In September of 1976, Rev. Charles E. Smith met in the home of friends, Mr. And Mrs. Bob Smith and, along with a few other interested people, discussed the prospect of starting a new Southern Baptist Church on the south side of Indianapolis. Rev. Smith already had some experience in starting new churches, having served for 10 years as Director of Missions for Central Baptist Association in the Indianapolis area.
Sunday services began on the first Sunday in October, 1976. The small group met at the Carefree Subdivision Clubhouse where permission had been granted for the group to meet for one year.
The National Bank of Greenwood loaned money to the group which was used to purchase 10 acres of land and begin building a church facility on 740 W. County Line Rd, Indianapolis. Rev. Smith served as the general contractor and most of the work was done with volunteer labor from men of the church and friends. Volunteer work groups from other churches in Georgia and South Carolina also came and helped out for several weeks of the construction time.
Dedication of the new church building was on October 2, 1977, one year from the first Sunday service that had been held at the subdivision clubhouse. At that time, Grace Baptist was the first Southern Baptist church to accomplish this in a one-year period.
On October 4, 1981, the Memorial Annex was dedicated, which added new Sunday School rooms to the growing church. Again, all of the work was done by volunteers from the church and work groups from Alabama and South Carolina.
In February of 1989, Rev. Smith retired from full-time preaching, making Grace Baptist Church the last church he would plant. The members of Grace Baptist then called Rev. Skip Beal to lead the congregation.
Under the leadership of Rev. Beal, the church began work on a new Family Life Center in the early part of 1998. With the help of more volunteer labor from both inside and outside the congregation, and under the leadership of Elvin Yoder as contractor, the Grace Baptist Family Life Center was dedicated in the fall of 1998. The new building added classrooms, a kitchen, a nursery area and a gymnasium. In March of 2009, Rev. Beal retired. He had pastored Grace for 20 years. Jamie Murphy was called to be Grace’s new Senior Pastor the same month Rev. Beal retired.
In 2007, Grace called Alan Davidson to be its first full-time Youth Pastor. In June of 2015, Alan and his family, moved to the Dominican Republic where he began to serve as a chaplain for a Christian school. Andy Hilden joined the staff of Grace Baptist Church in May of 2016 as the Youth Pastor, and now serves as the Youth/Education Pastor.
Bruce Salazar was called to be the Worship Pastor in December of 2012 and served through December 2017. Curtis McGill was called to be the Worship Leader in June 2018.
Over the past few years, many renovations and updates have been completed to the facilities. The church has also been involved in several international mission trips. These mission trips led to a partnership with a church in Panama City, Panama, working in the areas of evangelism and children’s ministry. In 2017, Grace also helped support a local church plant in Bargersville, IN (Gospel Grove Church). The church continues to be a congregation made up of a balance of ages, preschool through senior adults, who work together to make disciples in Greenwood/Indianapolis, Indiana, the United States, and the world.