New church promises teachings are ‘straight-up Bible’Written by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Glass City Church is a new church in South Toledo that wants to bring Christ to area residents.
“I hope the church gets large and we can help many people in Toledo grow in Christ, or continue to have a small group where we help a few people grow deeper in faith,” said lead pastor Jeff Lavalette.
Lavalette, who is originally from Toledo, lived out of state for several years before hearing God’s call to return to Toledo and preach, he said.
In 2008 Lavalette and his wife shared with their friends the idea of founding a church in the area and in March 2009 a small group of 10 began meeting for services. Glass City Church has since grown in size to 30 members, mostly in their 20s and 30s, Lavalette said.
The church is searching for a denomination that fits with its beliefs, but is founded on four different values. Glass City Church is Christian, evangelical, missional and reform.
“We’re theologically conservative, but culturally liberal,” Lavalette said.
Glass City Church believes the Bible is the highest authority when it comes to God and tries to eliminate as many manmade additions as possible.
“We’re not a life coach. It’s just straight up Bible,” Lavelette said. “Some churches try to market, and say if you come you get some sort of package and guidance. We focus solely on the Bible.”
Unlike other reform churches, Glass City Church is accepting of things that are a little less culturally conservative like tattoos and piercings, Lavalette said. Strict Baptists believe people shouldn’t drink or smoke, while at Glass City Church many of the members brew beer as a hobby, he said.
Each week during service the church progresses through new chapters and books of the Bible; starting with one book and preaching on it for weeks until the entire scripture has been covered, Lavalette said. The church doesn’t preach around themes; whatever the Bible passage for the week is, is what’s going to be covered, he said.
“Sometimes it’ll be a couple verses and sometimes it’ll be a couple sentences,” he said. “Sometimes eight words can be so deep you learn a lot from them and adding more would be too much.”
The church doesn’t sugar-coat the Bible and tell people things they want to hear, Lavelette said.
Everyone is sinful and the only way to be saved is through the Lord, Lavelette said.
“We as people believe in self-actualization and you earn you own. But you’re not going to be OK by yourself. You’re not going to be complete on you own, and when you tell someone that can be offensive,” he said. “The Gospel says we need a savior and people don’t want a savior. They want to save themselves.”
Glass City Church meets every Sunday at 11 a.m. The church formerly met at a retirement home in Ottawa Hills, but beginning Dec. 12 will host services at Plate 21 restaurant, 3664 Rugby Drive.
In addition to weekly services, on Monday evenings separate women’s and men’s groups get together to discuss issues and on Thursdays a co-ed missional community meets.
For more information, visit www.glasscitychurch.org.