The Ashland Beacon
If you’d told House of Grace Pastor Gerardo Mejia six months ago that he’d be leading congregations enclosed in cars from a parking lot at the Ashland Town Center, it would have been far-fetched to say the least. Here we are, six months later and for several weeks, worship has been conducted in exactly that manner. Father’s Day, however, served as the beginning of the return to the worship center on Greenup Avenue. New rules are in place, some restrictions are in place, and staffers are now stretched to cover things that have never needed to be covered. Still, live worship has returned to House of Grace.
Arrival at the decision to return did not come easy. Many Pastors have struggled with this decision and tossed and turned, and Mejia was no different. It was never about Faith vs. Fear, but rather about the people. Pastor G, as lovingly referred to noted, “We’re about growing the church, but even more about growing the people.” His decision was even further complexed by a granddaughter with compromised health issues. There’s no formula for what to do in that case, but House of Grace doesn’t follow a formula, they build one.
The decision to reopen was one that was centered in prayer by the church leaders, who met on Tuesdays to pray about when and how to open. Every ministry the church has is represented in this decision-making effort. “We wanted to reach a consensus of 10; Pastors get the credit, but the people God has brought into my life are truly Godly people,” Mejia is quick to point out, continuing, “We’re ready to get back in there.”
It would make perfect sense if a church that had to close down due to a virus would also close down ministries until the storm passes, but leadership believes what’s best for the church is what’s best for the people. “We’ve been blessed,” Mejia elaborated, “our ministry has been continuous. It’s been a hard time for the needy and the elderly. We still feed the homeless, and care for the hurting.”
Using technology to get the word out was something that appeals to the Pastor’s creative side, too. Delivering the message via streaming is something they were already doing, and they continued but found there was a draw for everyone to come together and that’s how House of Grace services ended up in a parking lot in the mall.
The journey for House of Grace really began in Mejia’s garage and was fueled by prayer for the strengthening of his own family, but it grew. God sent people who were faithful to the vision, and the church grew and moved to the Putnam building downtown, but building issues forced them out, so they had services at Boyd County High School until they found their current home. “There’s no way we could have done this, God is faithful,” Mejia proclaimed.