New Albany church seeks permanent home
Gracetown congregation currently meets in middle school cafeteria
Members of Gracetown Church moved their worship services to New Albany in June, but are still seeking a permanent home.
The congregation was formed two years ago and met at Westerville Central High School. It currently meets in New Albany Middle School, 6600 E. Dublin-Granville Road.
"The decision to move to New Albany was based on its location," said Rob Yanok, lead pastor.
Yanok said the 150 to 200 members come from Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, New Albany, Newark, Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Sunbury, Upper Arlington and Westerville.
Though the middle school cafeteria is much smaller than the high school building where church members used to meet, Yanok said, the congregation is growing and is ready to add a second Sunday service in January.
"We're pretty close to being packed right now (in the middle school)," he said. "When you're 80-percent full on Sundays, that's usually the time to add a second service."
The service is scheduled at 10:30 a.m.
Yanok and his wife, Tricia, have been in ministry since 1990 and have worked as full-time pastors since 1996.
He said they work with the Association of Related Churches and Joel Osteen's Champions Network to start churches.
They were pastors at a church in Mansfield from 1996 to 2004 before moving to a church in Tennessee for seven years.
"I'm from Ohio and my wife is from Indiana," Yanok said. "My heart and my passion are for central Ohio and we really missed it. I knew it was where we wanted to be for the rest of our lives."
Finding a permanent home for the church is part of their plans.
Yanok said the church has a building fund that accepts donations but has not begun a formal campaign for a building of its own.
"A building is definitely part of our future," he said. "We're concentrating on the northeast side. We're looking possibly to purchase, lease or build a building."
He said he wants Gracetown Church to be a positive and encouraging voice in central Ohio that leaves its members "inspired with hope and the kind of faith they need to get them through whatever they are going through."
Yanok said he has tried to help spread the positive message throughout the church community and throughout the New Albany community, where he lives, by serving as president of the New Albany Community Events Board and as an at-large board member for the New Albany Kiwanis Club.
More information on the church is available at gracetownchurch.com.