The Grace Chapel Foursquare Church had its beginning as an Independent Pentecostal Church known as the “Gospel Light Tabernacle.” A group of 25 people met on August 23, 1982 in a small store front building on Thomas Street in Forest City to begin to organize a ministry which they had felt that it was the will of God to begin. The first few months were filled with the task of organizing the ministry and what it was to walk as a new fledgling church. Those were tough days, but days filled with the glory of God. From the inception of the church it was evident that the anointing of the Holy Spirit was upon this work.
After these first few months the church began to experience some pain. But it was growing pains. As God began to send new people to the church, the church leaders began to see the need to purchase property where we could establish a permanent place for the church to build. We found our current property located on Mitchell Street and after much prayer the church set out to purchase the property that had a 1500 sq. ft. building on it. At first the owner of the property would not even consider the possibility of selling it. The church continued to believe that God would work a miracle in this situation as they felt that this property was where God would have us to establish our church. On the next Sunday morning there was a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit upon our service and a Word from the Lord concerning His will for our church was given to us. The church obeyed the voice of the Lord and did the things that God has asked of the church in the Word that was given during the worship service. The next week we contacted the owner again and they had a total change of mind concerning the sell of the property. They sold it to us and at a reduced cost. We declared at that time and still declare today, “Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord!”
Through the love of Arlon & Betty Carver for the church (they financed the property purchase by using their home as collateral for the loan) we moved to this new property in March 1983 and set out on the task of remodeling the building and continued to watch the Lord add to the church. Bu this time the church was averaging around 50 people for our Sunday morning worship service. Pastor Ricky Poteat was still working at a local plant on the second shift that prevented his being able to attend weeknight services. These 50 people prayed and came up with a proposal to give to the pastor concerning hiring him as a full-time pastor. In May 1983 Pastor Ricky went full-time into the service of the Lord at the Gospel Light Tabernacle.
In the next couple of months God began to orchestrate events that would bring the church into contact with Pastor Oscar Stalcup of the Kings Mountain, NC Foursquare Gospel Church. As we continued to fellowship with Pastor Stalcup and his church, we began to find out more about the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and it seemed that God began to knit our hearts together. After much prayer to the Lord and discussion with the leadership of the Foursquare Gospel Church the church felt that God was leading us to become a part of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Church. In 1984 the church became the Forest City Foursquare Gospel Church while retaining the slogan name of the Foursquare Gospel Light Tabernacle. This was then and continues to this day to be a “marriage made in heaven” for our church. Pastor Ricky was ordained into the ministry of the Foursquare Gospel Church in May 1985 at Angeles Temple in Los Angeles, CA.
By 1985 the church had continued to see growth and the blessings of the Lord. We had already built a front and rear Sunday School annexes onto our building. As God continued to bless the church we saw the need of building a new sanctuary that was completed in June 1989. The building which had began at 1500 sq. ft. was now at over 5000 sq. ft.
In 1986 God made the way for the church to purchase 6.5 acres of land directly across from the church. In June 1990 the church used part of this property to place a parsonage on. The parsonage became debt free in 1996.
In February 1998 we completed the building of a new Family Life Center that was dedicated as the Carver Family Life Building. This building was built debt free to the glory of God! We were then able to complete the paving of our parking lot, and again to the praise of the Lord, this was completed debt free.
In 2003 God graced us to be able to build a new 4800 sq. ft. building for our Teen & Children’s Ministries. We continue to rejoice at the growth of both of these ministries. In 2004 the property on the other side of the church was donated to the church.
In 2007 the church purchased a home located directly behind the Teen & Children’s building which now houses our church offices.
From 2009 through 2013 we housed and led a food ministry called “Helping Hands Food Pantry” through which we gave out over 2 million pounds of food and other essentials to the people of Rutherford County.
We went through a couple lean years from 2012-2014 but in the beginning of 2015 God began to blow with fresh breath over our church. Every area of our ministry felt this fresh breath. Our worship intensity became greater, we began to see new faces coming back through the church doors, the finances of our church were restored, and the people began to get excited again about the life of the church. This freshness is still blowing and increasing!
We give praise to the Lord for all that He has done for us, for every need that he has met. We give Him praise for the land and buildings, but most of all for the lives that have been touched through the ministry of the church. We have seen souls saved, bodies healed, lives and marriages restored, lives energized with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, saints encouraged and strengthened in their walk with the Lord, and God continues to do miraculous things. We praise Him for all the blessings in our yesterdays and look forward to the future excited and expectant to see the good things that Father God has planned for us. We give Him praise for the wonderful church family that He has placed here at Grace Chapel Foursquare Church!