The first service of Grace Baptist Church was held on Sunday, October 26, 1947, at 3:30 p.m. at Anders-Rice Funeral Home, 521 Haywood Road for the purpose of organizing a new Missionary Baptist Church in West Asheville. Rev. Colonel D. Bessinger was called as pastor.

The door of the new church was opened, and at the close of the meeting the membership numbered 222 persons. An offering of $690.00 was received.

The Masonic Hall on Hanover Street was used as a meeting place from November 2 through December 14, 1947. During this time, the church purchased a residence formerly used as Gardner’s Hospital at 718 Haywood Road. The first worship service was held in this building on December 21, 1947.

A three-story brick building built adjacent to the original building was first used on March 6, 1949. In August, 1954, the old building was razed and replaced with a second building occupied on March 6, 1955. An educational building was completed in September of 1962.

The church has been served by five pastors and four interim pastors. After Rev. C. D. Bessinger’s resignation in November, 1958, Dr. Morris Ashcraft served as interim pastor from January to July 1959. Rev. C. R. Pierce served as pastor from August 16, 1959 until his retirement on April 19, 1987. After his retirement Rev. E. S. Morgan was interim pastor from April 20, 1987 until October 31, 1988. Dr. J. Derrill Smith served from November 6, 1988 until September 30, 2001.  Rev. Richard Baird has served as interim minister until the church called Dr. Wayne Adkisson in November of 2003. Dr. Adkisson retired in 2009. Rev. Steve Ackerman served as interim pastor till February of 2012 when the church called pastor Rev. Nathan Pruett.  After his resignation in March 2016, Rev. Steve Ackerman is currently serving as interim pastor.

Grace Baptist Church has always been noted for the excellence of its music. This ministry was led by Mrs. Blanche Starnes from the inception of the church until her retirement on December 31,1979. In recognition of the great heritage she had given the church through music she was elected Minister of Music Emeritus on September 16,1990.

Persons called from the church into full-time vocational service include ten pastors, nine ministers of music, one minister of education, two foreign missionaries, one associational staff member, and several persons in other Christian ministries.

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