sepia bwThe story of Grace Church began in 1867 with the construction of a log chapel known as Beaverdam Mission. By the 1880s, the mission had taken on the name of the little community in which it was located, Grace. Our present building was first used on Sunday, May 31,1905. It was designed by Richard Sharpe Smith, an English architect who also supervised the construction of the Biltmore House.

By the early 1920s, Grace had reverted to the status of an unorganized mission. There was no priest in charge although, largely due to the leadership of lay readers, Sunday school and services continued until 1949. After several months when no services were held, Bishop Geroge Henry approved the reopening of Sunday School at Grace under the direction of Porter L. Crisp. Growth and development followed rapidly. In 1960, Grace became a self-supporting parish under the direction of the Reverend Frederick Volbeda.

DSC00034In 1967, the Rev. William Edwards became our fifth rector. From this time until the Reverend Edwards’ retirement in 2000, Grace experienced growth, innovation and solid accomplishment. Grace had grown from 261 communicants to more than 500. In 2001, The Reverend Gary Coffey became the sixth rector of Grace Church. Fr. Gary describes Grace as “easy ministry” where parishioners feel good about being members of Grace and work together well. For that reason, he says that he loves being the Rector of Grace Church.