Sunday Schedule

Sunday 8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I
Sunday 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II

Christian formation classes for children, youth and adults are offered between worship services at 9:30 a.m.

A nursery is available for children ages 4 and younger from 8 a.m. – noon.

Sunday Mornings at Grace

Find Us

422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
770-536-0126

Parking is available in lots on Brenau Avenue or along the street. Please enter through the main entrance located on Boulevard or through the St. Francis garden doors off the parking lot at the corner of Brenau Avenue and Boulevard.

Driving & Parking Directions

About Us

In 1828, the first few members of Grace Episcopal Church began to meet in homes. Since that time, the parish has grown to be a thriving community of prayer, compassion and belonging in this area. We take seriously our mission “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” (Book of Common Prayer, 855).

Grace Church

Grace Episcopal Church is a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, an area extending from Columbus to Macon, just north of Augusta, and north to the North Carolina and Tennessee borders. The Diocese of Atlanta is a diverse community of parishes and worshiping communities, and Grace is grateful to be a vital spiritual community alongside our many brothers and sisters.

The Episcopal Church finds its roots in the post-revolutionary period, having continued the Anglican Tradition from the Church of England after the war. We are a part of the broader Anglican Communion, a community of 39 autonomous provinces throughout the world with historic links to the Church of England. Each province adapts the practice of Common Prayer, guidance from the Holy Scriptures, and governance with bishops, priests, deacons, and laity in their different contexts.

The Episcopal Church is, in many ways, a community “in the middle.” Our identity is both Catholic and protestant, with a deep appreciation of liturgy and the sacraments; the importance of bishops, priests, and deacons; and a heightened understanding of the importance of the Holy Bible in the life. We “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” and we “honor the dignity of every human being,” as our Baptismal Covenant reminds us (BCP, 304).

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham
Rector

Our History

1828

William Henry Hosch, author of A History of Hall County, begins his history of Grace Episcopal Church by noting an Episcopalian named Warren Jourdain came to Gainesvile in the 1820s and purchased land on which the first church for Episcopalians would eventually be built. In 1828, the first few members of Grace Episcopal Church began to meet in private homes.

1859

Hervey Hall, a successful merchant, builds Grace Chapel or Hall’s Chapel as it was also known on his own property at his own expense. The lot known as “Chapel Lot” was located near current day Spring and West Academy Streets. This building was later sold to the Presbyterians, used as an office & storage building by the Gainesville Midland Railroad and at the time of this photo, had been rebuilt or remodeled and was in use by St. Paul Methodist Church. The building was destroyed in the 1936 Tornado.

1860

Rev. William M. Walton, Archdeacon (pictured) oversees Grace Chapel, Gainesville, and missionaries in the area. In 1860 the Rev. J.G. Downing is reported to be the missionary at Grace Chapel.

1889

Bishop Beckwith consecrated the new church with the name of Grace Church, confirmed three, and made an address

1894

According to a report of the Archdeacon of Atlanta, W. M. Walton, a first class pipe-organ was added, and the chancel front was scheduled to shortly be recast.

1910

The Rev. Edgar Sherrod, Vicar arrives in Gainesville in January and begins work at Grace. He formally takes charge of the parish on April 1, 1910.

1911

The church bought the home-place of Mr. W.A. Roper on east Washington Street near Boulevard. The people of the city congratulated the membership on having purchased a site to build a new house of worship which was deemed to be quite an addition to the city.

1913

The Grace Church building was rolled across town on logs from the College Avenue location the lot on Washington Street purchased in 1911. The last service at College Ave. was the last Sunday of June. The process took more than a month. The first service at Washington Street was held on September 7th.

1921

Under the leadership of the Rev. Cobey a covered walk along the front, a vesitbule, and Vestry room were added.

1930

A chapel was added to the church. Dedicated by Bishop Mikell, it was used for early service on Sunday, as well as other occasions. The first free library in Gainesville was started by Lillie Farrara Downey in the basement of the building.

1934

During Rev. Hinshelwood's tenure a new pipe organ was purchased to replace the old pump organ.

1936

Monday, April 6 at 7:30 a.m. Holy Communion was celebrated during Holy Week. At 8:30 a.m. a tornado struck, completely demolishing the church and taking the roof off the Rectory and otherwise damaging it. After the tornado, church services were held at the Presbyterian Church and Brenau College before settling in the Quinlan Home at 605 N. Green Street.

1937

After the tornado, a new structure was built through the donations of friends both within the Diocese and throughout the nation. On March 28, 1937, the cornerstone was laid by Bishop Mikell, and the following September, the new structure was consecrated.

1952

The Church became incorporated and the initial officers were Clarence G. Butler, chairman; J.B. Woodcock, vice-chairman; H.D. Castleberry, secretary/treasurer. The Stone Memorial Parish House (pictured) was added. The expansion also included an enlarged Sacristy and choir room.

1954

The first stained glass windows were designed and installed by Lamb Studios, who continues to create our stained glass windows today.

1961

The Milton Hardy home at 430 Brenau Avenue was purchased for a new Rectory. The old Rectory was demolished, the Nave was expanded and the Parish Hall extended.

1966-1987

During this time, Rev. Nathaniel Eldridge Parker, Jr. served as Rector and was instrumental in Northeast Georgia Medical Center's employment of a chaplain, helping establish the "Share a Home", the Christian Education Center (now CenterPoint), the House of Grace and Children of Grace Preschool.

1968

The Schantz Pipe Organ was completed and remained until the early 1990s when the church was expanded. The organ was incorporated into a new organ built for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, AL in 1995. Daughters of the King is established.

1977

Grace Episcopal Church along with four other local churches found the Community Food Pantry. The pantry is Grace’s longest running outreach ministry.

1981

Grace Church parishioners living in Dahlonega organized Grace Chapel in Lumpkin County. The first service was held Nov. 8 in the chapel at Lumpkin County Hospital. In 1988, Grace Chapel officially became St. Elizabeth's Parish.

1985

After the Church purchased the Hayse property at the corner of Washington and Boulevard, The Guest House, a day center for older seniors needing medical oversight, social activities and the company of others began operating there and did so until the early 1990s when the building was demolished for the expansion of the Nave.

1987

Good News at Noon was founded by Gene Beckstein and Grace and other churches began to take part in the ministry to feed the hungry. Today, Grace continues its Tuesday tradition of preparing lunch for Good News at Noon.

1988-2001

Under the leadership of Rev. Frederick Lamar Jones, the church expanded its facilities from 11,800 square feet to 22,700 square feet. A mission church in South Hall was also established.

1992

Construction begins on the new Nave, Parish Hall and Christian Education buildings.

1993

The steeple and cross was placed atop the tower.

1994

The Rev. Mollie Pollitt, a seminarian intern, became the first female to celebrate Eucharist as a priest of the Parish. Although visiting women had celebrated, Mollie was the first as priest of the Parish.

1998

The Right Rev. Frank K. Allen, Bishop of Atlanta dedicates and consecrates St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Oakwoo, a mission of Grace Church. Mike Freeman, former Associate Rector at Grace, is the new Vicar.

2002-2012

Under the leadership of Rev. Douglas Grant Dailey, Grace Church expanded our outreach opportunities building seven Habitat Houses and supporting the "Carpenter's Kids". We also installed a pipe organ, bells in the tower, opened a church library, published a cookbook and undertook renovations.

2003

"A Taste of Grace" cookbook was published by the Parish Life committee featuring recipes and artwork submitted by members as well as choice selections from "Strictly Southern," the 1949 cookbook sponsored by the women of the church. Copies may still be purchased in the church office!

2005

The tower bells (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) were installed in the steeple. The bells were given by Robert and Linda Fowler in memory of their parents and in honor of their children and grandchildren.

2007

A new pipe organ was installed. With 2,853 pipes ranging in size from 20 feet to as small as a pencil, it took 18 months to build, 4 weeks to install and and another 4 weeks of voicing.

2012

The Vestry unanimously approved supporting Family Promise of Hall County, signed the contract in March and began hosting families in June.

2014

Rev. Stuart Craig Higginbotham became the 8th Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in its 186th year.

2015

Three families gifted the Stations of the Cross in honor and memory of their loved ones - Nancy Frankhouser, in memory of her husband, Sam; Meredith, Joey, Anna and Stephen West in memory of Meredith's father, the Rev. Gerhard; and John and Virginia Simpson by family.

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