Spotlight on Church Planting: Planting the Grace SDB Church in Minneapolis, MN

Spotlight on Church Planting: Planting the Grace SDB Church in Minneapolis, MN

Dec 30, 2014

Spotlight on Church Planting: Planting the Grace SDB Church in Minneapolis, MN

— Pastor Greg Olson




In Bible College, I remember questioning why we, as Christians, kept most of the laws that Jesus Himself did, but not all. I understood that many commandments wouldn’t apply to me directly — many are related to sacrifices and other activities in the Temple, and I’m not a priest. Others are only for women. But, of the remaining commandments that could be applied to me, I had been taught to obey all but a select few. I was taught that I could ignore the dietary laws and laws pertaining to special days — like the weekly Sabbath and the annual festivals (which are also called Sabbaths in scripture) because they were all “ceremonial” and not “moral” laws. But nobody could show me in Scripture how to determine which were which.


Years later, after I was married, my wife and I began to look into this question together when we were introduced to the Messianic movement. Messianic congregations keep those last few commandments that most other Christians ignore.


While we enjoyed some great teaching, at one of these congregations in particular, we found that their incorporation of Jewish culture — while not biblically wrong — led many Christians to believe that everything they were doing that was different was just cultural (and therefore optional) including the keeping of those last few commandments like the Sabbath. Grieved by this, we felt called to start something new — a church that culturally felt like any church that met on Sunday, but kept all the commandments that applied to us.


From the beginning we saw it as very important that this new church be accountable to a denominational authority because we had seen how some “independent” churches were really just benevolent dictatorships (and some weren’t even benevolent). I contacted two different denominations about planting a church with the vision we had without success. The first one was willing to give it a try, but would require that we allow infant baptism. The second one just said I was trying to promote legalism.


Giving up on planting a church, I remembered hearing about Seventh Day Baptists and thought we might just be able to find a local SDB church to attend. The closest one to us was in Dodge Center, which was about 90 minutes away.


Our first Sabbath there we met the recently retired Dodge Center pastor, Dale Rood, who told us that he was wanting to plant a church in the Twin Cities! From that time, Pastor Dale and I have shared the pulpit here on Sabbaths. I was officially licensed to preach by the Dodge Center SDB Church this summer and made the pastor of Grace SDB Church.


We are currently averaging about 15 people at our weekly services now. With the exception of one life-long SDB and one person that grew up in an independent Sabbath-keeping church, everyone there was raised going to church on Sunday, but came to the Sabbath by their own study of the Word. Needless to say, we have a congregation of Bereans (Acts 17:10-11)!


Every week, after service and before our Christian Education time, we have a potluck lunch. Our service starts at 10am and many times almost everyone is still there at 5pm studying the Bible together and sharing in fellowship. The meals together every week really speed up how quickly relationships form.

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