An essential part of glorifying God is teaching others to know and glorify Him (2 Tim 2:2). The Great Commission calls us to not only “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19-20), but also to be “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It is to the Father’s glory that we bear much fruit, preparing God’s people for works of service (Eph. 4:12), and building each other up (Col. 1:28). Grace Covenant Church seeks to glorify God and encourage those within the congregation through a variety of ministries.
Read about some of our ministries below by clicking or touching the title of the ministry:
“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
The purpose of this ministry is to facilitate the teaching, preaching, music, and teaching ministries by providing amplification and recording with clarity and purpose. Besides the regular morning and evening services, the audio-visual team also supports various special occasions such as the Men and Women’s Ministry events, Family Camp, Building Tomorrow’s Church conference, Vacation Bible School, BCTC of AZ conferences, and choir cantatas.
Pastor Darrell Gustafson has served as the Director of Grace Covenant Counseling Center since 1993 and BCTC, the Biblical Counseling Training Center of Arizona since 2010. Darrell graduated from Redeemer Theological Seminary in 1984. Pastor Gustafson became a Level II ACBC Certified Counselor in 2001 and has been the Director of the Grace Covenant Counseling Center since 1993. Darrell has effectively counseled many men and couples since 1992. Together, Darrell and Janet have counseled over 400 couples and many individuals in the past 23+ years.
Janet Gustafson serves as a Board Member and the Director of Women’s Instruction for the Biblical Counseling Training Center of AZ. In 2001, Janet became the first woman in Arizona to be certified as an ACBC counselor. She has a flourishing counseling ministry with women and children and participates in couples and family counseling with her husband. Janet is a graduate of the Center for Biblical Training and has received instruction from the Biblical Counseling Foundation and the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship of Escondido, California. Janet served for 17 years as the head of the Women’s Bible Study teaching staff at Grace Covenant Church. She has also enjoyed the privilege of teaching at many Christian Women’s conferences and retreats. Janet has served as a counselor and the counseling office manager at Grace Covenant Church since 1993. Janet and Darrell have been married for forty seven years. They have three children, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.
In 1993, a nouthetic counseling center was established under the direction of Darrell Gustafson, also a 1984 graduate of Redeemer Seminary and Associate Pastor at GCC. That counseling ministry has since developed the Biblical Counseling Training Center of Arizona which trains and connects biblical counselors throughout the state.
GCC counselors are trained in the use of the Scriptures and the principles of Biblical Counseling. The range of problems with which our counselors are prepared to deal with is vast. From individual struggles to family conflict, God’s Word provides instruction, counsel, and principles to address every problem faced by mankind.
Biblical counselors believe in considering your total health needs. Your counselor may recommend that you consult your physician. If medical assistance is required, counseling will continue at the same time, whenever possible.
Our counselors are committed to not only helping you overcome the current problem in your life but also to prepare you to live in a manner that leads to increasing maturity in the Lord. Even though you may presently be experiencing trial or hardship, the Bible promises that God will provide a way to escape or endure such hardship without sinning. The Scriptures also promise real and lasting benefit to those who apply Biblical truth to their lives. Our goal is to help you find those lasting benefits.
Proverbs 18:17 teaches, “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” For this reason, we prefer to have both spouses meet with the counselor(s). If one spouse is unwilling to attend counseling, counsel will be offered to the willing party.
In all youth counseling it is necessary for the counselor to first meet with the parent or parents. Our goal is to aid the parents as they minister to the child. When the counselor meets with the child, the parents’ presence will be required. This policy reflects the importance of the parents’ role in the child’s life.
The counselor will not meet privately with children without the expressed approval of the parents. If it becomes advantageous for the counselor to meet privately with a child, the parents will be asked to wait in the next room for a brief period of time. Parents will be kept informed of any important information that their child has relayed to the counselor.
Arizona law requires all individuals to report any ongoing child abuse or endangerment to the legal authorities. The counselors at Grace Covenant Counseling Center will comply with this requirement.
The counselor will meet with the parent or parents before holding family sessions.
The Grace Covenant Counseling Ministry is committed to the glory of God and the good of the counselee. To that end, we do not wish to place undue hardship upon anyone. Financial donations will have no influence upon our commitment to provide counsel. Our counseling ministry is determined to turn no one away because of financial consideration. The counseling does cost the church about $50.00 per session, so donations are very welcome.
Grace Covenant Counseling Center is a church-based and donation supported ministry. Donations from individuals who have benefited from counseling also allow us to continue in ministry. If you desire to contribute to this ministry please make all checks payable to Grace Covenant Church. All donations are tax deductible. If you wish to receive a receipt for tax purposes, please attach a notice to your donation.
It is our desire to cooperate with God’s work in your life. For this reason, all individuals receiving counsel will be required to maintain regular attendance at a Bible-based church. If you are either a member or regular attendee at such a church, we request that you continue in faithful worship. If you are not currently attending a Bible-based church, please let us know. We will be happy to recommend a good church in your area.
Counseling is at our offices at 1255 N. Greenfield Rd Gilbert, AZ 85234. We have limited counseling in the Cactus and Tatum Blvd. area of Phoenix/Scottsdale for couples only.
Finally, we request that you bring the following items to each appointment: a Bible, a note pad a pen or pencil, and great expectation of God’s guidance.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” Luke 16:10-12.
The purpose of the Christian Stewardship and Financial Education ministry is to equip the people of God to be good stewards of the financial resources God has given each of us.
The ministry offers Financial Counseling which focuses on the efficient use of the money God has given us and practical advice on a variety of financial topics.
The ministry is also available to teach a series of classes (Sunday School or Small Group) called “Practical Biblical Finances”.
Contact Deacon Matt Johnson if you need more information about the ministry.
The Book Ministry is comprised of two parts: The GCC Book Store and the Lending Library.
The book store provides Christian reading material for ministry, counsel, or personal study. The goal is to provide low-cost, theologically-sound reading material for all ages. Gift certificates are also available for purchase. The Book Room is currently located between the church office and the worship building.
The library was established in 2006 thanks to the donation of books from a dear member, Frances Ebling, who went to be with the Lord. Since then David and Nancy Gransee also donated their personal library to bless others. If you have an interest in borrowing from the library, simply contact the church office.
The Grace Covenant Church Childcare Ministry exists to provide parents with a safe and loving place where their children will be ministered to while the parents worship with other believers during the Sunday morning worship services.
There is always a need for nursery workers, toy cleaners, and inspectors. If you would like to volunteer or have any questions about the Childcare Ministry, please notify the church office.
Please note: for the safety of the children, those working with the children must undergo background checks and must be a member in good standing at the church.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
The purpose of the Christian Education Ministry is to disciple the saints by God’s Word and to fill minds with the things of God.
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end, I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:28-29
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19
Sunday School is a means by which the church can fulfill its God-given mission of teaching and making disciples. Parents are called to be faithful to teach their children, but the church is also called to be involved in a teaching ministry to all, not just adults (Mat. 28:18-20; Col. 3:16; Eph. 4:11-13). Children’s Sunday School seeks to provide substantive doctrinal teaching in a way children can understand; to build relationships between children and the members of Christ’s body; and to promote the biblical practice of gathering with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
The purpose of this ministry is to touch the lives of the brethren by showing thoughtfulness and encouragement in their times of illness and bereavement, and to celebrate with them on the happy occasions of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.
The purpose of the newsletter, published every week on Thursdays, is to provide a practical way to inform and encourage the brethren at Grace Covenant Church. The church newsletter provides a place for the church staff and regular attendees to give praise and ask for prayer, list upcoming special events, items for sale or donation, job needs and opportunities, personal and group achievements, bookstore updates, reminders and other newsworthy items.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
The church prayer chain was established to meet the urgent prayer needs within the church body at Grace Covenant. For any urgent prayer request, please call the church office. The elders will determine if there is a need to call the prayer chain coordinator to activate the prayer chain which is now done by email.
The Phone Ministry communicates prayer concerns or urgent matters with families who do not have email capabilities.
The Reminder Card Ministry was established to provide a practical way of helping the brethren to remember their scheduled date to serve in a specific area of ministry. Reminder postcards are sent for the nursery and doorkeeper ministries. These cards serve as helpful physical reminders so that each volunteer can be faithful to the church body as much as is possible.
“Therefore, go and make disciples in all nations.” Matthew 28:19a
The function of the Tract Ministry is to equip God’s people with tools to reach out to others using short but challenging messages emphasizing God’s Law and the Gospel of Christ, so that hearts might be convicted and minds challenged to repent of sin and believe on Christ.
The church website provides resources for people to learn about Grace Covenant Church: its beliefs, service schedule, location, upcoming events, and other useful information. The website is also a medium for sharing the Word of God as visitors can listen online to messages delivered from previous Sunday services and events.
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10
A doorkeeper is simply another name for an usher or greeter. The doorkeeper’s purpose is to provide congregants with a cheerful, peaceful, smooth, safe, and quiet entrance into the presence of God as the local church gathers corporately to worship with reverence and in awe (Matthew 18:20). The ministry function is to graciously greet all those who arrive for worship, distribute bulletins, aid people in finding seating, collect the offering, take a head count and clean up after the service. This ministry is very important in that the Doorkeepers are usually the first people that visitors meet. They are representatives of the church and how they act is the first impression visitors will have. By God’s wonderful blessing all of our Doorkeepers are godly faithful servants and work hard to make people feel welcome at Grace Covenant Church.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
The purpose of the Evangelism/Outreach ministry is to encourage one another unto the fulfillment of the Great Commission to our friends, neighbors, and those that are all the way to the ends of the earth. We desire to spread the gospel as it glorifies God to preach Christ and Him crucified out of a motivation of love for Him and compassion for the lost. Local Missions in the East Valley is our Jerusalem. Home Missions in Tucson and throughout the United States is our Judea and Samaria. World Missions in places such as the Middle East, Chile, Kenya and other locations take the witness of the gospel “to the end of the earth”.
For information on how we support the spread of the Gospel around the world, visit the Reformed Baptist Mission Services page.
Being a church plant ourselves, we support the spread of the Gospel across North America through the sending out of pastors to plant local churches. On a national level, we are able to support church planting efforts through our Association.
In 2012 God allowed us to send Pastor Rob Cosby to Tucson, AZ, to plant Tucson Reformed Baptist Church. We continue to support TRBC, along with other local church plants, and we look forward to planting more Christ-centered, Reformed Baptist churches throughout Arizona as the Lord provides.
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Luke 10:2
Under the oversight of the elders, the people of GCC are continually involved in formal, ongoing evangelistic efforts at the following venues, and are encouraged to share the truth of God’s Word and the love of Christ wherever they go:
The Deacons’ Food Pantry Ministry provides food items to those in need within the congregation and the surrounding community. The deacons gladly accept all donations of non-perishable food for the church food pantry. Suggestions for items to donate include:
All donations may be placed in the church kitchen or turned-in to the church office.
If you would like to offer your assistance, please speak with one of the Deacons or call the church office at (480) 813-0883.
The function of the Hospitality Ministry is to encourage the Body at Grace Covenant to extend themselves to new visitors by inviting them over for lunch after the morning worship service thus helping to fulfill Matthew 25: 27 & 40: “Then the righteous will answer Him saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you to drink?” And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
In addition, the ministry also reaches out to the widows of the church in obedience to James 1:27. It is the prayer and goal of the ministry that every member of the church will see how important hospitality is and how we must reach out to newcomers as well as each other.
The kitchen is a very important part of the ministry of Grace Covenant Church. Those who serve in the Kitchen Ministry prepare the meals for church activities such as the Newcomers Dinner, Ladies’ Breakfast, Men’s Breakfast, and Family Camp. The kitchen is also the place where food items for those who are needy are stored. Volunteers are welcome in the Kitchen Ministry. It is an opportunity to serve and bless others for the Lord.
The Meal Ministry is intended to minister to the body of Grace Covenant church, who by God’s providence become ill or temporarily indisposed due to surgery or childbirth.
The Lord has blessed the church with a great measure of musical talent and a congregation that has a solid understanding of the importance of music in worship.
The Grace Covenant Church Choir seeks to glorify God and edify the body at Grace Covenant through hymns, anthems, and special music. In addition to the Sunday worship service, the choir also sings from a selection of special music during Easter and Christmas celebrations. Choir practice is held on Wednesday nights at 7pm at the church, September through May. Anyone interested in serving in this ministry may contact the church office or speak with the Music Director, Mark Olmstead.
The purpose of the safety committee is to promote the safety of children while attending Grace Covenant Church ministries and activities through the writing and implementing of safety policies for each ministry which serves minors and the screening of everyone who serves in ministry to minors.
Several small groups meet during various days during the week. Some meet at the church and others meet at member homes. Content and times can change frequently and so it is best to contact the church office for the current studies, times and locations.
Small Groups — Please call the group leader for information – They are listed in the Church Directory (PDF) file or Online Directory. Other Questions, please contact the church office at 480-813-0883.
Senior Saints Luncheon led by Elder Joe Godal — All those ages 55 and older are invited to attend. The group meets in the Sunday School Building on the third Wednesday of every month, at 11:30 AM. Changes in date will be announced to avoid conflicts with holidays etc.
College & Career led by Elder Pete Smith meets twice monthly at his home. It starts at 6 p.m. and includes dinner. Contact me for the current schedule.
Small Group led by Elder Josh Rusev – Studying various books from the Bible and meeting twice a month at the Rusev house for fellowship and study. Please call Josh through the church office for the schedule.
Small group led by Elder Mark Flin – They meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. They meet at 7:00 pm for dinner. We rotate hosting between houses of those who are able, and since those of us who host have rather small houses, our group is pretty much maxed out. Call Elder Mark for any size changes. We watch either a DVD from a recent Ligonier Conference or a “Dispatches from the Front” DVD.
Ladies Group led by Roberta Giarrizzo – They meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7 pm at the Giarrizzo’s home – the study is on “Trusting God” by Jerry Bridges.
Small young men’s Group led by Paul Giarrizzo – Teachers – currently rotating facilitators (Paul G, Stephen O, David G, Etc) – Location – Rolling Location (changes each time). Location is announced at each meeting & location address/info sent out via email reminder. – Time – Every 2nd & 4th Tue of the month at 7pm – Contact Paul for the location.
San Tan Valley Small Group led by Elder Frank Urquidez – Study: Lord’s Day by Joseph Pipa meeting the 3rd Tuesday of the month – 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – 2nd Tuesday is Fellowship Meal at 6:30 pm – 38759 N. Jonathan San Tan Valley, AZ 85140.
Southeast Small Group led by Jason Tucker meets at the home of Ryan and Jessica Chupa. They meeting the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6 PM for potluck followed by the study at 7 PM. They are currently studying Whitney’s book on prayer. “Praying the Bible” Please contact the church office for contact information
Women’s Evening Bible Study – on 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 7 pm: The group meets at the home of Kay Walden. They are studying the book of Mark. The Women’s Ministry also hosts a social event for all GCC women on the months we don’t meet: spring tea, retreats, ice cream social etc.
Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study at the church at 9:45 am – Contact person is Julie Davis. They meet on the first 3 Thursdays of Sept through Nov. they take Dec. off and then go Jan.–April with May off. During the summer, the women will meet at the church at 9:45 AM all 4 Thursdays in June and July with August off. Changes will be announced in schedule. All women are invited to attend!
The North Phoenix small group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in the area of Tatum Blvd and Thunderbird Road. They are working their way through 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. This is a new group that welcomes additional small group members. Contact Nick DeBenedetto through the church office if you would like to be a part of this group.
The purpose of this ministry is to glorify God by providing opportunities for our senior saints, ages 55 years and older, to fellowship, praise, pray, witness, and to minister to the saints at GCC and those outside the church.
An important part of the Senior Saints ministry is the monthly luncheon generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in the Sunday School building. This is a potluck luncheon with a changing theme each month. All are welcome and transportation will be provided, if needed. There is a spiritual emphasis that includes a brief Bible message, singing hymns, sharing concerns and praying for one another’s requests.
The senior saints are an important part of the congregation at GCC. They are vibrant believers who have caught the vision of ministering in the love of Jesus through various service projects, witnessing outside a Planned Parenthood facility on a regular basis, and serving as mentors to younger brothers and sisters in the congregation, providing wise, biblical counsel.
If you are interested in being part of a growing, loving fellowship of men and women, you are warmly invited to attend our Senior Saints luncheon and become involved with some great saints!
The purpose of the Women’s Ministry is to plan events throughout the year where women can come together, open God’s Word, and encourage one another through times of fellowship, study and prayer.
The Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study meets on the first three Thursdays of each month during the fall, winter, and spring. A nursery is provided for infants and toddlers. Our studies begin at 9:30am. During the summer, we will meet every Thursday in June and July and take a break during the month of August. Please check the bulletin for the monthly schedule and topics for future Bible studies.
In addition to the regularly scheduled Women’s Bible Study, the GCC Women’s Ministry hosts special events throughout the year for the purpose of added fellowship and encouragement in God’s Word:
The purpose of the Young Adults Ministry is to encourage spiritual growth in the lives of young adults, ages 18 to 30-something.
The College and Career Group, under the leadership of elder Pete Smith, meets regularly to spend time studying Scripture and participating in group discussion, prayer, fellowship, and fun activities. Contact the church office for meeting times and locations.
The Building Tomorrow’s Church (BTC) conference is an annual event established by GCC in 2007 and aims to reach and encourage a national audience of Reformed Baptist young people, ages 18 to 30-something. The goal of BTC is to see this generation of young people filled with a sincere enthusiasm for strengthening the body of Christ and actively participate in Christian service through local churches. Click on the logo below to visit the BTC website for more information.
“…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” Ephesians 4:12
The purpose of the Youth Ministry is to provide biblical instruction and guidance to junior high and high school students, and more than anything, point young people to Christ.
The youth ministry meets regularly to sing songs, pray, receive practical instruction from God’s Word, and fellowship. Contact the church office for the current time and location.