The Easter Sunday of 2014 in Pontiac, Michigan was a moment the city would never forget. After years of attempting to purchase the concert venue Clutch Cargo and transform it back into a church, Pastor Kent Clark of Grace Gospel Fellowship had his dream come true. This is that story, told from eyewitness accounts, archival news footage, and a soundtrack that never lets up, this is the story of a club with 7 bars being transformed into a church with a hundred pews.
Here it is! The day we have all been waiting for. April 20th, 2014 Grace Gospel Fellowship opened the doors to their new home. After years of prayer and many months of construction, the doors were opened to the public. Over 1000 people arrived this Sunday. Over 100 had to be turned away due to lack of room. What a glorious day! On Easter Sunday we praise God because this is the day He rose from the grave. With Him came life!
We just want to say thank you to everyone that helped to make this day what it was. Thank you to the Luther family for their donation. Thank you to every laborer that put it in the countless hours. Thank you to all the people that prayed for this day. Thank you to everyone who believed it could never happen. What a great God we serve! He is the God of this city!
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”
We would like to offer our thanks to the Luther Family. Their donation to Grace Gospel Fellowship helped us on our mission to purchase Clutch Cargos. We have dedicated our new chapel to this family to show our appreciation. This chapel will be used for marriage vows and marriage vow renewals. After 15 years, finally the Clutch Cargo sign is removed! Glory to God! Hundreds came to see this on March 26th, 2014. Easter Sunday is the day that Phase 1 will be completed and Grace Gospel Fellowship will have our first service in our new home!
“Being confident that he who began a good work in you, will continue his work until it is finished until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We look at an interview with the former members of the old congregational church. They express how deeply grieved they were that they had to let go of this building. They had come to know this building as home, but because of the depravity of those in the city and the fear of their own safety, the church was passed onto another church. That ministry also had to pass this building on, it then became a night club and a bar. The former members of the old congregational expressed their sorrow and confusion as to how this place of worship, could be used in such a manner. God in His divine will and purpose, knew exactly what he was doing all along. At Grace Gospel Fellowship we believe that ALL things work together for good to those love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Pastor Clark shares how, many years later, God put it on His heart to pray and to fight for this building. God made it happen and is continuing to do so. Although we cannot say we know God’s purpose completely, we continue to watch this building become restored, perhaps this was part of God’s will all along. Perhaps God allowed these things to happen for this very moment, to show His power and His glory in this new light!
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.”
– Proverbs 15:29
Brad Morris shares his life with Christ. He expresses the overwhelming peace that he feels while he is walking in the presence of God, and the moment when he realized that he really needed the love of God. He is in wonder of the fact that God could remove his burdens in every area of his life, emotional and relational. He continues to be in wonder of God and the relationship that Brad shares with Him. Brad has also taken his own understanding of God, and used this as an opportunity to relate and to and help those around him. Although we can never pay back in full what God has done for us, through His own Son, Jesus, we can all understand that no matter what we are going through, every day is an opportunity to help those around us and to give back freely the love God has given us.
“Therefore brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh to live according to it, for if you live by the flesh than you must die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, than you shall live”
– Romans 8:12- 13
As we enter into Phase 1 of the restoration of Clutch Cargo’s we meet with contractors Thomas Carnnacchi and Ed Johnson. There is a lot of work that must be done to this building to take down and to rebuild it to its’ former glory. The tabernacle and stage are being renovated and there is a lot of patching and painting involved. There are bars that needed to be taken down, DJ booths taken down and even behind the stage, there was plywood taken down to unveil the stained glass window so that light could shine through! Grace Gospel Fellowship is hoping that through the restoration of this Clutch Cargo’s we can open our church into a music hall for praise and worship and even put a baptismal pool on the stage so that those who hear the gospel can make a commitment to Christ in front of other believers and profess their faith to Him, to the church and to those they love.
“Therefore if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away: Behold all things have become new.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
The gospel is Jesus Christ states that through Christ, those people that are of the world and those that are dead in the world are given life through Him. Those at Grace Centers of Hope have come to be given new life and for many years, right across the street there is a church that was turned into a bar. Pastor Clark and those at Grace Gospel Fellowship have held onto their belief for many years that God would turn Clutch Cargo’s back into a church and it is through the love and support of the Luther family that this dream and this hope finally came to pass. We look at this building, not just as a place with four walls that we go to worship, we look to this building as a promise from God that He will do that which He promises and He will bring life to the things that were once dead. The first church service will officially be held on Easter Sunday of 2014 and stay tuned as you can watch with us, the restoration of this building, the restoration of many lives, and the restoration of the gospel.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
– Jeremiah 29:11