National Article about Grace Rancho

From GraceConnect eNews, No. 315, Week of July 1, 2019

“I am in it for the long haul. If God called me to care for these people, I was going to be faithful,” says Eric Durso, who is now the lead pastor of Grace Rancho, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., as he reflects on God’s faithfulness to the revitalized church over the last year.

The congregation of Grace Rancho (formally known as Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma) is a product of what churches within the Charis Fellowship are known for: caring for one another, training leaders, and mobilizing existing churches to plant new fellowships.

Grace Rancho

Three years ago, Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma had become a struggling congregation. Simultaneously, the pastors of Grace Church of Simi Valley, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Simi Valley, Calif. (Jordan Bakker, senior pastor) began praying about expanding their ministry with the possibility of either planting a new church or rejuvenating an existing one.

In early October of 2017, Simi Valley was invited to attend a meeting of the Southern California-Arizona district ministerium (now operating under Grace Churches Network) to discuss the plans of Alta Loma after Roy Halberg’s (the lead pastor at the time) retirement. At the meeting, Roy expressed that the church needed to be revitalized. Upon hearing this statement, the pastors of Simi Valley felt as though God had answered their prayer to rejuvenate an existing church.

Pastor Eric Durso

It was shortly after the conversation with Alta Loma that Eric Durso was commissioned to take on the task of restoring the church back to health. Eric began praying every day about the mission that was laid out before him and some members of Simi Valley became interested in joining Eric in the process.

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