WHO WE ARE
Grace Hills Church is a Bible-believing, Gospel-proclaiming, multi-generational church where our youngest person is one month old and our oldest is 103 years young. We are a group of believers who will welcome you like family from the moment you walk in our doors.
We believe the Gospel matters; we proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ boldly and hopefully. We believe the Word of God matters; we sit under the authority of Scripture and proclaim the Bible unapologetically. We believe the church matters; we gather together as a church family walking through life together.
We encourage one another weekly, love one another unconditionally, and serve one another sacrificially. This is the norm, not the exception. We do this by gathering on Sundays to worship (Heb. 10:25; 1 Thes. 5:11), growing together in Life Groups (Col. 3:16; Eph. 4:16), and going together to the world to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world (Matt. 9:37; 28:16-20).
First Baptist Church, Laguna Hills (FBCLH) was founded on November 7, 1965, when Pastor Verner Olson preached the first sermon to 55 people in Clubhouse #1 in Leisure World with his wife Kathryn at the organ. The church was financed through bonds from charter members. The congregation moved into new facilities on September 21, 1969 with 271 present for the first service. Dr. and Mrs. Verner retired in April 1972, and Dr. Ivan Bell began his pastorate starting several new programs, expanding the church’s facilities.
University Community Church of Irvine (UCC) was founded in 1976, when it held its first worship service at Culverdale School in Irvine. The church’s congregation consisted primarily of college students from nearby UCI and young married couples. In 1980, UCC began to meet at the Irvine Town Center across the street from UCI, then at the Irvine Recreation Center. In 1984, Rev. Mark Bartel began the University Baptist Fellowship on UCI’s campus.
In Aprl 1992, following a 6-month merger process, First Baptist Church, Laguna Hills and University Community Church of Irvine voted to combine into one church. Rev. Trevithick was chosen to be the pastor. The legacy of commitment and loyalty brought by the congregation of Laguna Hills added to the youth and energy of the young congregation from Irvine resulted in a new multigenerational church family.
In April 1995, Pastor Trevithick was called to the position of Executive Director at Thousand Pines. In May 1996, Pastor Chris Bennett was called from a successful pastorate in Michigan to lead First Baptist Church of Laguna Hills.
Pastor Mike Johnson began his ministry in 2004. First Baptist Church of Laguna Hills was renamed Grace Hills Church of Aliso Viejo. In 2006, Grace Hills Church became part of Transformation Ministries. The church was remodeled in 2009 with many new ministries started and a strong emphasis on community involvement and outreach. In 2015, Grace Hills Church celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Through the pandemic of 2020, the staff and elders of Grace Hills Church prayerfully and creatively found ways to continue serving the congregation by worshiping together. The church began live-streaming worship services and eventually began meeting outside in the parking lot and church courtyard.
In August of 2021, Pastor Simon Price was called to Grace Hills Church and began his ministry, focused on seeking God’s vision and direction for the multigenerational congregation.
As a body, Grace Hills Church has undergone many changes over the last 59 years; but is the transformation and changed lives within the body that truly show the redeeming work and power of Jesus Christ. Numerous lives have been touched by the ministry of Grace Hills Church, and we look forward to the future in which God continues to speak, save, and redeem as we help more people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:2-3; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; II Peter 1:20-21)
Isaiah 53:6; 59:1-2, 64:6; Romans 1:18-25, 3:10-11, 21-16; Ephesians 2:1-5)
Hebrews 4:14-16; I Peter 2:9, 4:10-11)