Denomination Differences

What Denomination is Grace Community Church?

Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, California is a very large non-denominational church most well-known for the broadcast of its services on the radio and television program Grace to You, which is hosted by its pastor, John MacArthur. The church was founded in 1956 and has grown to be one of the largest churches in the United States.

It was founded as a mission by a Presbyterian church with a Methodist pastor, was then replaced by a Lutheran, who was then replaced by MacArthur, who would quite accurately be described as a "Reformed Baptist". On its face, this makes the church sound very open to any belief, without any stance on most doctrines, and truly non-denominational. However, the 50+ years of MacArthur's leadership has made the church very aligned with his beliefs.

Reading through the church's doctrinal statement, it is clear that the church has established beliefs, which align with traditional Reformed Baptist beliefs, being somewhere between Baptist and Calvinist. It holds to most traditional Baptist beliefs, however when it comes to matters of salvation, it instead sides with Calvinism and its belief in God predestining who will be saved before calling them with irresistible grace. Furthermore, while they believe in plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible, they do not appear to extend that to the preservation of the Bible as Baptists traditionally would. Nevertheless, the church, while nominally non-denominational, is most accurately described as a Reformed Baptist church.