Grace International's history is woven with the fabric of men and women who accepted the challenge to establish new churches. Some built buildings with their own finances and started with little to no equity in their communities. Some relocated their families to unfamiliar regions with no outward foundation or local contacts and began with a home Bible study that developed into a new church. Still others targeted a location, established a team of capable and committed people who relocated with them, and planted a church. The methods are diverse but the results were the same- churches were established and the Kingdom was expanded. Our headquarters’ church in Houston, Texas, was a Grace International church plant. The church is still pastured by its founders, Steve and Becky Riggle. Steve also serves as president of Grace International.
The need exists today for men and women to accept the challenge to plant churches. "Partners in Planting," the church planting department of Grace International, is responding to that need. As you peruse "Partners in Planting," you will find the information necessary to discover if you are a prospective church planter and how you can apply to be a part of this ministry.
Grace International is represented by great variety in worship and ministry styles. We are called to unity not uniformity and we will continue to encourage the same. The leader team will work with each prospect as an individual with individual styles and expressions. We will make every attempt to assign a mentor who can encourage them in the pursuit of their distinct call. We will also work to match the distinction of the individual to the city or region of the plant.
These men represent a variety in age, experience, and backgrounds. Each is a church planter and is experienced in a broad spectrum of planting options and styles.
- Larry Ihrig, Director – Larry has been the Lead Pastor at Celebration Christian Center in Livermore, California, since November 2001. His over 30 years of vocational ministry experience has focused his passion for a balanced approach to ministry and a strong emphasis on teaching. He has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, church planter, conference speaker, and as a lead pastor since 1985. Having been involved with Grace International most of his life, Larry has directed youth camps, assisted in development of the National Youth Committee, served as a District Committee member and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2004 Larry became the Vice President of Grace International.
- Pat Green –Pat is currently the pastor of a church restart in Austin, Texas. He has experience as a church planter, builder, church staff, worship leader, and Lead Pastor. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Gary West –Gary is a church planter, has trained church planters, and sent teams from his church to establish new works. He has decades of pastoral experience both in Grace International and in other organizations. Gary and his wife, Thelma, are currently seeking to promote family life and strengthen marriages throughout the United States by preaching, teaching and presenting the Marriage for Life seminar. He has resigned his position on the Southern California District Board of Grace International to do so. (email@example.com)
- Shaun Nepstad - Shaun pastors a church he planted in the central California town of Antioch. He is one of the youngest Lead Pastors in Grace International and has experience serving on a church staff. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Roger Borrego - Roger pastors in Temecula, California. He has served on a church staff, and planted churches while licensed with other organizations.(email@example.com)
- Chad Jacobson - Chad pastors a church in Salt Lake City, Utah that has grown rapidly. He is the youngest lead pastor in Grace Intternational. (firstname.lastname@example.org)