In 1992 with the support and encouragement of First Presbyterian Church in Crossville, TN, Grace Presbyterian Church was planted. On March 29, 1992, families interested in beginning a Reformed church in Cookeville met for the first time at Shoney’s. Throughout that year the church met on Sundays at the Holiday Inn Conference Room, and then in the Veterans’ Building. The Rev. Joseph E. Stewart was called as the church planter and first pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in January of 1993. The first elders were ordained in September of 1994. A few months later the church moved into a building on the town square.
In 1996, Rev. Kevin Teasley officially began Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), building off of a Bible study for Tennessee Tech University students that Pastor Joey had been teaching for several years. Over the years, Grace has maintained a close relationship with RUF, through campus ministers Kevin Teasley, Scott Phillips, Bryan Bond, Jeff Wilkins, and now Gavin Breeden.
In May of 2000, Robert Row was hired as the Director of Children and Youth Ministries. Later, Robert was ordained as an associate pastor and subsequently called away to serve as an assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, the Lord grew His church through the ministry efforts of Joey and Robert not to mention the faithful service of the GPC officers and assembled people of God. In early 2007, Pastor Joey resigned to become the Executive Director for Reformed Youth Movement.
In October of 2007, Rev. Caleb G. Cangelosi was called by the congregation to be the second pastor of Grace. Soon after his arrival, the church bought the property on Burton Branch road upon which its building currently stands. Beginning in August 2008, the congregation met for worship first in Algood Elementary School and later at the adjacent Algood Middle School. After Pastor Robert was called away in 2010, the congregation called Rev. Andrew C. Berg as an associate pastor to serve in a part time capacity. The Lord continued to bless His people during this time of many transitions. Through the Lord’s provision, funds were raised to build the first permanent sanctuary of the church, and in June 2013 (in time for our 20th anniversary celebration!), the building was completed. In March 2014, Pastor Caleb accepted a call to serve as an associate pastor at Pear Orchard PCA in Ridgeland, MS and Andy took over as interim pastor during the transition. In October 2014, the Congregation voted to call Rev. Christopher D. Donnelly as the new Senior Pastor.
As Grace Presbyterian Church looks forward to the future, we do so in gratitude for how the Lord has brought us thus far, and in humble reliance upon Him for sustaining us in the present. Our desire is to glorify God by gathering in His elect people throughout the Upper Cumberland, and growing them in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus has promised to build His church, and by His grace through faith we go forth into the world, seeking to know Him and make Him known.