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Our Story

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)

In 1958, Dennis Price received a calling from God to plant a church in a new planned community in Los Angeles County. After moving from location to location every few months, Hillside Baptist Church purchased property in La Mirada, CA and built the current building. The congregation grew and then it dwindled.

Grace Chapel Fellowship (now known as Grace Evangelical Free Church of La Mirada) was organized on January 6, 1969. When it was founded, its emphasis was on the centrality of Gods grace to needy men and women, and the authority of Scripture as the only trustworthy guide for life. It sought to be a church centered in Jesus Christ. Pastor Lewis Hohenstein was the founding pastor.

On January 13, 1969, he led an enthusiastic group of believers in combined worship services in a small building located on the property of Kings Retreat Restaurant at 8818 Calmada Avenue, Whittier.

As the body grew, with many younger men and women coming to the Lord and growing in the Word, it was decided to purchase a permanent church site. This became a tremendous venture of faith. Much prayer, discussion and effort went into the plans. God was faithful, and after five years of meeting in other locations, Grace Chapel Fellowship purchased the building from Hillside Baptist Church.

Grace Chapel Fellowship affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America and became Grace Evangelical Free Church of La Mirada. Grace experienced various seasons of growth and decline over the next two decades.

In 2001, the elders called a team of pastors, Dave Talley, Erik Thoennes, and Colby Kinser, to shepherd the small church. Over the following five years, the church grew both in number and in love for Christ and the forward movement of His kingdom.

Walt Harrah joined the team in overseeing worship, and Kenny Clark was brought on to oversee youth ministry. Ralph Grant stepped in to help soften the growing pains through administration.

The Spirit began to do a profound work in and through this church as its people sought Gods face through His word, prayer and fellowship.

After almost 2 years of exploratory conversations with the elders, Angel Galan began leading a small Hispanic congregation called La Gracia in partnership with Grace in July of 2006.

The rapid growth maxed out the capacities of the building constructed by Hillside Baptist back in the 60s. In 2003, a building to expand capacity was discussed and plans to move forward were created. After three years of prayer and growth, Grace has finished constructing a new building so that the ministry at Grace may extend to more and more.

Learn more about our Fullerton Campus

Our Vision

Grace Evangelical Free Church is a community that exists to glorify God as we follow Jesus Christ.

Our Mission and Philosophy

By God’s grace we seek to glorify him through reverent worship.

In his Spirit we endeavor to reach the La Mirada area and the world with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Through his Word we strive toward maturity in Christ, encouraging and equipping one another to be his ambassadors. As Christ’s body we build faithful relationships and families.

At Grace every member of the body is necessary and important for us to do the work that God has called us to do. Our members need to be active if we are going to be faithful to our mission. Our Elders equip the body, but the entire body is to be active in service.

Our Ministry Values

  1. God’s glory
  2. Christ-centered worship
  3. The Great Commission
  4. Biblical preaching
  5. The priesthood of all believers
  6. Elder leadership
  7. Spirit-led decision making
  8. Diversity
  9. Children and youth
  10. Simplicity

A fuller explanation of each of these values is available on our Ministry Values page.

Grace Elders

La Mirada: Angel Galen, Walt Harrah, Moyer Hubbard, Dave McMillen, Ric Rodeheaver, Dave Talley, Erik Thoennes, and Eric Twisselmann

Fullerton: Kenny Clark, Ralph Grant, Jerrel Haugen, Tom Kimber, John Rienhart, and Ralph Wagenet

More details on each of the elders can be found on our Elders Page.

What We Believe

Learn more about what we believe on our What We Believe Page.

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