In October of 2014, we celebrated 30 years of the gospel of Jesus Christ at Grace Church of DuPage.
How it all started
Grace Church of DuPage began as a home Bible study hosted by Bob and Judy VanKampen during the summer of 1984. It was attended by three to four couples and many of their family members. God filled the hearts of this small group of believers with a desire to see Him glorified in their lives in ways that they had not seen before. “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
In the fall of that same year, as founding Elders, Bob VanKampen and Frank Yonke, secured the property at our present location on Galusha Avenue, and the “church” began to meet.
EVEN BEFORE DECIDING ON AN OFFICIAL NAME, THE PEOPLE BROUGHT TWO SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUESTS BEFORE THE LORD:
- That they would rely on the Word of God completely (it was their desire that God would grow their love for His Word, acknowledging that it is inspired by Him and without error in its original documents, and making a commitment to use Scripture as their authoritative guide in all they would do in the life and conduct of the church).
- That they would rely on the power of God to save His elect (it was their prayer that a God-centered Gospel would not only be preached, but would also cause this body of believers to grow to maturity, to the measure of all the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13]).
Therefore, it was on this foundational emphasis of the amazing Grace of God in salvation that Grace Church of DuPage (GCD) came into being—emphasizing the underserved mercy of God expressed to sinners in Christ Jesus. The use of DuPage in the church’s name was intended to reflect the desire to impact not only our local community, but the entire county.
ANOTHER VISION FOR THE CHURCH DURING THE EARLIEST DAYS WAS A FOCUS ON MISSIONS.
Because of some personal, God-initiated relationships, GCD was excited by the work of The Master’s Mission (TMM), an organization whose aim was to train missionaries to take the gospel to the remotest areas of the world, and survive! The work of TMM and reports of their work in Africa fanned the flame of gospel outreach in our own area and beyond. To date, outside the US, GCD supports mission efforts in Albania, Armenia, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Philippines, Romania, and Ukraine.
The GCD body has continued to grow in numbers as a result of reaching out to the community of Warrenville and beyond with events such as an annual, fall bonfire which came to be known as The Hallelujah Party and eventually the Fall Festival. Many people come and enjoy good food, the spirit of fellowship, and all that comes with it. God’s blessing has often been seen as He uses this event to draw some to Himself. Other avenues of community outreach currently include, AWANA, Vacation Bible School, Celebration of Christmas concerts, Ladies’ Christmas Preview, golf outings, community service projects, Sports Ministry events, children’s activities at Warrenville Summer Daze, hosting the Warrenville Youth and Family Services’ Quest program targeting at-risk kids, and the list could continue on—many, many opportunities given by God to glorify Him through the proclamation of His saving grace.
IT IS OUR INTENTION TO CELEBRATE GOD’S GRACE AND THE BLESSING OF HIS CALL TO EACH OF US TO LOVE AND SERVE HIM HERE.
What God has accomplished since the founding of GCD is precisely the focus of this celebration. It is not our intention to celebrate buildings or grounds or the lives of very fallen people. As He leads us forward, let us join together as we remember and rejoice in all He has done in this place. Let us also embrace what lies ahead, trusting Him to lead and guide us for His glory and our good. In fact, let us ask, seek, and knock for God to develop us into a community of worshippers that bears much fruit as we live and proclaim the Gospel with authenticity and passion.