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What Is the Diaconate?

The Diaconate is a group of men (Deacons) who have been appointed to oversee a particular ministry of mercy at Grace Bible Church. The Diaconate administers care for those who find themselves in disadvantaged and difficult situations. They ensure that the practical and physical needs of persons in challenging circumstances are addressed in a compassionate and thoughtful manner.

The principal duties of this Biblical office are demonstrated in Acts, Chapter 6, in the New Testament. Deacons are men full of wisdom specially chosen from the congregation to minister in a watchful and loving manner.

The Dual Focus of the Ministry!

Inward Reach

Those who are members or attend Grace Bible Church will find help and assistance in crisis situations. Care and attention (mercy care) may come in many forms: physical support, practical advice/counsel and financial support.

“Mercy” opportunities are identified, evaluated and addressed with the goal of providing the most practical and specific assistance to those in our Church community. Assistance is most often facilitated through members of the Church. Financial needs are met through a specially designated Benevolent Fund.

External Reach

Those who are not members or do not attend Grace Bible Church can find help and assistance. Grace Bible Church is aware of the needs of the community at large and has committed itself to supporting many agencies and ministries providing specific aid to those in need.

Often the Diaconate partners with those in need and helps people find assistance from agencies or ministries specific to the needs in question. Mercy assistance and help directly from the Church is evaluated on an individual and case basis.

How Do We Actually Help?

People can receive help in many ways. Here are some examples:
• Financial assistance with bills (rent, utilities, medical, etc.)
• Financial counseling
• Food and gift certificates
• Job counseling and employment assessment
• Meals and in-home care
• Medical transportation
• Connections with support and assistance specific agencies and ministries
• Prayer and spiritual encouragement

We attempt to meet as soon as possible with those who request our assistance. The first conversations involve acquiring an understanding of the facts related to the stated request. This is done to obtain a clear assessment of the situation leading to the best measure of help.

We understand the difficulties of undergoing hardships and the resulting stress they bring to people’s lives. We believe the ultimate relief from the stress of life is a turning to Jesus Christ in repentance from sins. He is the only one who has made it possible for mankind to have true joy in difficult situations.

We understand an offer of relief would not be complete unless we share this truth with all who seek help. Our assistance is temporary in nature. Our goal is to see people work towards addressing the underlying problems leading to the present difficulties. Working in the context of long term solutions is not a function of the Diaconate.

Why Extend Mercy?

• As Christians we are commanded to love our neighbor (Luke 10:25-37). We see all men and women as our neighbors.
• Because of God’s great mercy to us, we offer mercy to our brothers and sisters (Mathew 5:7, Timothy 1:12-14, James 2:12-18, Micah 6:8).

Our Current Deacons


Jim Castel


Ernie Hall


Rafe Shellooe


Gordon Judd


Jeff Lancaster


Rick Whilon




VInce Vega




Our Current Deaconesses


Paulina Sanelli

Debra Lynch_lowres

Debra Lynch 


Shelly Werner


 Carol Wilson

CG Senft_lowres

C.G. Senft 


Fay Johnson



Roshanah Thomas