Our History

Our History

In 1969 God called together a group of believers with a burden to establish an Evangelical Free Church in the Newfoundland, New Jersey area. Their purpose? — To worship and serve God and minister to their community. With the encouragement of District Superintendent Rev. Arne Hansen and under the leadership of Bud Voreland, prayer meetings and Bible studies began in the Paradise Knolls School. By the fall of 1972 the pioneer group was able to call their first full-time pastor, Ronald Hugill. Services were held at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church until 1973 when the group moved to the White Rock School.

During Pastor Wallace Bloomquist’s ministry (1974-1983) the church purchased the 5 1/2 acre site of our present church. Dedication of the sanctuary in 1977 was attended by over 500 people. In 1981 the foyer at the back of our sanctuary and the classrooms below were added to accommodate the growing congregation. That same year, about a dozen families were commissioned to become the nucleus of a new church body in Sussex, New Jersey. Hope Evangelical Free Church continues an effective ministry there today.

Pastor Richard Hess served Grace Church as pastor from 1983 until 1987, when Edward Scherlacher became the interim pastor and then the full time pastor here. Growth during Pastor Scherlacher’s ministry led to the addition of a new wing for classrooms and a meeting room. Pastor Scherlacher served until early in 1996. Pastor Barry Liffiton was called to serve Grace Church in the fall of 1996 and began his ministry as our Senior Pastor at the start of 1997.  2008 thru May 2013 Rev. Terry Komrska served as our Senior Pastor before returning to Illinois.

During our transition Pastor Paul Pouliot served as our Interim Pastor .  He was a faithful shepherd in keeping the people of Grace focused on God’s love and to wait on God for the next Pastor of Grace Church.

As we welcomed the bright colors of fall and the changing of the season, we at Grace Evangelical Free Church also welcomed Rod Kesselring as our Senior Pastor.

Pastor Rod has served in a church up in New Hampshire for over 10 years and was ordained in April 2009.  Pastor Rod is constantly striving to know our great God better.  References noted how the Lord used Rod to have a deep impact in their lives during a time of grief or when they needed someone to lead them to their full potential in serving the Lord.  Pastor Rod celebrated his first Sunday at Grace Church on October 26, 2014.