“Throughout our entire history our church has always been willing to embrace change when changes were necessary to be more effective in accomplishing our mission,” said Jeff Adams, Senior Pastor. “While our name has changed, some things have not: specifically, who we are and what we believe.”
During the past few weeks Adams focused his sermon series on the history of the Baptist faith. He explained to the church body that historically being a “Baptist” was more of a label about what a church believed than a formal denominational name. The church will remain “Baptist” in doctrine.
“It became increasingly difficult for me to explain the name of the church of which I have served as senior pastor for over 27 years,” said Adams. “Instead of explaining what we are, I constantly found myself explaining what we are not. Several months ago our leadership team decided it was time for us to change our name, in part, because we were hearing similar stories from a large number of church members.”
The new name was unveiled yesterday as part of a special vision-casting service that required an overflow room for 600 people who could not be accommodated in the Auditorium. Members rose to a standing ovation when the name was revealed. “Waiting to hear our new name just kept me sitting on pins & needles because I knew it was going to be wonderful, “said Dolores Foutts, long-time member. “Graceway is the neatest name. When the name came upon the screen, with the shouting and clapping, I just wanted to jump up and down.”
Kansas City Baptist Temple was founded in 1943. Jeff Adams returned to KCBT in 1984 as senior pastor and has been instrumental in developing a local church with a true international flare. The church is known as a model for multi-cultural ministry ranking in the top two percent of multi-cultural churches nationally. Graceway is located at 5460 Blue Ridge Cut-off in Raytown. www.visitgraceway.org.