Since 2012, Greater Life Community Church (GLCC) has been serving the community of Bradford. It started organically with just a few people and has grown ever since.
“I started doing Bible studies with individuals wanting to know more about God. After six weeks the need arose for us to launch with a Sunday service," explained Pastor Eaton Grant. "We have been steadily growing from the small beginnings of eight people and we are excited over the future God has for Greater Life.”
Over the past ten years, GLCC has held its services at various locations including St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Bradford Baptist Church, the Bradford library, and the Bradford Community Centre. Recently, GLCC purchased its own building in the heart of downtown Bradford at what is known as the 'four corners.' Pastor Grant says he's grateful to finally have a place of their own.
“It feels safe. It’s given us some security and stability. It’s liberating. We’re no longer at the mercy of others." he said. "When we’re always being told when to go and come. We now have freedom to serve people. It’s all about people. God’s passion, our purpose.”
For about a month the church has been providing Sunday services in the basement of the new facility until the upper level is completed and some roof leaks are fixed. The building is currently under heavy renovation with assistance from many volunteers. One of those volunteers who has been a standout, according to Pastor Grant, is his brother Broderick Grant, otherwise known as Ricky.
“Brother Ricky, as he is affectionately known here at Greater Life, is a rock. He is solid," said Grant. "He has been an incredible force leading the charge with renovations and managing a lot of the challenges and nuances of acquiring space. His commitment and dedication have been exemplary. From the sound, to the food. From serving to preaching, he has done it all.”
Ricky has taken on the role of project manager for the big renovation. When asked why he dedicates so much time and effort he says it's rewarding to see how many lives are changed and impacted from kindness.
“I volunteer at GLCC because its unity. Unity is strength," said Ricky. "As a part of the men’s leadership team we have an opportunity to serve and bring the message of the gospel to homes, families, and build a stronger community."
The church's new location is Councillor Nickolas Harper's Ward 6. He explains how he feels GLCC has impacted him and the community at large.
“I don’t see GLCC just helping Ward 6, I see it helping the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the community," he said. "GLCC is a place where you can go to worship, pray, but more importantly every time I’ve gone, they help you as a person to rise up, see hope as a tool for success, and help you give clarity to the real issues some of us deal with everyday, in every walk of life.
"It’s places like GLCC that will help shape and deliver Bradford to be a more peaceful, more beautiful place than it was transmitted to us…that gives people hope, to learn from your past, deal head on with issues today, and thankful that tomorrow has the opportunity to be great.”
Pastor Grant says as they settle in to the new location, members are looking forward to finally being able to offer more services and programs.
"Youth programs, training and development, equipping and empowering, mental health workshops and seminars and food services are just some of the things we aim to roll out in the near future," he said.
One of the more popular events they put on every year is their free Thanksgiving dinner celebration. The meal preparation is a team effort, put on by the hard work of many members of the church.
“We feed 80 to 100 people and a great time is always had by all," said Grant.
Other initiatives include filling backpacks with supplies for children going back to school, helping families in need of groceries and often sponsoring a family or two during the Christmas holiday.
If you want to get involved with GLCC or help them out with their renovations, Pastor Grant sends this invitation.
“Pay us a visit. A warm welcome awaits you."