Grace Bible and Christ Covenant Church are Calvinistic reform churches. The doctrine emphasizes unconditional election and the total depravity of man.
Unconditional election teaches that God chooses sinners for salvation based on His own sovereign will and not on any merit of the individual.
Brazil, 41, said he does not expect Grace Bible Church to change much as a result of moving to La Grande.
"It will be pretty much the same church transplanted."
Story by Dave Stave