History and Dedication
GraceWorks Church was founded in March 2006 by Dr. Dennis
Newman and three benefactors: Dr. Don Brock, Gregg Underwood, and Bill Worley.
Dr. Newman had pastored a Methodist church that he helped grow to become the largest in its district. At this stage in his life, Dr. Newman thought his days as a minister were over and he would leave the ministry and work in the “real” world. Dr. Newman went to work for Dr. Brock at Astec Industries but Dr. Brock came to the realization that his former pastor, Dennis, wasn’t happy.
Dr. Brock called his friends together to meet with Dr. Newman, who eagerly embraced their calling as a pastor.
Several friends from Dr. Newman’s previous churches set up a website to keep everyone in touch with their beloved pastor.
The announcement that Dr. Newman was starting an inter-denominational church was
well-received. The first meeting place was a large conference room in a building on Shallowford Road, a building owned by Mr. Underwood. The conference room had seating for 75; nearly 150 people attended the first worship service!
Dr. Newman, Dr. Brock, Mr. Underwood, and
Mr. Worley soon found a large space in Eastgate Mall!
During the first meeting at the mall location, Dr. Newman complimented the worshippers for the generosity and love extended to him. He
emphasized that while the love he felt was wonderful, he wanted the new church to be Christ-centered. Dr. Newman then requested that the new church be called “GraceWorks.”
Early in the life of the church it was decided that a cross was such a
powerful Christian symbol that it could be effective in reaching the “unchurched.” Dr. Brock promised the congregation a “very large cross” at our permanent location. A 110’ cross now stands at the end of Grace Way as a prominent landmark in Chattanooga.
Both Dr. Newman and Dr. Brock have received their rewards for their labors in planting our unique church, founded on the principle that His grace truly works.
Love God. Love People. Make Disciples.