GraceConnect E-News, No. 60, Week of August 11, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
The GCBI class of 2012 during their study tour in Israel. They are sitting on the steps of the temple in Jerusalem.

Nothing But the Bible 

“We’re in a war of information here,” said Dr. Randy Smith, director of the Great Commission Bible Institute (GCBI), a ministry of Grace Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Sebring, Fla., and the armory is the Internet. The World Wide Web is only 25 years old. He says that in that quarter of a century, however, it has gained 2.9 billion users40 percent of the world’s population. In America, 81 percent of the public—numbering an estimated 256,770,00 people—logs onto the Internet every day.

GCBI is one way—“the most effective way,” according to Smith—to arm oneself with Scripture. Students come from all over the United States to study the Bible for one year under the institute’s broad mission statement, “to produce people of godly character, who are biblically grounded and effective in practical Christian ministry.”

As the information age emerged, and the Internet grew in strength and scope, so too did the breadth of anti-Christian argument. “There are more than 3,000 websites that will tell you that God isn’t real,” said Smith. Armed with a smart phone, a high school student can pull up “everything that’s been accumulated in a compendium of what’s wrong with [Christianity] at their fingertips on their phone.”  That Google search would take less than three seconds.
“In the middle of the information age,” said Smith, “the church hasn't really significantly stepped up the level of information it’s giving. The issue is without a biblical worldview, honestly, we’re getting creamed out there.” He stressed that knowing the Bible—the whole Bible—is imperative in this information-saturated age. 
There are no additional textbooks or provisional material at GCBI. Instead, each student brings a wide-margin, no-notes Bible to class. By the end of the year, students have covered every page of their Bibles with hand-written notes taken from class, ministry experience, and an Israel trip.

“I want [students] to be so familiar with that book that [they] understand what each chapter is for—not just what it says, but what it does,” said Smith. “[GCBI students] learn to be able to face life with a Bible in their hand. That kind of confidence is going to transform their ability to stand up in the face of criticism.” -- by Marisa Vogel

(Editor's Note: The staff at GCBI has just learned that Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., will accept 
up to 24 hours of transfer credit from GCBI graduates. Watch for more details at or click here for information.)

From Around the Web...

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

Grace College's search for a name for their mascot is in its final stages! Students can vote for one of nine finalists, including names like Alva J. McLancer, Mack, and Lancelot. Click here to read more and vote! 

Check out this list of ebook deals… it includes the BMH Books title, "Walking Like Jesus Did," by Larry McCall! (It's also a deal in the Nook, iBook, and Kobo formats!)
Sunday evening, Dr. Randy Smith, pastor of Grace Church, Sebring, Fla., hosted a Q & A session on the Middle East. A recording of that session is now available at A free account on is necessary to watch the videos.

"If I seem to walk out of step with others, it is because I am listening to another drum beat." An excerpt from a post on the CPR-3 website by its executive director, Dan O'Deens. Click here to read the rest of the post. 

Grace College prepares to welcome new students during Welcome Weekend, August 15-17. Click here for a full schedule.


Mark and Bobbie Sanders are moving to Atlanta, Ga., to begin a ministry there among the nations. They will be teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).

Mike Silliman has joined the staff of Grace Community Church, Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, pastor). He previously was pastor at Gateway Community Church, Parkesburg, Pa.

Jim Franklin has submitted his resignation as pastor of Flora Grace Brethren Church, (Flora, Ind.) effective December 31, 2014. He has served ten years as pastor there. 
Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design
This week's featured book

Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design
By Don B. DeYoung

This book is a look at great scientists who will be remembered not only for their work in research, but also for their faith in Christ. In essence, it is a “hall of fame” for creation scientists. Especially included in this book are female scientists and many individuals not previously studied, as well as original quotes and personal glimpses of interesting lives.

Regularly priced at $12.99, it is not available ONLY for subscribers of GraceConnect eNews at 50 percent off. Simply enter the code "Pioneer2014" when you check out. 
Click here to order now. (Price good through August 19, 2014.)

Events in the FGBC

September 15-17 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
October 6-8 – Central Focus Retreat, Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, Ohio (FGBC)
October 17-19  Leadership Summit (WGUSA)
October 20-22  – East Focus Retreat, Holiday Inn and Suites, Ocean City, Md. (FGBC)
November 11-24 – Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)
January 26-28, 2015  –  Southwest Focus Retreat, location to be announced (FGBC)
March 16-18, 2015 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
June 21-27, 2015 Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario
July 14-15, 2015 –Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN)
July 23-25, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC)

CEN   – CE National
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBB – Grace Brethren Boys
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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