Our History

Grace Polaris Church is the 54-year story of people following a faithful God.

Grace Polaris Church is a member of the Charis Fellowship.

Our congregation began in 1964 in the home of Marion and Dorothy Forrest. Desiring the fellowship of a Charis Fellowship church, they started a Bible study in their home and asked Reverend Nathan Meyer to lead them. It soon became the desire of this group to start a church in the Columbus area. That June the group of about 30 people unanimously asked Dave Hocking to be their pastor. By October the fast-growing congregation was meeting in the Sharon Memorial Hall. Within another six months they had outgrown that facility and began renting space in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

  • The purchase of two lots on Worthington-Galena Road (and an option on a third) in May 1965. Total acreage was 1.95 acres.
  • Groundbreaking for a new church building on April 3, 1966.
  • Completion of the new building in October 1966.
  • Average attendance on a Sunday morning in 1968: 300 people.
  • On January 21, 1968 Pastor Dave Hocking resigned to accept leadership of the First Brethren Church, Long Beach, California. His last sermon was March 24, 1968.
  • On March 10, 1968 a call was extended to James Custer to be the pastor. He accepted, preaching his first sermon on May 19, 1968.
  • Continued growth encouraged the construction of a new building with a full basement of classrooms for Sunday school and a Christian day school. The auditorium would seat 1,050.
  • The first services in the new building were held April 3, 1970. Attendance for Easter morning services, April 18, 1970 was 1,065, while Sunday school recorded 525.
  • The Grace Brethren Christian School began in the basement of the Administration Center in 1973. The same year, 6.67 acres was purchased across the road for a school building.
  • The church continued to grow at a rapid pace. It was necessary to have three Sunday morning services, plus the Sunday evening service. By 1980 total membership was 1,859. Sunday attendance averaged 2,100.
  • In the fall of 1979 the church purchased 90 acres of land located at the southwest corner of Lazelle Road and Worthington-Galena Road to construct a new sanctuary. The groundbreaking service for the new Worship Center was held Sunday, September 5, 1982.
  • The first Sunday morning service in the Worship Center was October 30, 1983 with 3,005 attending.
  • The number of Sunday morning worship services was doubled in June 1989 with the addition of two services at the Administration Center auditorium (Grace South).
  • The R. Fred Hogue Family Center, behind the Worship Center, was opened September 8, 1996.
  • On July 4, 1999 the Sunday morning ministries were integrated into a unified congregation at the Worship Center.
  • The DeArmey Discipleship Center, next to the Family Center, was dedicated January 16, 2000 during morning services.
  • In 1991 we planted a church called the Grace Brethren Church of Powell, while in 2001 we planted the Grace Brethren Church of Upper Arlington.
  • In 2005 we averaged approximately 2,500 people in two Sunday morning services.
  • During 2006 we met at one time in The Gathering on Sunday morning.
  • Pastor Dave Plaster was installed as our senior pastor on September 30, 2007.
  • On July 20, 2008 we dedicated the Custer Family Early Childhood Center.
  • In March 2010 after a brief illness, Pastor Dave Plaster passed away at the age of 60.
  • On August 28, 2011 Pastor Mike Yoder was installed as our new lead pastor.